28 DINMORE (B.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. XXVI, N.E.)
Dinmore is a small parish 7 m. N.N.W. of Hereford.
The chapel of the Knights Hospitallers is the principal
(1). Chapel of St. John of Jerusalem (Plate 6)
stands in the S. part of the parish. The walls are of
local sandstone rubble and ashlar, with dressings of the
same material; the roofs are covered with stone slates.
The Preceptory of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem
at Dinmore appears to have been founded c. 1189–90,
and to this date belongs the greater part of the N.
wall of the church. About the middle of the 14th
century this building was extended towards the E.,
and probably widened towards the S., and the W.
tower inserted towards its W. end. The earlier building formerly extended farther to the W. and may
have had a nave, now entirely destroyed. Two
buttresses on the N. side are parts of the walls of a
range of buildings extending towards the N., and the
basement of the existing house (2), lying still farther
N., incorporates portions of mediæval work. The
English houses of the Order were dissolved in 1540.
The building has since been in continuous use as a
chapel and was restored in 1886.
The chapel is of some interest, both architecturally
and as a building of the Order of St. John.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (38¼ ft. by
16¼ ft.) has a 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled
ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head.
In the N. wall are two doorways, the eastern of the
12th century and now blocked; it has square jambs
and round arch; the 14th-century western doorway
has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered
orders, much scraped; in the E. part of the wall is a
square-headed squint-opening formerly communicating
with the upper storey of the range running N. from the
church; the junctions of the 12th-century and later
masonry are visible in this wall; in the western of the
two buttresses, forming part of the former N. range,
are remains of a 12th-century doorway with round
head and relieving-arch. In the S. wall of the chancel
are three 14th-century windows, the easternmost
generally similar to the E. window and the other two
of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; below the eaves runs a string-course
stepped up over the head of the easternmost window;
at the W. end of the wall is a modern doorway.
The West Tower (7¼ ft. square) is of mid 14th-century
date and of three storeys with an embattled parapet
and an octagonal spirelet. The tower-arch (Plate 10)
is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer
continued down the responds and the inner dying on
to them; on the springing stones are cut small panels
with trefoiled and ogee heads. In the W. wall is a
quatrefoil set in an outer order with an ogee head.
The second storey has, in the S. wall, a loop-light.
The bell-chamber has in each wall a single-light window
with a segmental head. The stone spire rests on
squinches and has an ogee-headed opening in the E.
face. The N. wall of the tower is built within a 12th-century wall which extends farther to the W. and
finishes with a splay, probably part of a former window.
In this wall is the doorway to the turret-staircase and
above it is a destroyed and blocked doorway to an
The Roof of the chancel is probably of late 14th-century date; it is low-pitched and of five bays, with
moulded and cambered tie-beams, moulded purlins
and plates and curved brackets between the central
purlin and the tie-beams; above it is a modern roof
of higher pitch.
Fittings—Coffin-lids: Re-used as lintel of squint in
N. wall, slab with remains of cross-head, 13th-century.
Re-used as lintel of doorway to tower-staircase, with
ornamental cross-head, 13th-century. Communion Table:
modern, but front and sides made up of tracery probably from former screen, late 14th-century. Door:
In doorway to tower-staircase, of battens with strap-hinges having ornamental ends and drop-handle, 14th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Susanna,
wife of . . ., 1648–9; (2) to Jane Williams, 1644,
with incised three-armed cross; (3) to John
Wol[ryche], 1703, with shield-of-arms; (4) obliterated
inscription, with shield-of-arms. Piscina: In chancel
—recess with ogee arch and panelling in square head,
14th-century, projecting bowl with trefoiled drain cut
in re-used capital of triple 13th-century shaft. Sundials:
On third buttress of S. wall, round incised dial
(Plate 18) with Roman numerals, 14th or 15th-century; on westernmost buttress, defaced round
incised dial, perhaps earlier. Stoup: On N. wall, E.
of doorway, re-used 13th-century foliated capital with
drain cut in it and small ogee-headed recess at back.
(2). Dinmore Manor, house and barn, immediately
N. of the chapel. The House is of two storeys with
cellars and attics; the walls are of rubble with ashlardressings and the roofs are tiled. The preceptory of
Dinmore was granted to Sir Thomas Palmer in 1548.
The house was re-built late in the 16th century, incorporating a small part of the mediæval building. It
was of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the E. and N.; a modern addition makes the plan
nearly square and there is a lower 18th-century wing
on the W. A wing, perhaps part of the mediæval
building, formerly adjoined the S. front, but was pulled
down probably in 1830. The N. and E. fronts have no
ancient features, except the N. doorway which is of
the 13th or 14th century re-set; it has chamfered jambs
and two-centred head, and cut on the E. jamb are the
initials and date: F. W. 1665. The S. front has a slightly
projecting central portion with three gables, one of
which is dated 1830. The chimney-stacks are of late
17th-century brickwork. Two breaks in the masonry
of the projection perhaps indicate the extent of the
surviving mediæval work which appears to have been
the N. end of a building now otherwise destroyed.
In the W. wall is a late 16th-century three-light window
with moulded oak frame and mullions.
Interior—The inner doorway of the porch may be
of mediæval date, but has been re-set and entirely retooled. The entrance-hall and back-hall have dadoes
of 17th-century panelling with enriched rails; between
the rooms is an opening with early 18th-century lining
and architrave; in the W. wall of the back-hall is a
round-headed arch with early 18th-century architrave,
key and impost-blocks. The doorway into the modern
S. porch is of 12th or 13th-century date, re-set; it is of
one moulded order. The S.W. room is lined with
early 18th-century panelling and elsewhere there is
some re-used late 16th-century panelling. The S.E.
room has late 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams and
framing. One room has an early 18th-century stone
fireplace with panelled pilasters and head. The late
16th-century roof-trusses remain in the attics and are
of queen-post type. The basement, on the S. side of
the house, retains some portions of mediæval date.
In the S. wall is a blocked 14th-century doorway with
rounded jambs and segmental-pointed head; W. of
it is a dressed quoin indicating the western extent of
the mediæval building. The cross-wall, E. of the
doorway, has a second doorway of the same date and
character, but with a later head. A timber partition
with the cellars to the N. of it are probably of 16th-century date. There appears to have been a well in
the cellar to the N.E. of the parts described and perhaps
formerly in the open.
The Barn, N. of the house, is of the 17th century,
timber-framed, but considerably restored and now
divided up. About 350 yards W. of the house is a
well, domed over in rubble; on the plastered soffit
are some crude figure-drawings in red line.
(3). Upper Dinmore, house and barn, 800 yards N.W.
of the chapel. The House is of two storeys; the
walls are of stone and brick and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built in the 17th century and has
18th-century additions. The Barn, N.E. of the house,
is timber-framed. The three N. bays are probably
of early 17th-century date and the three S. bays a later
(4). Mound, 300 yards E.N.E. of the chapel, is
about 87 ft. in diameter surrounded by a shallow
ditch. The mound rises only about 5 ft. above the
lowest part of the ditch.
(5). Lynchets, on the N. side of the valley, 650
yards E. of the chapel, consist of four terraces of varying
width and extending for about 160 yards.