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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37 FOWNHOPE (C.d.)
c(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 128) stands in the middle of the southern portion of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with tiles and the spire with oak shingles. The church, which was built about the middle of the 12th century, to which date the Central Tower belongs, consisted, besides, of a chancel and nave both probably shorter than the existing buildings. A narrow S. aisle of two bays was added to this building about the middle of the 13th century; the Nave was perhaps lengthened at the same time; at the beginning of the 14th century, the Chancel was re-built and lengthened. About 1330, a Chapel was added to the S. of the tower; the position of the W. archway indicated that the narrow S. aisle was still standing, but very shortly afterwards the South Aisle was re-built, widened and lengthened, two bays being added to the arcade. The church was restored in 1881, and the North Porch is modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (39½ ft. by 19 ft.) has an early 14th-century E. window of three pointed lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head; in the gable is a quatrefoil incorporating some old re-used tracery. In the N. wall are two early 14th-century windows, each of two pointed lights in a two-centred head. In the S. wall are three windows, the two eastern similar to those in the N. wall and the third of c. 1400, and of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; between the two western windows is an early 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head.
The Central Tower (19 ft. square) is of mid 12th-century date and of three stages, divided by moulded string-courses and with a capping with cheveron-ornament at the base of the spire. The ground-stage has a 12th-century E. opening with responds of two orders, the inner with a half-round shaft and the outer on the W. with a roll-shaft, both with scalloped capitals, chamfered and grooved abaci and moulded bases with incised ornament and spurs; the late 13th-century arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders. In the N. wall is a window of c. 1400, similar to the S.W. window in the chancel, but with casement-moulded outer reveals and with restored mullion and tracery. The stair-turret in the N.E. angle has two square-headed doorways, one above the other, the lower is the original entrance and the upper probably cut later as an entrance to the rood-loft; both are now blocked, the staircase being approached by an external doorway with a two-centred head of no great age. In the S. wall is a 14th-century archway with responds and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, much re-tooled on the S. side. The 12th-century W. arch has responds similar to those of the E. arch; the arch itself is original and of two plain semi-circular orders with a grooved and chamfered label. The second stage has in the N. wall a 12th-century window with shafted jambs, but with two inserted lancet-lights under a two-centred head of the 13th century. The rear-arch of a similar window is visible on the internal side of the S. wall. The bell-chamber has in each wall a 12th-century window of two round-headed lights in a round outer order with shafted jambs; between the lights are shafts with bases and capitals, the latter with scalloped or simply foliated capitals. The tower is finished with a 14th-century octagonal timber spire of broach-form; the timber-construction has a heavy central post.
The South Chapel (22½ ft. by 14 ft. average) is of c. 1330, and has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head, with modern mullions. In the S. wall are two windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the W. wall is a two-centred archway of one continuous chamfered order.
The Nave (52 ft. by 20½ ft.) has in the N. wall two 14th-century windows similar to those in the S. wall of the S. chapel; the eastern is set in a 12th-century opening of which the round rear-arch remains; the partly restored N. doorway is of mid 13th-century date, with a two-centred arch of three roll-moulded orders, with a modern label; the inner order is continuous, and the two outer spring from detached shafts with moulded capitals, bands and bases. The S. arcade is of four bays in two pairs, with a double respond between them; the eastern pair is of mid 13th-century date, and has two-centred arches of two chamfered orders with a chamfered label on the N. face; the cylindrical column has a moulded capital and base, and the W. respond has an attached half-column; the E. respond is square and has a semi-octagonal moulded corbel to carry the inner order of the arch, supported on three grouped shafts with pointed terminations and drops; the western part of the arcade is of the 14th century with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders with a moulded label, octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds, all with moulded capitals and bases. In the W. wall is a modern window, and below it, internally, are remains of the base of the splays of two 13th-century windows.
The South Aisle (15½ ft. wide) is of the 14th century, and has in the S. wall three windows uniform with those in the S. wall of the S. chapel; the blocked S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a modern window, and below it traces of the splays of a 14th-century window.
