An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 1, South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
37 KENTCHURCH (C.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLIV, S.E., (b)XLV, S.W., (c)XLIX, N.E.)
Kentchurch is a large parish, 10¼ m. S.W. of Hereford. The principal monuments are Kentchurch Court and Pontrilas Court.
c(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, was re-built in 1859. The church contains, from the old building, the following:—
Fittings—Chair: in chancel—with turned side-posts to back, scrolled cresting and arms, partly turned front legs and scrolled front rail, late 17th-century. Churchyard Cross: S.E. of porch—square base only in situ; lower part of octagonal shaft now lying loose near chancel, mediæval. Monuments and Floor-slabs. —Monuments: in chancel—in recess in N. wall, (1) of John Scudamore, 1616, erected by Amy (Starkie) his wife (Plate 53), reclining alabaster effigy of man in armour and holding a book, below, free-stone effigy of woman in widow's veil and holding a book, at sides kneeling figures of eight sons and one daughter, also an infant; on wall at back, inscription-panels and two shields-of-arms. In tower—on N. wall; (2) to Edward Jackson, 1694, oval marble tablet; (3) to Lucy, infant daughter of William Scudamore, 1703–4, also to John Scudamore, 1713, inscribed slab. Floor-slabs: in nave —(1) to RCH, 1707; (2) with part of incised cross, fragment only; (3) to . . ., 1694, with shield-of-arms. Table: in vestry—gate-legged table, early 18th-century.
c(2). Tump (Plan, p. xxxiv), E. of Bowlston Court Wood and nearly 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, is a roughly oval mound, 50 ft. by 43 ft., surrounded by a dry ditch except on the S.W. where there is a natural slope towards the brook. The mound has an average height of 12 ft. above the bottom of the ditch and traces of a causeway on the N.E. side; S. of this causeway a short length of the outer scarp of the ditch forms an isolated bank with a slight ditch on the three outer sides. On the top of the mound are three small platforms.
c(3). Homestead Moat, in park, 100 yards S.E. of church, is of regular rectangular form with a wet ditch and an entrance on the N.E. side.
c(4). Fish Ponds, flanking brook, ¼ m. E. of church, form of series of shallow basins and dams across the brook, the dams now cut through.
c(5). Kentchurch Court (Plate 165), house and tower, ¼ m. N.E. of church. The house is of three storeys and the tower of five; the walls are of local sandstone rubble and ashlar; the roofs are covered with slates and lead. The form of the earliest building on the site is not now recoverable, but in the middle of the 14th century there appears to have been a fortified enclosure to the S.E. of the house, of which a large Gateway survives on the S. side. The Tower at the N.W. angle of the building was built perhaps late in the 14th century, and there are traces of the junction of a building on its E. face, in advance of the existing chapel. Rubble walling in other parts of the building may be of equally early date but retains no definite evidence of its age. The walls of the one-storeyed range, originally stables or outbuildings, running W. from the S. end of the building are possibly contemporary with the tower. A staircase was added and doorways inserted on the S. side of the tower c. 1500. The House has some 16th-century work in the E. wing, and some parts of the walling at the S. end of the main corridor appear to be of this date. The building was enlarged and partly re-built in the 17th century, and in 1824 it was remodelled by Nash, and the top-storey of the tower is modern.
The E. front, except the portion S. of the porch, has been refaced in comparatively recent years. The 17th-century block is of ashlar with a moulded string-course at the first-floor level. The lower walls of the eastern half of the N. front are of rubble, the upper walls have been refaced. The middle bay is modern. The N. side of the tower is of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. The chimney-projection is an insertion, but there is an original window with a square head and label, now blocked; traces of a similar window remain at a lower level, near the E. angle. At the level of the third stage there is a projecting garde-robe carried on shaped corbels. The W. side of the tower has a small square-headed loop to the basement and a small blocked window in the fifth stage; the other windows are modern. The small segmental turret in the angle between the tower and the west wing has been refaced. There is some original rubble in the wall of the two-storeyed W. range, but the greater part has been refaced. There is also some exposed timber-framing of early 17th-century date above the E. end of the modern kitchen. The S. side of the tower has a small square-headed window to a wall-passage. The upper window and circular stair-turret are modern or re-built.
The Gateway, S.W. of the house, is of mid 14th-century date and has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; it is flanked by buttresses and has a draw-bar hole.
