20 CASTLE FROME (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVIII, S.W., (b)XXVIII, S.E.,
Castle Frome is a parish 5½ m. N.N.W. of Ledbury.
The church, with its richly carved font of the 12th
century, is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands in the
N. part of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
with dressings of the same material; the roofs are tiled.
The Chancel and Nave were built in the first half of the
12th century. The church was restored in 1878; the
bell-turret re-built and the North Vestry and South Porch
The church is a complete but plain 12th-century
building, the N. wall of the nave being an interesting
example of the masonry of the period; among the
fittings the font is a remarkably rich example of a local
type of carving, and the 17th-century monument is
Castle Frome, the Parish Church of St Michael
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24½ ft. by
18¼ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded
label. In the N. wall is a 12th-century window of a
single round-headed light; farther W. is a modern
doorway. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern
of c. 1300 and of two trefoiled lights with a trefoil in a
two-centred head; projecting inwards from the base of
the mullion is the bust (Plate 11) of a small carved figure
of a man in mail armour with a surcoat and holding a
heart in his hands; this is probably the memorial of a
heart-burial; the western window is of the 15th century
and of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in
a rounded two-centred head with a moulded label;
between the windows is a 12th-century doorway with
plain jambs, square head, and a semi-circular panel sunk
in the lintel. The 12th-century chancel-arch is semi-circular and of two square orders interrupted at the
springing-level by moulded or chamfered imposts,
partly restored; on the S. impost is a small carved head.
The Nave (42 ft. by 23½ ft.) has, in the N. wall
(Plate 111), two 12th-century windows similar to that
in the chancel. In the S. wall are two windows, the
western similar to those just described but blocked
internally, and the eastern of the 15th century and of
three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental head; the
12th-century S. doorway has plain jambs, square head,
and a round relieving arch above the lintel. In the
W. wall is a single round-headed 12th-century light;
the W. doorway, of the same date, is similar to the
S. doorway. The square timber bell-turret appears to
be entirely modern.
The Roof of the chancel is of trussed-rafter type, ceiled
in the W. part and boarded and panelled in the E. part;
the panels are divided by moulded ribs into square
panels, sub-divided diagonally and with foliated bosses;
the wall-plates are moulded and embattled, all being of
c. 1500; there are two moulded tie-beams of c. 1600,
the western being carved with foliage and a central
rosette on the soffit. The late 15th-century roof of the
nave is of flat pitch with a panelled soffit of forty panels,
four in the width; the dividing beams are moulded;
the boarding is modern.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st inscribed in Lombardic
capitals "Mauddillamor. W.T." probably mediæval.
Font (Plate 51): Round bowl and stem of ogee
section, with deep band of interlacement at top and
bottom, between them carved representations of the
Baptism, the four evangelistic creatures and two doves;
base consisting of three crouching figures in quilted
garments, all mutilated, c.1150; cover of oak, octagonal
with ribs and central post, formerly supported by four
brackets, of which three are missing, early 17th-century.
Glass: In nave—in S.E. window, fragments of canopy-work, three figures, a head, etc., 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—against
N. wall, (1) probably to a member of the Unett family,
c. 1620–40, altar-tomb (Plates 59, 112, 113) of freestone,
reassembled, and effigies of alabaster; altar-tomb with
draped panels, on S. kneeling figures of three sons and
three daughters with a central desk, on the W. end
kneeling figures of two sons and a daughter; on anglepilasters, three cartouches-of-arms; effigy of man in
civil costume with slashed sleeves, long hair, and left
hand on breast; woman with stomacher and loose outer
cloak; (2) to Francis Unett, 1656, and Sara (Nicholetts)
his wife, 1659, stone and slate tablet (Plate 61) with
scrolls, twisted Ionic side-columns, entablature, broken
pediment, and three cartouches-of-arms. In nave—on
S. wall, (3) to William Unett, 1624, monument erected
by Anne (Elton) his second wife, three slabs, two
inscribed and one with a shield-of-arms, probably all
part of Monument (1). Floor-slab: In porch—to
Eli . . . Lind . . ., 1689. Plate: includes cup of
1570 with bands of engraved ornament and cover-paten dated 1571. Pulpit: three sides with moulded
cornice and bolection-moulded panels, inlaid star in
one panel, early 18th-century. Recess: In chancel—
in S. wall, with chamfered segmental arch, moulded
label and carved head-stop, late 13th-century; farther
E., rectangular recess. Stoup: In S. doorway—round-headed recess, mediæval, probably for stoup. Sundial:
Above S. doorway—projecting semi-circular stone dial,
divided, in the early manner, to show 'tides.' Tiles:
Re-set in eastern recess in chancel—slip-tiles, with lion,
fleur-de-lis, patterns of faces, etc.
a(2). Motte and bailey at Castle Farm and 350 yards
E. of the church. The Motte is some 60 yards in
diameter at the base, and rises about 14 ft. above the
bailey; there is a slight sinking in the top. A scarp
to the E. and S. probably indicates the outline of the
bailey. Running along the hillside, S.W. of the Motte,
is a sunken way partly protected by a rampart on the
Condition—Poor, site wooded.
c(3). Homestead Moat at New Birchend, ¾ m. S. of
the church, is complete.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys;
the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tile or
slate-covered. Some of the buildings have original
chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
a(4). Church House Farm, house and barn, 120 yards
W.S.W. of the church. The House has a late 17th or
early 18th-century extension on the W., and the side
walls have been raised and partly re-fronted. Some of
the timber-framing is exposed.
The Barn, adjoining the house at the W. end, is of
late 17th or early 18th-century date and of four bays.
a(5). Town Farm, house and barn, 100 yards S. of the
church. The House is of two storeys with attics and
was built probably late in the 16th century. Early in
the 18th century it was extensively altered and added
to on the N. and S. Some of the framing is exposed.
Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.
The Barn, S.W. of the house, was built probably early
in the 18th century and is partly weather-boarded.
a(6). Cottage, 700 yards S. of the church, has
exposed framing and a thatched roof.
a(7). Outbuilding at Moorcnd Farm, ½ m. S. of the
church, has exposed framing.
a(8). Fromey Mill, house, ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church,
was built probably early in the 18th century and has
some exposed framing.
a(9). Millend Farm, house, ¼ m. S. of (8), has exposed
framing. The upper storey projects at the N. end of
the main block. The roof has been raised, and there
are later and modern additions on the E. and W.
Inside the building is an original panelled door.
b(10). Hill Farm, house, 800 yards S.E. of the church,
has been largely reconstructed but retains a small wing
at the back with exposed framing.
c(11). Outbuildings at Old Birchend, nearly 1 m. S. of
the church, consist of a barn, stable and outbuilding.
The two former form an L-shaped block. The barn is
of one storey and of four bays. The framing is exposed
in both buildings.