An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 1, South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.
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54 PETERCHURCH (B.b.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXI, S.E., (b)XXXII, S.W., (c)XXXVII, N.E., (d)XXXVIII, N.W.)
Peterchurch is a parish and village in the Golden Valley 10 m. W. of Hereford. The church, Urishay Chapel, Snodhill Castle, Snodhill Court Farm and Wellbrook Manor are the principal monuments.
d(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plates 189, 190) stands on the S. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are tiled. The church, consisting of Apse, Chancel in two divisions, and Nave, was built about the middle of the 12th century. The West Tower, possibly replacing one over the W. division of the chancel, was added in the second half of the 13th century. The spire was added in the first half of the 14th century. The church was restored in 1869 and the North Porch added in 1888; the spire was restored in 1879, and the tower and spire in 1906.
The church is a very complete example of the 12th century, and the apse is a noteworthy feature.
Architectural Description—The Apse (10½ ft. by 15½ ft.) is semi-circular on plan and divided into three bays, externally, by pilaster-buttresses of ashlar; each bay has a narrow, round-headed 12th-century window with the head cut in one stone and ornamented with a plait or double-cable ornament; two of these heads have probably been restored; below the sills runs a much restored moulded string-course with cableornament. The 12th-century arch opening into the apse is semi-circular and of two square orders; the chamfered imposts have two rows of diaper-ornament on the vertical face.
The Chancel is in two divisions. The eastern (16 ft. by 19¾ ft.) has in the N. wall a 12th-century window of one plain round-headed light. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern similar to that in the N. wall and the western window a 13th-century lancet-light. The S.E. angle of this part of the building has been restored and the angle made vertical. The 12th-century arch in the W. wall is semi-circular and of two orders on the W. face, enriched with cheveronornament; the chamfered imposts have decoration similar to that on the apse-arch. The western division of the chancel (21¼ ft. square) has in the N. wall two windows; the eastern is a single round-headed 12th-century light; the late 14th or early 15th-century western window is of two trefoiled lights and a cusped spandrel in a two-centred head; above the rear-arch is the rear-arch of a destroyed 12th-century window; at the W. end of the wall is a 15th-century square-headed doorway to the rood-loft staircase. In the S. wall are two windows, similar to those in the N. wall, and the remains of a 12th-century window above the rear-arch of the western one; under the eastern window is a doorway perhaps of the 15th century, and with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head. The 12th-century arch in the W. wall is semi-circular and of two plain square orders; the imposts are similar to those of the apse and intermediate arches, but with one row of diapering only.
The Nave (62¼ ft. by 26 ft.) has, in the N. wall, four windows; the easternmost is of late 14th or early 15th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the three other windows are of the 12th century and each of a single round-headed light; the late 14th-century or earlier N. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two orders, the inner chamfered and the outer moulded, and both stopped on to a square base; in the N.E. angle is the 15th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it has a rough elliptical head; the staircase is lit by two loop-lights with rounded heads. In the S. wall are four windows, the two easternmost are a pair of modern lancet-lights; the 12th-century third window is similar to those in the N. wall but with modern head and sill; the partly restored 13th-century westernmost window is of two trefoiled lights with a trefoiled circle in an acute segmental-pointed head; the partly restored 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 34) has a round arch of one moulded order, with cheveronornament and a chamfered label with billet and lozenge-ornament; the jambs have each an attached shaft with scalloped capital, plain abacus and moulded base with spur-ornament.
The West Tower (12¾ ft. square) is of five storeys, of which the two lowest are now undivided, and is of late 13th-century date with a splayed plinth and a plain parapet. The ground storey has in the E. wall a doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders. In the S. wall is an inserted doorway with a cinque-foiled head perhaps of the 14th century. The second storey has in both N. and E. walls a doorway probably both modern and communicating with a former gallery; above the E. doorway are three wide relieving-arches continuing through the wall; in the W. wall is a window of one trefoiled light. The third storey has in the E. wall a blocked doorway, formerly opening into the roof-space; the N., S., and W. walls have each a partly restored window of one trefoiled light. The fourth storey has a square-headed window in the E. wall. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two trefoiled lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label. The tall 14th-century spire, of stone, rises from within the parapet and is octagonal with broaches over the angles of the tower. The cardinal faces, at the base of the spire, have each a window of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label all set within a plain gable.
