An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2, East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
93 WITHINGTON (C.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVII, S.W., (b)XXXIV, N.W.)
Withington is a parish 4 m. N.E. of Hereford. The church and Thing Hill Grange, which retains much of its 14th-century roof construction, are the principal monuments.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate 189) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material and the roofs are covered with slates. The Chancel and Nave were built probably late in the 12th century, but the only evidence of this date in the chancel is the thickness of the walls. The West Tower was added and the nave lengthened early in the 14th century. The church was restored in 1858; the Organ Chamber and South Porch are modern and the S. wall of the chancel has been re-built or re-faced.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 21½ ft.) has an E. window all modern except for the late 13th or early 14th-century splays and rear-arch. In the N. wall is a modern arch. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern a much restored or modern lancet-light; the western window is probably also modern. There is no masonry chancel-arch.
The Nave (59½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, four windows, the easternmost is a 13th-century lancetlight; the 14th-century second window is of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the third window is a modern lancet-light; the westernmost window is of the 15th century and of two trefoiled lights with plain vertical tracery in a square head; the late 12th-century N. doorway, now blocked, has roll-moulded jambs and a round head. In the S. wall are three windows, the two easternmost modern and the westernmost probably a 16th or 17th-century copy of the westernmost window in the N. wall; the S. doorway is similar in date and detail to the N. doorway but is not blocked.
The West Tower (13 ft. square) is of early 14th-century date and of three storeys, undivided externally; it has a moulded plinth and a plain parapet. The two-centred tower-arch is of three continuous chamfered orders with a moulded label and carved head-stops. The W. window is a wide lancet-light with a moulded label and carved head-stops. The second storey has, in the N. and S. walls, a window of one trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has, in the E. and W. walls, a plain rectangular light. The slender octagonal spire of stone is of the same date as the tower and rises from within the parapet; the angles are roll-moulded and the cardinal faces have each a light with a moulded label; the E. light is pointed but the other three are trefoiled. Near the top of the spire are four very small lights with gabled heads.
The Roof of the nave may incorporate some old timbers. Between it and the chancel is a truss, perhaps of the 15th century, with moulded principals and curved and moulded beams springing from the screen and forming a two-centred arch.
Fittings—Altar-cloth: Of white linen, with worked inscription: "Lord have mercy upon me. Mary Tomkins, 1666." Bells: Six; 4th by Abraham Rudhall, 1704. Brass: In chancel—on N. wall, to William Saxeye, chief-justice of Munster, 1612, inscription only. Chairs (Plate 42): In chancel— (1) with turned front legs, shaped arms, panelled back carved with thistle-plant and arched enrichment, top-rail with grotesques, foliage, and the date 1626; (2) with turned front legs, shaped arms, panelled back with rosettes in interlacing pattern, fluted and scrolled top-rail, early 17th-century; (3) modern but incorporating 17th-century carved panel in back; (4) modern but incorporating 17th-century panel with arched enrichment and foliage. Communion Table (Plate 50): with square moulded and fluted legs in the form of a diminishing pilaster, enriched top-rail and moulded lower rail, mid 17th-century, top modern. Churchyard Cross: S. of church—octagonal stone base with four-centred niche in W. face, three octagonal steps, 14th or 15th-century, shaft and head modern. Piscina: In nave—in S. wall, recess with trefoiled head and octofoiled drain, probably late 13th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten, both inscribed with the date 1675, and the cover-paten with the dateletter for that year in addition, also a square stand-paten of 1674 on four feet, given by Richard Waring, vicar, in 1726. Recess: In nave—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and two-centred head, set a little above floor-level, probably late 13th-century. Screen: Between chancel and nave—with entrance opening and four bays on each side, opening with traceried spandrels, side-bays with open upper panels and sub-cusped trefoiled ogee heads and tracery with carved cusp-points, main posts moulded and panelled and mullions and top-rail moulded; against W. face side-posts, perhaps modern, with old traceried and foliated spandrels supporting a moulded cross-beam, probably the front beam of the former loft; 15th-century, on modern stone dwarf-wall. Miscellanea: Re-used in churchyard-wall, next lych-gate, 12th-century moulded stones.
The Lych-gate (Plate 189), N.W. of the church, has wide and narrow entrances and formerly stood on three posts with cantilever-beams across, supporting the roof; posts have now been added under the ends of the end-beams and the woodwork otherwise restored. It dates perhaps from the 16th century.
b(2). White Stone (Plate 78), at the N.W. corner of the cross-roads, 800 yards S. of the church, is part of the shaft of a wayside cross inverted. The shaft, about 3 ft. high, is of octagonal to square form and bears on the faces of the inverted square part four inscriptions giving the directions of the roads to Hereford, Ledbury, Leominster and Worcester; one face bears also the initials and date: T.D. 1700. Beside the shaft is a fragment of the original base-stone, now much worn.
b(3). Withington Court, 170 yards E.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates and tiles. It was built probably in the 16th century, but was remodelled in the second half of the 18th century and has later additions on the N. side. The W. wing and the adjoining block on the S. are probably 17th-century additions. The E. end has an original stone window of two lights with elliptical heads; there is a similar window of three lights in the gable, and on the gable is the stump of a pinnacle. In the garden is a gable-pinnacle with ranges of shallow trefoil-headed panelling. Inside the building are some chamfered ceiling-beams and some 17th-century panelling; one panelled partition (Plate 67), on the first floor, has a frieze of carved scrolls. The roof of the main block is of collar-beam type with slightly curved braces.
a(4). Thing Hill Grange, house, nearly 1½ m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, originally timber-framed and with slate-covered roofs. It was built in the 14th century with a central Hall and Solar and Buttery wings at the W. and E. ends respectively. The Hall was divided into two storeys in the 17th century. The external walls have been re-faced in stone or brick in the 18th century or more modern times.
