An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1934.
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45 LEINTWARDINE (C.a.)
Leintwardine is a parish and village on the river Teme and on the N. border of the county, 11 m. N.W. of Leominster. The remains of the Roman earthwork, the church and Heath House, are the principal monuments.
c(1). Bravinium (Plan, p. 109), Roman station on the XII Antonine Iter, 22 M.P. from Magnis (Kenchester) and 27 M.P. from Uriconium (Wroxeter). The Roman site forms a roughly rectangular area with an internal extent of about 10 acres, formerly enclosed by earth banks but these are now partly obliterated by the village which occupies much of the area. The defences had rounded angles, but the only portion which is at all well preserved is the N.W. angle with much of the bank on the W. side. Even this portion has lost much of its inner scarp. The best preserved part of the bank (on the W. face) rises about 10 ft. above the ground outside and has a nearly levelled top, some 41 ft. wide, within which is a gentle slope towards the interior of the enclosure. At the S.W. angle modern levelling for gardens and roads has largely defaced the line of the bank which probably followed nearly the line of the road immediately to the S. The line of the E. half of the S. bank can be traced though it has been cut into for the formation of gardens. On the N. and N.E. traces of the line of the outer scarp are still visible. The whole of the E. bank has been largely obliterated, but its line can be traced by the difference in level within and without the former enclosure. The main road running from S. to N. through the enclosure no doubt represents the course of the original Watling Street. A plan of the site in the Transactions of the Woolhope Field Club for 1882 indicates that the remains were then more complete than they are at present.
In a letter of 1874 (Arch. Camb., 4th Ser., V., p. 163) it is stated that "whenever graves have been dug in the churchyard to the depth of 8 ft. two layers of ashes and charcoal, intermixed with tiles, broken pottery, bronze articles, and coins have been passed through; the uppermost layer at a depth of 6 ft. and the lower one about a foot or 18 in. beneath. The remains, from time to time found, were generally thrown away as rubbish or dispersed, until Mr. Evans commenced his observations. Among the articles which he has stored away are half a circular stone hand mill or quern, pierced with a hole, the upper part of an earthenware pounding mill, with a lip or rim; fragments of Roman pottery, a bronze ring and a third brass of Constantine the Great, with a square altar on the reverse. At the north-east corner of the enclosure some grains of wheat in a charred state were found at a depth of a few feet in excavating the foundations of a cottage, and on the south-west fragments of thick brown pottery, apparently roof-tiles, were turned up."
c(2). Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene stands in the village. The walls are of local sandstone rubble and ashlar with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with lead, tiles and slate. The earliest detail in the church is the blocked 12th-century W. doorway, which is probably not in situ. The Chancel was re-built early in the 13th century, and about the middle of the same century the S. arcade of the Nave, with the South Aisle, was built. About 1320–30 the N. arcade was built, and about the same time the North Chapel was added and the South Tower built. Late in the 14th century the North Aisle and adjoining Chapel were built, the N. chapel heightened, and the clearstorey added to the nave. The chancel-arch was re-built about 1865, and the upper part of the tower was re-built in 1894–6; the tower was further restored in 1920–25.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (41½ ft. by 26 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is an early to mid 14th-century arcade of three bays, with segmental-pointed arches of two chamfered orders, octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall are two windows, all modern except the retooled 13th-century splays; between them is an early 13th-century doorway with jambs and round head of two chamfered and one moulded order, shouldered at the springing-level and with a chamfered label. The chancel-arch is modern.
The North Chapel (40¾ ft. by 22 ft.) has an E. window all modern, except parts of the jambs, the splays and the rear-arch which are of the 14th century. In the N. wall are three early to mid 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the W. wall is an arch of the same date; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner dying on to the responds; in the W. gable is a blocked window of three lights with a two-centred head.
The Nave (66¼ ft. by 18¾ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1320–30 and of five bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. The mid 13th-century S. arcade is also of five bays with similar arches except that the outer order is generally plain; the columns are round and the responds half-round, with moulded capitals and bases; the E. half of the first arch has been re-set at a later date and the respond-capital raised. The late 14th-century clearstorey has, on each side, three windows each of two trefoiled lights in a flat triangular head. The W. window is probably of late 13th-century date, but the mullions and tracery are modern; it is of four lights in a two-centred head; below it, but well to the N. of the axis of the nave (Plate 15), is a late 12th-century doorway, now blocked; it has a round head of two plain orders with a moulded label; the inner order is continuous, but the outer springs from attached shafts with carved foliated capitals and moulded bases.
The North Aisle (11¼ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, a late 14th-century arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds are of the same section with moulded capitals and chamfered bases; further W. are three late 14th-century windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; at the W. end of the wall were two windows, now destroyed, and probably of 18th-century date and inserted in connection with the former W. gallery. In the W. wall is an early 14th-century window of one pointed light. The line of the earlier pent-roof of the aisle can be seen on the E. wall.