Fittings—Altar: In chancel—slab with chamfered under-edge and five consecration-crosses, mediæval. Bells: six; 3rd uninscribed. Communion Table: In tower—with turned legs, lower rail moulded, upper rail panelled, with shaped brackets under ends, mid 17th-century. Doors: In nave—in N. doorway, of wide battens on modern framing, mediæval with wooden stock-lock; in S. doorway, of wide nail-studded battens with two strap-hinges and straps with ornamental ends, 12th or 13th-century; in W. doorway, of old battens on modern framing. Font: (Plate 38) cup-shaped bowl with cable and zig-zag ornament and cable-necking between bowl and rounded base, 12th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In western chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Warden Shawe, 1658, minister of the parish, plain tablet with enriched pedimental head. In churchyard—S. of chancel, (2) to George Parry, 1641, and Margaret his wife, also to John Parry, 1698, Elizabeth his wife, 1701, and John their son, 1725, raised slab; S. of nave, (3) to Elizabeth, wife of Esay Prosser, 1681, flat slab. Floor-slab: In tower—to Eliza, wife successively to Rouland Vaughan and Richard Leyghton, 1640. Piscina: In nave—in S. wall, recess with moulded jambs and cinque-foiled head, quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1699, the cup having an inscription and the date 1699, also a large pewter flagon and a pewter stand-paten. Sun-dials: On E. jamb of S. doorway of chancel, on S.E. angle of nave and on S.E. buttress of tower, scratched dials. Miscellanea: In N. respond of intermediate chancel-arch, re-set 12th-century stone with incised saltire decoration. The plaster panel with a carp, on the S. wall of the nave, as to which there are local traditions, is dated 1825, but may be a restoration of an earlier panel.
c(2) Urishay Chapel (dedication unknown) (Plate 4) stands on the N. side of Urishay Castle. The walls are of local sandstone rubble, including some thin slabs from 6 ft. to 9½ ft. long; the roofs are covered with stone slates. There is little evidence of the date of the building, which consists of Chancel and Nave, except the rough, round heads of the doorways and windows which may possibly be of the 12th century. The building has recently been repaired and refitted as a chapel.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18¾ ft. by 17¾ ft.) has an E. window probably of early 16th-century date, and of one wide light with a four-centred head; flanking it are straight joints probably representing the outer jambs of earlier windows, as the southern has the springers of an arched head. In the N. wall is a doorway with jambs and round arch of one plain order. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern a small loop-light, high up in the wall, and the western a larger square-headed opening with a wooden frame probably of the 17th century. The chancel-arch has plain square responds and an oak lintel; flanking it on the E. face are offsets forming seats; in a similar position on the W. face are similar offsets, but standing nearly 4 ft. above the floor.
The Nave (35½ ft. by 18¼ ft. average) has in the N. wall, near the E. end, a narrow single-light window with a reconstructed head, but apparently retaining the springers of an original round head. In the S. wall, opposite the window just described, is another window of a single light with a segmental-pointed head; it is probably an original window, widened and altered; farther W. is the S. doorway with jambs and round head of one plain order and perhaps of 12th-century date. In the W. wall are two windows of the 17th century or later and each of a single square-headed light, but the northern is wider and set lower in the wall than the other; it has an internal lintel formed of a former window-head of two square-headed lights.
The Roof of the nave is probably of early 16th-century date; it is of trussed-rafter type, the braces forming four-centred arches; it was plastered on the soffit, but only the lower parts of this ceiling now remain; there are three cambered and chamfered tie-beams, probably inserted later.
