43 HOW CAPEL (C.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. XLVI, N.E.)
How Capel is a small parish on the left bank of the
Wye, 4 m. N. of Ross. The church is the principal
(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary
stands to the S. of How Capel Court. The walls are
of sandstone rubble and ashlar with dressings of the
same material; the roofs are covered with lead and
slates. The Chancel was perhaps built in the 13th
century but was much altered in the following century.
The Nave was re-built in the first half of the 14th century
and the South Porch added. In 1693 Sir William
Gregory re-faced and largely re-built the nave and S.
porch and added the South Transept and West Tower;
the last appears to have been finished in 1695. The
restoration of the church was begun in 1889 and completed in 1910–12, and the West Porch and the closing
in of the S. porch are modern.
Amongst the fittings the royal arms and the font
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¼ ft. by
15¾ ft.) has a late 14th-century E. window of three
cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the external reveals are casementmoulded. In the N. wall is a 14th-century window of
two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head. In the S.
wall are two windows, the eastern of late 14th-century
date and of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in
a two-centred head; the external reveals are casementmoulded; the western window is of late 13th or early
14th-century date, and of two cinque-foiled lights in a
two-centred head; between the windows is the sill
and part of the E. jamb of a destroyed 13th-century
window. The 13th-century chancel-arch has responds
and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders on the
E. and one chamfered order on the W., with chamfered
imposts; it is flanked by modern openings and there
is a modern window in the gable.
The Church, Plan
The Nave (39¼ ft. by 21¼ ft.) has, in the N. wall, four
windows, the easternmost is uniform with the S.E.
window of the chancel but the external reveals are of
late 17th-century date; the two middle windows are
modern; the westernmost window, of c. 1340, is of
two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the wall is faced with late 17th-century
ashlar and has a moulded plinth. In the S. wall is a
late 17th-century round arch of two chamfered orders
with moulded imposts and splayed responds; the
window at the W. end of the wall is probably a late
17th-century copy of the westernmost window in the
N. wall; the S. doorway has late 17th-century moulded
jambs and round head.
The South Transept (17¾ ft. by 16 ft.) is entirely of
late 17th-century date and has a moulded plinth. The
E. window is copied from the S.E. window of the
chancel. The S. window is copied from the E. window
of the chancel. On this wall are two shields of Gregory
with the date 1693, and a crest of the same family above
the window. Between the transept and the porch is a
large cupboard entered by a square-headed opening;
S. of it is a window, uniform with that in the E. wall.
The West Tower (12 ft. by 12½ ft.) is of late 17th-century date and of three stages with a moulded plinth
and an embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles.
On the W. wall is a shield and crest of Gregory and
the date 1693. The tower-arch is two-centred and of
one moulded order with Renaissance moulded imposts;
above the arch, on the E. face, is a shield of the arms of
Gregory and the date 1693. The two-light W. window
is similar to that in the S. wall of the nave, but with a
label and head-stops; below it is a modern doorway.
The second stage has, in the E. wall, a square-headed
opening; the N. and S. walls have each a window of
two pointed lights in a two-centred head. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two pointed
lights in a two-centred head. The doorway from the
turret-staircase to the roof has the initials and date
W. T. 1695.
The South Porch has a two-centred outer archway of
late 17th-century date and of two continuous chamfered
orders; it has a modern filling. In the W. wall is a
re-set 14th-century window of one trefoiled light in a
The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century date
and of three bays; it is low-pitched and has moulded
tie-beams with curved braces springing from shafted
wall-posts with moulded capitals and bases; the
spandrels of the braces are carved with conventional
foliage, a human face and a Tudor rose; the main
bays are sub-divided by moulded ribs with carved
bosses at the intersections; the roof has been restored
and some of the decorations are modern. The late
17th-century roof of the nave has trussed rafters of
scissor-type with collars and moulded wall-plates. The
roof of the S. transept is of similar date and character.
The late 17th-century roof of the S. porch has curved
braces below the collars and modern wall-plates.
