25 COWARNE, MUCH (C.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVII, S.E., (b)XXVIII, S.W.)
Much Cowarne is a parish 8 m. N.W. of Ledbury.
The church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 120) stands
near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local
sandstone and the roofs are covered with slates. In the
first half of the 13th century the West Tower and the N.
arcade were built and a N. aisle added; the S. arcade and
aisle were built about the middle of the same century,
and the Chancel re-built and the North Vestry added late
in the century. The South Aisle was perhaps re-built
and widened in the 14th century. The N. aisle was
destroyed and the arcade built up at some uncertain
date, perhaps in the 16th century, and the tower was
repaired and buttressed at various periods. The former
spire was destroyed by lightning in 1840; the church
was restored in 1873, and the South Porch is modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29½ ft. by
18½ ft.) has a late 14th-century E. window, partly
restored and of three trefoiled ogee lights with tracery
in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two much
restored late 13th-century windows, each of two
pointed lights in a two-centred head; between them is
a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two windows,
the eastern modern except for the splays, and the
western similar to those in the N. wall, but unrestored;
between them is a doorway with chamfered jambs and
two-centred head. The late 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders,
interrupted at the springing by moulded imposts.
The North Vestry is of late 13th-century date but has
a modern window and doorway in the E. wall. In the
N. wall are two loop-lights, one above the other.
The Nave (41 ft. by 24 ft.) has an early 13th-century N.
arcade, of three bays, now blocked; the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders and spring from
round columns and half-round responds with moulded
capitals and bases; re-set in the blocking walls are two
late 13th-century windows, each of two pointed lights
in a two-centred head; the early 13th-century N. doorway, re-set in the middle bay and now blocked, has
chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label
and imposts. The mid to late 13th-century S. arcade
is of three bays and has two-centred arches of two
chamfered orders, springing from quatre-foiled columns
with small intermediate shafts, moulded capitals
(Plate 17) and bases; the responds have attached half-columns.
The South Aisle (18½ ft. wide) is probably of the 14th
century and has an E. window of three cinque-foiled
lights with plain intersecting tracery in a two-centred
head. In the S. wall are two windows similar to the
E. window, but of two lights only; the S. doorway has
jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders,
with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a round 14th-century window.
The West Tower (17¾ ft. by 18½ ft.) is of three stages
with an embattled parapet, mostly modern. The 13th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of two
chamfered orders with restored imposts at the springing-level. There are two windows in the W. wall and one
in the S., all of the end of the 12th century, one retaining
its original lancet-head and the others widened and
having round heads. The second stage has a lancet-window in the S. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each
wall, a window of two pointed lights divided by a
shaft with a square capital and all recessed within a
two-centred outer order. The tower buttresses are of
various dates; the middle buttress on the W. has an
inscribed panel giving the date 1557. The date 1831
on the S.W. buttress was cut when several buttresses
Fittings—Chair (Plate 43): In chancel—with turned
front legs and shaped arms, panelled back with lozengeenrichment and carved top-rail and cresting, early
17th-century. Churchyard Cross: S. of chancel—part
of octagonal to square shaft on octagonal base, square
sub-base and step, 14th or 15th-century. Communion
Table (Plate 50): with turned and moulded legs,
enriched top and moulded lower rails, 17th-century.
Monuments: In chancel—against S. wall, (1) of Sybil
wife of William Reed, 1624, effigy of woman (Plate 122)
in costume of period, panelled back-piece with
kneeling figures of two sons and two daughters,
flanked by panelled pilasters supporting frieze and
semi-circular pediment with three shields-of-arms. In
S. aisle—at E. end, (2) mutilated effigy in mail
armour with long surcoat, remains of shield on left
arm with traces of a lion, legs crossed and broken
off, slab with hollow-chamfered edge enriched with
small shields, late 13th-century; against S. wall,
(3) of Edmunde Fox, 1617, and Anne his wife, altar-tomb (Plate 121) with gadrooned edge, on front
kneeling figures of three sons and seven daughters,
and at E. end a cradle (Plate 59) with three infants,
on tomb, effigies (Plate 106) of man in civil costume
and wife; on wall above, tablet with shield-of-arms.
Piscina: In chancel—recess with ogee head and remains
of two round drains, probably 14th-century. In E.
respond of N. arcade—broken corbel-capital with drain,
late 13th-century. In S. aisle—in E. wall, recess with
ogee head and round drain, 14th-century; in S. wall,
similar but larger recess with octofoiled drain. Plate:
includes cup and cover-paten of 1572, with band
of engraved ornament on cup and date on paten.
Miscellanea: In chancel—re-set in S. wall, head-corbel
or label-stop, 13th or 14th-century. In chancel—on E.
wall, carved oak figures of St. Peter and another apostle,
late 17th or 18th-century.
a(2). Homestead Moat at Pauncefort Court, E. of
the church, is now reduced to the dry E. arm. To the
W. of the church is a rectangular artificial pond with
a terrace on the E. side.
a(3). Dovecote (Plate 36), at Cowarne Court about
½ m. S.S.W. of the church, is a round building of
rubble with a conical roof of tiles and stone slates. It
has no definite indications of date and may be mediæval.