Interior—Practically the whole of the interior, except the tower, is modern or has been cased with modern work. The fireplace in the N.E. wing has a re-set surround and overmantel of early 17th-century work, from Pontrilas Court. Re-set in the window of the Chapel is some 16th-century glass consisting of four roundels (1) in a circular chaplet of foliage a shield-of-arms, Capel impaling party fessewise argent and vert three leeks counter-coloured; (2) feathered chaplet enclosing a shield of Baskerville; (3) chaplet of foliage with shield-of-arms, Baskerville impaling (or) gules a fesse (or) between three scallops argent; (4) chaplet of guilloche pattern alternating with four roses, enclosing shield with Baskerville impaling Nanphan. In addition eight rectangular and one circular panels of Swiss glass with the arms of the Cantons, have recently been placed here; one of the panels has the date 1521. In the N. wall of the basement of the E. wing are the remains of two original two-light windows with square chamfered heads and chamfered jambs. The first stage of the tower has in the E. wall a doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The second stage has mid 17th-century moulded panelling and a 16th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and square head. Near the middle of the E. wall is a doorway, opening into the wall-passage which led to the stair from the first stage; further S. is a stair in the wall leading to the third stage. The doorway itself retains a part of the original N. jamb which is stop chamfered and rebated; opposite to it, in the outer wall, are the jambs of a doorway, probably of the 17th century, leading to the chapel, but at a level above the existing chapel-floor. The wall-passage immediately N. of the doorway has a high four-centred arch of one plain order, and is blocked at the N. end. The third stage is also lined with mid 17th-century panelling and has a fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head. At the E. end of the S. wall is a doorway, of c. 1500, from the circular stair with a four-centred head. Within the S. wall is part of the original stair to the leads. At the N. end of the wall is a garderobe which is now only entered from a stair in the E. wall leading down from the fourth stage; the passage has two four-centred arches of one chamfered order; at the top of the stair is a doorway with a four-centred head. The fourth stage is modern. Within the S. wall is a stair, now blocked, which led to the fifth stage which is largely modern.
Condition—Good, much altered.
a(6). Pontrilas Court (Plate 163), house with outbuildings, about 2 m. N.W. of the church. The House is a sandstone building of two storeys with attics and cellars. It is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending S.W. and N.W. The S.W. wing was built c. 1630–40, and the N.W. wing towards the end of the 17th century, but there have been modern additions to both wings. The S.W. wing has an original porch on the N.W. front having an entrance doorway with a round chamfered head springing from moulded respond-cappings. Above is a moulded string which is returned round the porch and carried along the main front as a window-label. The original windows on this front are square-headed with hollow chamfered jambs and moulded labels with returned stops. The S.W. and S.E. fronts have also some original windows with similar mouldings.
Interior—The room (A) on plan has a ceiling divided into rectangles by intersecting moulded beams and intermediate moulded ribs. The wall plates are also moulded. The adjoining room (C) has a similar ceiling, and the walls are lined with plain rectangular panelling. The fireplace has a wooden surround moulded and carved with guilloche-ornament and with modern panels at the angles. The overmantel has three ranges of moulded lozenge-shaped panels. At each side of the fireplace, running from floor to ceiling, are two superimposed fluted Ionic pilasters, the lower standing on a rusticated pedestal. The original Porch on the S.E. side (B) has two rectangular panels to the ceiling with a geometrical design in plaster. The room (D) at the E. end of this wing also has a ceiling with a geometrical design in plaster and, along the west end, four rectangular panels with quatrefoils in the centre. This room also has some moulded and some plain panelling, and a stone fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head. The spandrels to the arch contain shields with arms (1) Scudamore, (2) a fesse between six rings. E. of the fireplace and beneath the stair is a small room (E) with some mid 17th-century moulded panelling. The staircase has some re-used moulded balusters and shaped newels. The N.W. wing has some stop-chamfered ceiling-beams and re-used moulded panelling. On the first floor the opening from the gallery leading to the upper part of the S. porch has a moulded beam carved with guilloche-pattern, and carried on shaped brackets and with a shaped pendant in the middle.
To the N.E. of the house there is a square Dovecote (Plate 97) of late 17th-century date. The walls are of rubble below and of timber-framing with brick nogging above, finished with a coved wooden cornice and a pyramidal roof of stone slates crowned by a small turret. The Stabling, to the N.E. of the house, is also of rubble below and timber-framing with brick nogging above; it has a slate roof. Inside there is some exposed timber-framing and chamfered ceiling-beams. The external staircase to the first floor has disappeared.
b(7). Cottage, about 1½ m. N.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of sandstone-rubble with internal plastered timber-framing and a tiled roof. It was built early in the 17th century.
c(8). Barn at Great Corrass, about 800 yards S. of the church, is of late 16th-century date, and is built of local rubble with a stone-slate roof. It is unusually large and has a 17th-century two-storeyed addition at the E. end and some modern additions. The N. and S. walls have loop-lights below and blocked six-light windows above with original wooden frames and diamond-shaped mullions. There are also some blocked doorways in the N. and S. walls, and one doorway in the W. wall has the original frame. The roof is of queen-post type.
c(9). Barn at Bridge Inn, 1000 yards W.N.W. of the church, is of 17th-century date, and is built of rubble and timber-framing; the roofs are covered with slates. The E. and W. walls have two-light windows with original wooden frames.
a(10). Barn known as 'Jack-o'-kents,' about 1¼ m. N.N.W. of the church, is an early 17th-century building, incorporating some timbers from an earlier structure. It is of weather-boarded timber-framing with sandstone rubble plinth and roof of stone slates. The roof is of three bays and of queen-post type with diagonal braces to the collars. On one of the horizontal beams to the W. wall is cut "I. O. Kent 1596."