Fittings—Altar: In chancel—thin stone slab with five consecration-crosses, mediæval. Bracket: In chancel—on E. wall, rough square stone bracket or corbel. Door: In N. doorway of chancel—made up of 17th-century panelling. Font: round stone mortar with lugs, set on modern stem. Paving: Of square stone slabs, much broken. Pulpit: of oak, square with panelled sides, half baluster planted on W. face of N. style, 17th-century. Reredos: modern, but built up of portions of 15th-century traceried panelling, etc. Miscellanea: In nave—inserted over N.E. window, roughly executed bust of man with hand on breast and over opposite window crude winged cherub-head, 17th-century.
a(3). Homestead Moat, W. of the River Dore, nearly 1½ m. N.W. of the church.
a(4). Snodhill Castle, ruins and earthworks, about 1¾ m. N.W. of the church. The Castle belonged to the family of Chandos in the 14th and 15th century, and consisted of a mound, bailey and outer enclosure. The remains of the Keep are of c. 1200, but some remodelling appears to have been made to the bailey in the 14th century.
The earthworks form a good example of those of a strongly fortified border castle.
The Earthworks cover an area of approximately 10 acres. On the summit of the site stands an oval-shaped motte with a dry ditch on the E. side, and an irregularly shaped oblong bailey on the W. side. The natural hillside has been steepened to form a scarp to the bailey, and around the base of the scarp runs a wide berm which widens out at the W. end and appears to have a causeway leading up to the S.W. angle of the bailey. Below the berm the ground follows the steep slope of the hillside which has been further scarped along part of the N. side and strengthened towards the W. end by a short length of ditch. Along the whole length of the northern slope, towards the lower half, runs a narrow berm or path which is continued eastwards for some 120 yards beyond the mound, with a bank and a ditch on the S. side. At the foot of the slope on the W. side of the bailey is a platform with scarped sides and with traces of a trackway leading up from it to the main berm below the bailey, but this may be of later date. On the E. side of the scarp to the motte the natural slope flattens out into a roughly triangular area which may have been used as an outer enclosure; it is bounded on the N.E. and S.E. sides by the path or berm which is continued round from the N. side of the site.
The Keep (Plate 2) stood on the top of the motte. It appears to have been on plan an irregular ten-sided polygon with a projecting entrance gateway at the W. end flanked by two circular towers or bastions. The remains are fragmentary and are of stone rubble. The plan of the southern side can still definitely be seen, but the outline of the northern walls can now be only approximately traced. An internal offset at the level of the entrance floor shows that the basement was, internally, octagonal on plan. The lower part of the S. side of the entrance remains. It consists of the S.W. circular flanking tower, which has a straight joint between it and the main wall; on the N. face are the jambs of the outer doorway with the grooves for the portcullis and the haunch of a pointed arch above; farther E. is the projecting jamb of an inner doorway with the slot for the draw-bar; above this the ashlar angle and part of the reveal of a window or recess above the gateway are visible. At the S.E. angle of the keep is another lofty fragment of masonry with a small square-headed chamfered window at the basement-level. Between these fragments only the lower portion of the walling exists showing an external battered base, while at the S.E. angle are the remains of a buttress of later date. Small portions of wall remain above the ground-level and give the approximate line of the walls on the E. and N.E.
The Bailey was surrounded by a stone curtain-wall, and considerable fragments of this remain. From the N.W. and S.W. sides of the keep the curtain ran down the sides of the motte. The southern wall exists almost for its full height, but only a fragment of the northern wall now remains. About half the length of the original S. wall of the bailey is still standing, the eastern portion having been demolished in the 14th century, and a new wall erected slightly in advance of the older wall, with a circular bastion at the S.E. angle of the bailey where it butts against the wall running down the S. side of the motte. The 14th-century wall is faced with ashlar, and inside the bastion is part of a square-headed recess. The greater part of the older or W. half of the S. wall rises only just above the level of the bailey. The W. wall is only indicated by a slight grass bank, but at the N. angle a fragment rises above the ground-level and has dressed quoins. About two yards within the curtain are traces of the wall of a structure built against the inner side. The N. wall is only apparent by a grass bank except for a portion of a 14th-century bastion at the N.W. angle, circular without and octagonal within. Another and wider bank runs approximately parallel with the outer bank, some two yards within the bailey. This either represents the wall of a building erected within the bailey or possibly the original N. curtain, the outer wall marking an extension of the bailey in the 14th century when the octagonal tower was built.