The doorway is square-headed with a heavy oak frame;
the roof is capped with a 17th or 18th-century wooden
lantern. Inside, the building is lined with stone nests
and originally had a domed roof of stone; the middle
part of this has been broken away.
a(4). Parsonage Farm (Plate 26), house, formerly
vicarage, 400 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys;
the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It
was built c. 1600, but the W. end has been re-built and
shortened in modern times. Much of the timber-framing, in square panels, is exposed. On the S. front
is a two-storeyed porch (Plate 31), of which the upper
storey projects on a moulded bressummer and shaped
brackets and has pendant posts at the angles; the
lower storey has moulded angle-posts with a segmental
arch to the entrance; the side walls have moulded
balusters; the gable has moulded barge-boards and a
pendant at the apex. The stone chimney-stack, at the
N. end of the house, has two brick shafts set diagonally.
Inside the building are some exposed chamfered ceiling-beams and some late 17th-century doors of moulded
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys;
the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are covered
with tiles or slates. Many of the buildings have exposed
timber-framing, externally, original chimney-stacks and
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(5). Cottage, at Pauncefort Court, 60 yards E. of the
church, has been re-faced in stone and brick.
a(6). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 350 yards S.E.
of the church.
b(7). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 1,050 yards
E.S.E. of the church, has a corrugated iron roof.
b(8). Barn at Lower Bridge End Farm, nearly ¾ m.
E.S.E. of the church, is of three bays with a corrugated
b(9). Bridge End Farm, house, 200 yards N.E. of (8),
has a rather later outbuilding extending to the W. The
outbuilding has curved struts to the roof.
b(10). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, about 1,600
yards S.E. of the church, was built c. 1700 and has a
b(11). Barn at Lower Hillend Farm, 1 m. E.S.E. of the
church, adjoins the W. end of the modern house. The
roof is covered with corrugated iron.
b(12). Cottage, 200 yards S. of (11), has an outbuilding
adjoining it on the S. The roof is of corrugated iron.
Condition—Of outbuilding, poor.
b(13). Hillend Farm, house and outbuilding, 1 m.
E.S.E. of the church. The House has 18th-century and
modern additions on the N. The framing in the W.
gable is set diagonally. The S. front has been re-faced.
The Outbuilding, N.E. of the house, has been
heightened and the roof altered.
b(14). Upper Moorend Farm, house, over 1¼ m. E. of
the church, has later extensions.
b(15). Middle Moorend Farm, house and barns, 350
yards N.E. of (13). The House was built late in the
16th or early in the 17th century, but has been partly
The Barn, N. of the house, is of three bays and has
been re-roofed. The Barn, E. of the house, has an
inserted 18th-century floor.
b(16). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 270 yards
S.S.E. of (14), was built c. 1700 and has a thatched roof.
b(17). Cottage, S. of Callow Marsh, about 2 m. E.
of the church, was built c. 1700 and has a thatched roof.
b(18). Cottage, on the N. side of the road at Five
Bridges, 2¼ m. E. of the church, was built early in the
18th century and has a thatched roof.
b(19). Five Bridges Inn, 60 yards E.S.E. of (18), has
been re-faced in brick.
b(20). Cottage, at Hope's Rough, over 1¼ m. E.N.E.
of the church, has a corrugated iron roof.
b(21). Cottage, at Pank's Bridge, ½ m. W.N.W. of (20),
has a corrugated iron roof.
b(22). Little Richley, house, 180 yards S. of (21), has
been enlarged and the roof altered. Inside the building,
the early 18th-century staircase has turned balusters,
straight strings and square newels; there are two
panelled doors of the same date.
a(23). Starpit Farm, house, 1,100 yards N.N.E. of the
church, has been largely re-built in brick.
a(24). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 320 yards
S.W. of (23), was built c. 1700.
a(25). Red Witchend, house, 100 yards W. of (24), is
built of brick and has an 18th-century addition on the
W. The external and internal features date mostly
from the 18th century.
a(26). Black Witchend, house and barn, 350 yards S.
of (25). The House has a modern wing on the E. side.
The Barn, S.E. of the house, is of late 17th or early
18th-century date and of four bays with a corrugated
a(27). Tan House Farm, house and outbuildings
650 yards N.N.W. of the church. The House has been
re-built, except the N. wall which has diagonal framing
in the two gables.
The Outbuildings form an L-shaped range of which
the S. wing or cider-house adjoins the house. The
Barn in the middle of the E. wing is of three bays.
a(28). Cottage, 50 yards S. of (27) and on the S. side
of the road.
a(29). Outbuilding adjoining Cowarne House, ¾ m.
N.N.W. of the church, has diagonal framing in the E.
a(30). Outbuilding at the Farm, nearly ½ m. W.N.W.
of the church, is built in two parts not quite of the same
a(31). Cottage, on the S.W. of the cross-roads at
Wynn's Green, 1,150 yards W. of the church, has a
thatched roof and an 18th-century extension on the W.
a(32). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 70 yards W.
a(33). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, at Burley
Gate, nearly 1¼ m. W. of the church.
a(34). Cottage, 150 yards W. of (33), has been refronted in brick.