An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2, East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.
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2 ASHPERTON (C.c.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. Bartholomew stands on the W. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone-rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with slates. The church, consisting of Chancel, Nave, and North and South Transepts, was re-built early in the 14th century but incorporates parts of a mid 13th-century chancel-arch. The West Tower was added late in the 18th or early in the 19th century. The church was restored in 1840 and the South Porch is modern.
Architectural Description—The detail unless otherwise described is of early 14th-century date. The Chancel (27 ft. by 21 ft.) has an E. window of three lights, two cinque-foiled and the middle light trefoiled, in a two-centred head. In the N. wall is a restored window of one trefoiled ogee light; further E. is a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of two cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head, and the western of one trefoiled ogee light. The mid 13th-century chancel-arch, perhaps reconstructed in the 14th century and retooled in modern times, is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from half-round shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The Nave (53¼ ft. by 26¾ ft.) has in the N. wall a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, dying on to a splay on the W. side; further W. are two windows of one trefoiled ogee light; the head of the western window is modern; between them is a blocked doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. In the S. wall are an arch and two windows uniform with those in the N. wall; the S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders. In the W. wall is a modern doorway and above it are the splays and rear-arch of a blocked window.
The Roof of the chancel is of flat barrel-form and ceiled; it has three late 16th-century moulded tie-beams with plastered trusses. The nave-roof is of similar form and has five moulded tie-beams of the same date.
Fittings—Bells: four, and sanctus; 1st probably 17th-century and broken; 2nd by John Finch, 1655; 3rd inscribed "Virginis egregie vocor campana Maria[e]"; 4th inscribed "Sancte George ora pro nobis"; both probably by the Worcester foundry and early 15th-century; Sanctus uninscribed. Communion Table: of oak, with turned legs, early 17th-century. Font: In churchyard—S. of porch, hemispherical bowl with projecting rim, probably 13th-century, on plain cylindrical stem, retooled. Cover, in second stage of tower, of oak with turned central post and three scrolled supports, 17th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on E. wall, (1) wall-monument with Corinthian side-columns, entablature, broken pediment, cherub-heads and achievement-of-arms of Wilson, no inscription, mid to late 17th-century. In nave—on E. wall, (2) to Thomas Lord, 1652, stone tablet with trefoiled head. Piscinæ: In chancel— recess with chamfered jambs, ogee head and octofoiled drain. In nave—in E. wall, and in S. transept—in S. wall, similar recesses and drains. All 14th-century. Plate: includes late 17th-century cup and a pewter plate.
b(2). Ashperton Castle, earthworks (Plan, p. xxvi), consist of an oval island within a moat and a roughly rectangular enclosure to the E. in which stands the church. William de Grandison had license to strengthen and crenellate his house here in 1292 (Cal. of Patent Rolls). The island rises about a foot above the surrounding ground and is about three-fifths of an acre in extent; it is approached by a causeway on the E. and the moat widens to an angle on the N., W. and S. A dry ditch runs along the N. and part of the E. side of the outer enclosure and there are traces of it on the E. and S. of the churchyard.
a(3). Walsopthorne, house, barns and moat, ¾ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1600 on a half H-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the S. The timber-framing is exposed except where the walls have been refaced in stone. The basement has stone walls and some original windows with stone mullions. On the N. front is an original window of eight lights with moulded frame, mullions and transom of oak. In the W. wall of the S.E. wing is an original doorway with a moulded frame, now blocked. Inside the building, several rooms have original moulded ceiling-beams and others have chamfered ceiling-beams; there are also some original doorways with stop-moulded frames. The roofs are of queen-post type.
a(4). Freetown, house, outbuilding and moat, 1¼ m. W.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, with cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and partly of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N. and W. A rather later wing to the E. makes the present plan Z-shaped. Early in the 18th century the existing top storey was added. The S. front has been refaced but the timber-framing is exposed on the other sides. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and in the attics are four early 18th-century roof-trusses with braced collar-beams and various carpenters' marks.
a(5). Moorend, house (Plate 26) and outbuilding, ½ m. N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century with two small and adjacent wings on the W. side, perhaps the former staircase-wing and porch; the latter appears to have been re-erected. The timber-framing in squares is mostly exposed and is set diagonally in the N. gable. The site of the former entrance on the E. side is marked by a modern brick facing on part of one bay; it was perhaps from here that the porch-wing was removed. On the W. side is an original window of five lights with moulded mullions. The timbers bear a number of carpenters' marks. The central chimney-stack has three original brick shafts of star-shaped plan. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams and some plain chamfered ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tile or slate-covered. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
b(10). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 260 yards N.E. of the church, is probably of mediæval origin and has a crutch-truss in the S. end-wall and another in the middle of the building. The timber-framing is exposed.
a(23). Lower Town Farm, house and barn ¼ m. W. of (22). The House has a late 16th-century E. wing and a main block and W. wing of the 17th century, making the plan H-shaped. The timber-framing is mostly exposed. Inside the building there is an original moulded ceiling-beam in the E. wing.
a(38). Hansett Farm, house nearly 1¼ m. N.E. of the church, was of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S. There are later additions on the E. and W. Some of the timber-framing is exposed.