At the foot of the scarp to the motte, exactly opposite to and E. of the gateway to the keep, is a semi-circular sinking with an outer bank on the N. and N.W. sides. These possibly indicate foundations of a breastwork or barbican defending the entrance to the keep.
Condition—Of earthworks, fairly good; of masonry, ruinous.
c(5). Urishay Castle, house and earthworks, 1½ m. S.W. of the church, consist of a large mound with traces of an outer enclosure on the N.E. and N. The mound is about 52 yards in diameter at the base and is surrounded by a ditch. It is now occupied by the ruins of a 17th- and 18th-century house, and the sides have been terraced and revetted with 17th-century stonework. There is a stone causeway, with a culvert, crossing the ditch on the S.E. and remains of a bridge on the N.E. side. The mound rises about 20 ft. above the bottom of the ditch. The outer enclosure is represented by traces of terracing and remains of a rampart. Within it stands Urishay Chapel.
d(6). The Forge, now cottage and cattle-sheds, and fish-pond, on the E. bank of the River Dore, 500 yards N.W. of the church. The Cottage is of two storeys with attics. It is of stone with the lower storey used as a cattle-shed, and the adjoining cattle-sheds with a tallat above have a stone base with timber-framing above. The roofs are partly covered with stone slate and partly with corrugated iron. The building is probably of late 16th or early 17th-century date. It is of unusual type and its original purpose is doubtful. The bank of the old mill-pond which adjoins the N.E. wall of the building is here almost on a level with the upper floor. The S.E. end of the building is entirely of stone and the rest of the structure has a tall stone base. The end walls are gabled, and a number of the windows and doorways have old oak frames.
Inside the building the ceilings of both floors have exposed stop-chamfered beams, and in the upper part of the N.W. end, which is used as a tallat, are two roof-trusses of modified queen-post type.
The Old Mill Pond to the N.E. of the building is four-sided on plan with three sides sunk, while the fourth was enclosed by a bank.
Condition—Of building, ruinous.
a(7). Snodhill Court Farm (Plate 192), house about 2 m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics. The walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The main building is of early 17th-century date and of H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends; the N. wing was extended W. at a slightly later date, and to this extension was added a second wing, perhaps also of the 17th century.
The E. front has two gabled dormers to the main block, and there is a similar dormer on the return wall of the S. wing; on the last are the monogram and date, W. P. 1665. The central doorway has a square head and a flat stone hood; the battened and nail-studded door has ornamental strap-hinges; some of the windows retain their moulded oak frames. At the end of the S. wing is a chimney-stack with two diagonal shafts. On the N. front, the added wing has two gabled dormers; the doorway has stone jambs, a moulded oak lintel and a stone hood. Two windows retain their moulded oak frames. On the S. front, four stone windows light the cellar. The W. front has some windows with old frames and a chimney-stack with three diagonal shafts.
Inside the building, the hall (Plate 192) has moulded ceiling-beams, and in the S.E. corner is a staircase (Plate 63) with turned balusters, moulded and enriched strings, grip-moulded handrails and square newels with moulded pendants. In the S. wall are two original doorways with moulded frames, one fitted with a panelled door. Other rooms have moulded ceiling-beams, and a partition in the S. wing is lined, on one side, with 18th-century panelling. A projection in the N. wing contains an original staircase with solid oak steps. The rooms in this wing have chamfered ceiling-beams.
d(8). Wellbrook Manor, house about 600 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys. The walls are of rubble and timber-framing, and the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built in the 14th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The one-storeyed hall had a first floor inserted early in the 17th century. The S.W. wing was destroyed at some uncertain date. The house has recently been restored.