The house is of interest as retaining much of its 14th-century roof-construction.
The N. end of the Solar wing is now covered by a modern addition; the vertical framing above is fairly close-set with curved braces to the cross-beam at the base of the gable. The E. return wall of this wing has exposed framing. Inside the building the Hall-block has an original roof of two main bays with a subsidiary screens-bay at the E. end. The screentruss has a collar with struts above forming, with the main timbers, three foiled openings; below the collar are two posts or speres with the mortices for a cross-beam at the level of the inserted floor. The other main truss is similar to the screen-truss but without the spere-posts; the main bays are sub-divided by subsidiary trusses with the collar at a higher level, curved braces below and struts above forming trefoiled openings as in the main trusses. In the N. wall of the Hall are two original doorways with rounded heads; between them is a curved bracket. A room on the first floor is lined with late 16th-century panelling, now papered over. The Buttery-wing has an original roof of four bays with collar-beam trusses and moulded braces below the collars; only one of the cusped wind-braces survives. A room on the ground-floor has a dado of early 17th-century panelling. The Solar-wing has an original roof (Plate 168) of four bays with three trusses; the central truss has a chamfered and cambered tie-beam with curved braces below and struts above forming foiled openings with the principalrafters; the subsidiary trusses have collars with curved braces below and struts above forming smaller foiled openings. Some of the timber-framing is exposed in the walls.
b(5). Eau Withington Court, 1¼ m. W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and with slate-covered roofs. The main block was built probably in the second half of the 17th century, but the front part was remodelled and heightened late in the 18th century. The N. wing is an addition of late 17th or early 18th-century date and there are various modern additions. The timber-framing is exposed at the back of the house. Inside the building is an original staircase with turned balusters, moulded strings, and square panelled newels with moulded caps. A small building incorporated in a later range, W. of the house, is of one storey with attics; the walls are of rough ashlar and the roofs are covered with stone slates. On the E. side is a doorway with an elliptical head and the date 1682 above it, which is probably the date of the building; the door has ornamental strap-hinges; farther S. is a two-light window with a moulded label; a gabled dormer had a similar window, now cut down to form a doorway; a stone near the base of this E. wall has the initials and date: S.B. 1682. The S. end has a similar window and the gable has a parapet and finial.
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. Most of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(6). The Builth, house, now two tenements, nearly ¼ m. S. of (5), was built c. 1600 but has modern additions. Inside the building is a dado of original panelling.
b(7). Builth Farm, house and outbuildings, 50 yards E.S.E. of (6). The House has a cross-wing at the N. end; the S. end was re-faced in stone probably in 1715, the date on the chimney-stack at this end. The original central chimney-stack has two diagonal shafts of brick.
The Barn, S.W. of the house, is of five bays. The cider-house and stables, S.E. of the house, have been much altered.
b(8). Cottage, 200 yards S.E. of (7), has a thatched roof.
b(9). Nunnington Court, nearly 1 m. W.S.W. of the church, has later additions at the back and S.E. end. Inside the building is a dado of original panelling and two panelled doors.
b(10). The Lawns, house and outbuildings, 200 yards N.W. of (9). The House has large modern additions and has been mostly re-faced. There is a small 17th-century Outbuilding, N. of the house, and incorporated in a range of buildings. E. of the house is a three-storeyed building, perhaps originally a pigeon-house.
b(11). Marsh Farm, house, on the E. side of the road, 1,600 yards N.W. of the church, has a later extension on the E.
b(12). Cottage, on the S. side of the road at Duke Street, ¼ m. W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(13). Cottage, 150 yards E.N.E. of (12), has a thatched roof.
b(14). Cottage, 40 yards E.N.E. of (13).
b(15). Stone House and outbuildings, on the W. side of the road, 250 yards N. of the church. The House is of rubble and was perhaps re-built early in the 18th century. A chimney-stack on the N.E. side has the initials and date: W.A. 1714. The building has been much altered. Projecting to the W. of the house is an early 18th-century range of Outbuildings with a N. wing of stone and timber-framing. A large barn, N.E. of the house, is of the same period.
b(16). Barn, at Hopkilns, ¾ m. N. of the church, is of one storey and of eight bays.
b(17). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, 120 yards S.W. of the church, has been largely re-faced.
b(18). Cottage, on the N.W. side of the road, 400 yards S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(19). Crabtree Cottage, on the S.E. side of the road, 1,200 yards S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(20). Cottage, on the S. edge of the parish, 340 yards S.S.E. of (19), has a thatched roof.
b(21). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 1,100 yards S. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(22). White Stone Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 750 yards S. of the church, was built early in the 18th century and has been much altered.
b(23). Cottage, on the S. side of the road at Old Grove, 600 yards E.S.E. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(24). Cottage, 100 yards S.E. of (23), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century and has a thatched roof. Inside the building is some re-set 17th-century panelling.