Fittings—Bells: two, 1st with initials R.W., C.W.,
probably late 17th-century; 2nd dated 1652. Bell-frame, late 17th-century. Bier: In tower—with
moulded main timbers, 18th-century. Brackets: In
chancel—on E. wall, re-used scalloped capital of 12th-century date and a semi-octagonal moulded bracket,
probably of the 15th century. Churchyard-cross: In
S.E. corner—square base with angle spurs and ogee-headed niche in N. face, lower part of square shaft with
stop-chamfered angles, 14th-century. Communion Table:
In vestry—with twisted legs, moulded rails and
stretchers and ball-feet, late 17th-century. Door: In
tower—of two nail-studded leaves, with strap-hinges,
late 17th-century. Fonts: In nave—octagonal bowl
(Plate 52), faces carved with conventional foliage,
cinque-foiled flowers, fleur-de-lis, Agnus Dei and square
and diagonal patterns, 13th-century, found buried in
tower. In churchyard—round moulded bowl (Plate
56) with acanthus-ornament, inscribed "Bap. 1698,"
round stem and moulded base. Glass: In chancel—in
N. window, foliage in heads of lights, in situ, 14th-century, later fragments in tracery. In nave—in N. W.
window, fragments in quatrefoil, including part of a
field—cheeky or and azure, 15th-century. Ironwork: In
S. transept—four iron brackets for funeral-helm and
standards, late 17th-century. Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard—N.E. of nave, to
John Hall, 1709, head-stone. Floor-slabs: In S.
transept—(1) to Sir William Gregory, 1696, Baron of
the Exchequer, with shield-of-arms; (2) to James
Gregory, 1684, with shield-of-arms; (3) to William
Gregory, 1702, with shield-of-arms; (4) to Thomas
Poole, 1694; (5) to Catherine, wife of Sir William
Gregory, 1700, with lozenge-of-arms; (6) to Edward
Betham, 1714, rector, with achievement-of-arms.
Piscina: In chancel—moulded projection with square
drain, probably 14th-century. Plate: includes cup
and cover-paten of 1641. Pulpit: two sides only, each
carved with enriched arch with side pilasters, moulded
cornice and fluted frieze, c. 1630, panelled late 17th-century base. Scratchings: On late 17th-century ashlar,
various masons' marks. Screen (Plate 131): In chancel-arch—of three bays with square posts, twisted at the
top, moulded cornice and each bay with head formed
of curved and twisted bars, above middle bay carved
wooden achievement of the royal arms of William III,
late 17th-century, base modern. Sedile: In chancel—
sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat. Weather
Vane: On Tower—metal cock, probably late 17th-century.
The churchyard-wall near the W. porch has a stone
inscribed Sr. W. G. (Sir William Gregory) (16)93.
Condition—Good, upper part of tower needs repair.
(2). How Capel Court, house, stabling and outbuildings, immediately N. of the church. The House
is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of ashlar
and rubble and the roofs are covered with tiles. The
existing Kitchen wing is of 17th-century date and the
middle part of the front of the house is of late 17th or
early 18th-century date. The rest of the house is modern
and the older portions have been so entirely remodelled
that little old work remains except in the external
walling. In the middle of the S. front, above the first-floor windows, is a stone panel carved with the arms of
Gregory. Inside the building, re-set in the modern
S.W. wing, is an early 17th-century overmantel with
four panels, one carved with strapwork and the other
three with leopards' heads.
The outbuildings are of ashlar or rubble and the
roofs are covered with stone slates, modern slates or
tiles. A range of Stabling, N. of the house and connected
with it by modern buildings, is of early 17th-century
date; it has had a modern upper floor inserted. One
doorway has moulded jambs and a semi-elliptical head
with a keystone inscribed "W.B." The walls have a
chamfered plinth and a moulded string at the level of
the window heads. Several of the mullioned windows
are original. N.W. of the stabling is a 17th-century
barn, much re-built and now used as a Garage. N. of
the garage is an early 17th-century Barn, now used as
a Racquet Court. The walls are pierced with looplights and an original doorway in the S. wall has a
segmental head. Farther E. is a similar barn. About
60 yards S. of the house are the footings of a portion
of a wall, 5 ft. thick and segmental on plan. They are
built of rubble and other portions of the wall have
been uncovered, which suggest a circular enclosure of
about 100 ft. radius. The walls continued under the
house but afforded no evidence of date.
Condition—Of house, good, much modernised.
(3). The Rectory, ½ m. W. of the church, is of two
storeys with attics. The walls are of stone rubble
and the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. The
house is of late 17th-century origin but has been considerably modernised and added to. Inside the building
some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(4). Cottage, two tenements, at Totnor, about ½ m.
N.W. of (3), is of two storeys. The walls are of
rubble with some timber-framing and the roofs are
tiled. The house is of 17th-century date and has a
S.W. wing of c. 1700. There are modern additions at
the back and N. end of the original building. The
central chimney-stack has a diagonal shaft. Inside the
building some of the timber-construction is exposed.
Condition—Good, much altered.