The house is an interesting example of 14th-century domestic building.
The exterior has now no ancient features except the projecting chimney-stack of the N.E. wing which is ashlar-faced and has an octagonal shaft. Inside the building, the hall (Plate 191), now divided into two storeys, is of two bays with a half-bay at the S.W. end, for the screens; the free truss has curved braces below the collar and cusped openings above it; the truss above the former screen has side-posts carried down to the floor to form speres. The N.E. wall has exposed framing with large cusped panels. Between the trusses are intermediate principals, cusped on the underside, and above the lower purlins are cusped wind-braces. The inserted floor has chamfered beams and chamfered or moulded posts. The former screenspassage is now occupied by a large chimney-stack. On the first floor of the N.E. wing are two original doorways with ogee-heads; the stone fireplace is also original, but the hood with its shaped corbels has been set back. The roof of this wing is partly exposed and has tie-beams and cusped wind-braces.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys or one storey with attics. The walls are of local stone rubble, and the roofs are covered with stoneslates or modern slates. Many of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams and original chimney-stacks, and most of them have been altered at later dates.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
d(9). House, two tenements, on the W. side of the Hereford Road, 80 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and is of early 18th-century date. The E. front has a projecting base and a projecting band at the level of the first floor. Some old wood mullioned and transomed windows remain.
d(10). Hinton Court, farmhouse, barn and cattleshed, 300 yards W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and a cellar and was added to and altered in 1723.
The Barn, S. of the house, has the greater length of the side-walls timber-framed and boarded. It is in five bays with queen-post roof-trusses.
The Cow-shed, S.W. of the house, is of three bays with an upper storey. The walls towards the farmyard are timber-framed.
d(11). Hinton Farm, house, now the vicarage, 200 yards N.W. of (10), is of two storeys with a cellar. The N.W. end is of late 15th or early 16th-century date, but the central portion was re-built or remodelled early in the 17th century, and at the S.E. end is an addition of the 18th century, when the house was further altered and the roof was raised. The back wall retains the chamfered jambs and springers of an original stone doorway. Inside the building, in the hall, is a small portion of early 17th-century panelling.
d(12). Cottage, at the S.W. corner of cross-roads at Hinton Cross, 170 yards N.W. of (10), is timber-framed.
d(13). Lyons Hall, ruins of house and farm-buildings, ¾ m. N.E. of the church. The house was apparently of small size, and the original part may be of early 17th-century date or earlier; a southern addition is probably of the 18th century.
d(14). Syke's Cottage, 1,100 yards N. of the church, is of 16th-century date. It is probable that the building was originally timber-framed as is indicated by some exposed framing in the E. wall. On the ground floor is an original three-light window with a heavy chamfered frame and diamond-shaped mullions, and a similar dormer-window above is of five lights. A staircase window in the W. wall is of three lights, uniform with those in the E. wall.
b(15). Cottage, 220 yards N.N.E. of (14), has a long store and cattle-shed adjoining the S.W. end. The roof is continuous and has queen-post trusses over the shed.
b(16). Upper Godway, house, 1,080 yards N.N.E. of (15), is of two dates, the S.W. end having been added probably late in the 17th century.
b(17). Wilmastone Cottage, two tenements and barn, 1 m. N.N.W. of the church. The Cottage is partly of stone and partly of timber-framing and brick. It was built early in the 17th century on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the N.W. end. The S.W. wall of the main wing has been refronted in modern brick. Inside the building in a timber-framed cross partition is an old square-headed door-frame. There is also a small portion of early 17th-century panelling.