Fittings—Chairs: In chancel—(1) with turned front legs, enriched upper rails, shaped arms, panelled back with foliage-ornament and scrolled top with the date 1634 (Plate 41); (2) modern, but incorporating early 16th-century material including linen-fold panels, two bands with elaborate cusped designs, etc., also 17th-century cresting. Chest: In tower—in second stage, 'dug-out' chest, 8¾ ft. long, lid in two pieces, mediæval. Coffin: In churchyard—W. of church, stone coffin with shaped head, 13th-century or earlier. Communion Table: In S. chapel—of oak, with turned bulbous legs and shaped brackets to top rail, late 16th or early 17th-century. Font (Plate 56): octagonal bowl with moulded lower edge, shallow round-headed panel in each face enclosing a fleur-de-lis, stem with arched panels, 15th or early 16th-century, mostly re-tooled. Glass: In E. window—14th-century fragments including quatrefoil-panels with borders, pateræ and foliage, quarries with fleurs-de-lis, fragments of tabernacle work, etc. In S. aisle—in middle S. window, some old plain quarries and fragments of foliage. Lockers: In chancel—in N. wall, plain square recess. In tower—in second stage, in E. wall, recess with round head. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—on N. Wall, (1) to Nicholas Lechmere, 1711, and Martha, his widow, 1763 (added inscription), white stone tablet flanked by figures of weepers, entablature, and broken pediment supporting achievement-of-arms and two reclining figures, cartouche-of-arms on apron; on S. wall, (2) to Johanna (Clarke), wife first of John Holmes and secondly of Sandys Lechmere, erected 1692, slate tablet with stone frame flanked by scrolls and foliage and finished with entablature, broken pediment and achievement-of-arms. In churchyard—N. of nave; (3) to Walter Bayly, 1709–10, head-stone; (4) to Mary, wife of Walter Bayly, 1701. Floor-slab (Plate 48): In S. aisle—in blocked S. doorway, to John Schernon (?), vicar of the parish, 1490 (?), slab with incised cross, chalice and marginal inscription. Piscina: In chancel—recess with trefoiled ogee head and carved flower at apex, round drain with star-shaped sinking, 14th-century character, mostly modern, re-tooled. In S. chapel—in S. wall, recess with ogee head and sunk spandrels, octofoiled drain, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, similar recess to last with octofoiled drain, 14th-century. Recesses: In chancel—in N. wall, with stop-moulded jambs and high segmental-pointed arch, probably tomb-recess, early 14th-century; in S. wall, similar recess, but with ball-flower ornament in the moulding, early 14th-century. Stoup: E. of N. doorway, recess with trefoiled head and broken basin, 14th-century. Table: In S. chapel—with turned legs and moulded rails, on upper rail, painted cartouche with the initials and date I. and E.H., 1710. Miscellanea: In E. wall of chancel, long slab with beaded edge, perhaps coffin-lid. In W. wall of nave, elaborately carved semi-circular Tympanum (Plate 129) of former doorway, with seated figure of Virgin and Child, both with cruciform nimbuses, rest of field covered with interlacing foliage-sprays of acanthus-type and with a winged lion on one side and a bird on the other, mid 12th-century.
c(2). Fownhope Court, house and outbuilding, 520 yards N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are probably of stone, rough cast, and the roofs are covered with slates. The thickness of some of the walls of the building may indicate a mediæval origin, but apart from a piece of re-set 13th-century stonework there is no feature of earlier date than early in the 17th century The House is now of L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.; there was formerly a cross-wing at the N.E. end, which was destroyed in the 19th century. The S.W. front has four gables, but neither this nor the other fronts have any ancient features. Inside the building, the dining-room, formerly the hall, in the N.W. wing, has early 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams dividing it into five bays. The walls have a panelled dado with scrolled ornament in the upper panels; above the stone fireplace is an overmantel made up with arcaded panels and terminal pilasters; in the fireplace is an iron fire-back with the royal arms and the date 1614. The staircase has square newels with ball-terminals, and at the top is a balustrade with turned balusters and a moulded grip hand-rail; on the walls is a dado of early 17th-century panelling with carved frieze. The roof has trusses of queen-post type. W. of the house are remains of old masonry, including the base of a half-round turret and probably part of the destroyed wing. Re-set in the garden is a 13th-century niche with a trefoiled head, and below it a recess also with a trefoiled head and with a broken basin.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are covered with tiles, slates or thatch. Many of the buildings have exposed timber-framing and ceiling-beams, and some have old chimney-stacks.
c(3). The Vicarage, house and barn, E. of the church. The House has been extensively altered and its original date is uncertain. The Barn (Plate 35), N.W. of the house, is of 15th-century date and has three original crutch-trusses with later ties. The end bays of the building are of two storeys.
c(4). House, formerly Church Gate House, on the W. side of the road, S.W. of church, was built probably late in the 16th century. The cellar has stone walls and mullioned windows. Inside the building, the staircase has shaped splat balusters and square newels with moulded finials and pendants; the top flight and landing have later turned balusters.
c(6). Green Man Inn, on the S.W. side of the road, 350 yards N.W. of the church, was originally of L-shaped plan, but later and modern additions have made the plan rectangular. The N., S. and E. sides are faced with brick. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams in the N.W. room.
c(24). Barn (Plate 35) at Capler Farm, nearly 1¼ m. S.E. of the church, is of different dates. The middle part is of the 14th or 15th century and of three bays; the W. part of two bays is of little later date, while the E. bay is a 16th or 17th-century addition. The early part of the building has a series of crutch-trusses; two are set close together and mark the position of the early addition.
c(30). Cherry Hill Camp is a hill-top camp on Cherry Hill, 1,000 yards N.N.W. of the church. The ground falls away in all directions, except at the N. end where a natural neck connects it with another hill. The camp is of irregular oval form with an area, including the defences, of 7¾ acres. It is protected on three sides by a double scarp with a wide berm and traces of an outer rampart to the berm; on most of the E. side the steep slope is the only defence. The N. entrance is defended by a slight rampart on the E. terminating in a mound. The S. entrance is formed by a sloping causeway.