The Barn, S.E. of the cottage, is of three bays and is partly of stone and partly timber-framed.
b(18). Barn, at Wilmastone Farm, 220 yards N.W. of (17), is timber-framed on a stone base, with a corrugated-iron roof. The barn is of six bays, but has later additions at either end.
d(19). Trenant Farm, house and barn, 1,030 yards S.S.W. of the church. The House is of one storey with attics and a cellar. The hall or central block of the existing building is of early 17th-century date and is of stone, but the S. wing may be earlier and is of timber-framing above the stone cellar. The kitchen wing at the N. end of the house is a much later addition or rebuilding. In the E. wall of the gabled S. wing is a square-headed doorway with an old frame, and in the E. wall of the central block is an early 17th-century window of three lights with moulded oak frame and mullions, and a stone label. In the W. wall of the central block is a similar window of four lights, and in the return-wall of the S. wing a three-light window with diamond-shaped mullions. Inside the building one of the windows in the hall has original oak shutters, and there is an old doorway with a chamfered frame between the S. wing and the hall-block.
The Barn extends westward from the W. side of the kitchen-wing and is mostly of weather-boarded timber-framing on a stone base. It is of five bays, of which the two easternmost are used as cattle-sheds with a loft above.
d(20). Cottage, 50 yards S.E. of (19), is partly timber-framed and plastered, and partly stone. The E. end is probably an extension, and there are lean-to additions at either end of the older building. Inside the building, in the original cross-partition, are two old doorways with segmental heads.
d(21). Barn, 170 yards S. of (20), is of stone with the side walls of weather-boarded timber-framing on a stone base. It is of four bays with the two northernmost bays of two storeys. In the W. wall is a central square-headed doorway flanked on either side by a four-light window with an old oak frame and mullions. Above the doorway is a third window from which the mullions are missing.
c(22). Castle-cwm, cottage and barn in the S.W. corner of the parish, 800 yards S.E. of (5). The Barn to the N. of the cottage is of weather-boarded timber-framing and is of three bays.
c(23). Oatley Farm, house and barn, ¼ m. N.N.E. of (5). The house is of two storeys with attics and a basement. It is of late 17th-century date, and is built on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the E. end and a projecting porch on the S. side of the W. wing, probably a slightly later addition. On the E. front is an original doorway with a moulded wood frame, and in the W. wall of the cross-wing is an old chamfered frame to the cellar-doorway. Some of the windows have original moulded wood lintels. Inside the building, in one of the ground-floor rooms, are two old doors. The moulded door-frames on the first floor are original. The staircase is original and has moulded strings and handrail, turned balusters and square newels with turned pendants.
The Barn, W. of the house, is of weather-boarded timber-framing on a stone plinth; the roof is covered with corrugated iron. Originally two barns of late 17th or early 18th-century date, in modern times they have been converted into one, extended and partly re-built in stone.
Condition—Of barn, bad.
c(24). Oldtay Farm, house and barn, ¾ m. N.W. of (5). The House has been extended to the E. in modern times.
The Barn, S.W. of the house, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date, and of five bays, of which the westernmost was originally a separate chamber. The sidewalls are of weather-boarded timber-framing, partly re-built in stone; the roof is covered with corrugated iron.
c(25). Wern-bir, cottage, 850 yards N.E. of (24), has an 18th-century barn on the N.E., and a modern lean-to on the N.W. side.
c(26). Barley Knapp, house, about ½ m. E. of (25), may originally have been a timber-framed building as indicated by the timber-framed N. wall against which a late 18th-century barn has been built.
a(27). Cynyder, cottage, 280 yards S.S.E. of (4), is timber-framed with brick nogging and plaster. It is now derelict.
a(28). Cottage, 160 yards W. of (27), is timber-framed.
a(29). Lower House Farm, house, barn and stables, N.W. of (28). The House is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. A cider-mill is incorporated in the E. end of the E. wing. There is a projecting stone string-course along the S. wall of the E. wing.
The Barn, S. of the house, is timber-framed, partly weather-boarded and partly with interlacing wattle between the framing. It is in three bays.
The Stable, S.S.E. of the house, has in the N. wall four original doorways with chamfered frames, and in the S. wall is an old five-light window with a wood frame, but the diamond-shaped mullions are missing.
d(30). Series of three Lynchets in a field, 680 yards N. of the church and on the opposite side of the road to (6). The lynchets run from the S.W. to the N.E. boundary of the field.