The North Chapel (15¾ ft. by 11½ ft.) is of late 14th-century date and has, in the N. and W. walls, a window uniform with the N. windows of the adjoining aisle. At a height of about 9 ft. the E. wall is corbelled forward, the upper part being about 1¼ ft. thicker.
The South Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) has an E. window, probably of early 14th-century date, but with modern tracery in the two-centred head. In the S. wall are three windows, uniform with that in the E. wall, the 13th-century S. doorway, probably re-set when the tower was added, has a two-centred arch of two moulded orders, the inner continued down the jambs and the outer springing from shafts with moulded capitals and bases and having a moulded label. In the W. wall is a 13th-century lancet window.
The South Tower (14 ft. square) is of five storeys (Plate 129) and of early to mid 14th-century date, with an embattled parapet. The ground stage has, in the S. wall, a doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of three moulded orders with a moulded label. The second storey has, in the E. and W. walls, a square headed window; in the E. wall, farther N., is an arched recess with a small square-headed window and a blocked doorway with a shouldered head, leading to a former upper floor over part of the S. aisle. In the S. wall is a window of one pointed light. The third storey has a square-headed window in the E. and W. walls. In the S. wall is a trefoil-headed window, pierced with a pointed head below the trefoil. The fourth storey has a blocked window in the N. and S. walls. The bell-chamber has been largely restored and has a square-headed window in the E., N. and W. walls and a pointed window in the S. wall, all with moulded labels.
The Roof of the N. Chapel is of the 14th century, and of trussed-rafter type. The late 15th-century roof of the nave is of five bays and of flat pitch, with moulded wall-plates, principals and curved and foliated braces; each bay is divided by moulded ribs into twenty-four panels with foliage-bosses at the intersections; at a much lower level are the corbels of an earlier roof. The roofs of the aisles and the aisle-chapel are of similar date, flat-pitched and with moulded plates and rafters.
Fittings—Chest: In N. chapel—plain with anglestraps, lid remade, two old locks, 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, each face cut to an ogee form at the base and carried back to a circular stem, 14th-century, base modern. Glass: In N. aisle-chapel—in N. window, fragments of borders, foliage, roses, etc., 14th and 15th-century, made up with modern work. Lectern: modern, but incorporating two early 17th-century panels with conventional ornament; incorporated in ends, two 16th-century quatrefoils enclosing roses. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Richard Bythe . ., 1712. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess (Plate 61) with chamfered jambs and cinque-foiled head, 14th-century, sill modern. In N. chapel—in E. respond of arcade, recess with ogee head, foiled drain with projection cut back, 14th-century. In N. aisle chapel—in S. wall, recess with trefoiled ogee arch in a square head with traceried spandrels, plain drain partly cut away, late 14th-century. Reredos: In chancel—flanking E. window, stone panelling (Plate 132) with moulded plinth, dado-rail and cornice, dado-rail with range of quatre-foiled panels and cornice with panelled and embattled cresting and pinnacles, one range of cinquefoil-headed panels below dado-rail and four ranges above, buttressed standards flanking surviving portions, early 15th-century, central part destroyed. Screen: In chancel —in E. bay of N. arcade, largely modern but incorporating six traceried heads of varying design and moulded cornice, 15th-century, formerly part of stalls. Sedilia (Plate 61): In chancel, of three bays with trefoiled heads, 14th-century, seat modern. Stalls (Plate 130): In chancel—on N. and S. sides, each with a panelled backing (Plate 130) of six bays, with trefoiled, sub-cusped, crocketted and traceried heads to each bay and moulded cornice, all similar to one bay of screen described above; panels on N. open, but those on S. close-boarded; on N. six seats with moulded arm-rests carved with angels' heads; outer front desk (Plate 130) incorporates moulded top and six panels with trefoiled heads and spandrels carved with chained and crowned antelopes, winged griffons, falcons and antelopes without chains; on S. six similar seats but retaining old misericordes (Plate 131) as follows: (a) The Resurrection, at sides a man and broken carving; (b) Man kneeling at prayer-desk, at sides a mutilated crucifix ? and the Virgin and Child; (c) Seated man with flat cap and sceptre or sword, at sides broken carving and man's head; (d) The Annunciation, at sides censing angels; (e) Two wrestlers, at sides mermaid and a shell with a mutilated figure; (f) Carving defaced; at ends of desk, two moulded standards (Plate 131) with carved figures at top, on E. two bishops back to back and two lions' heads, and on W. probably St. John and St. James, back to back, standing on beasts; part of book-rest old, and trefoiled panels in front with spandrels carved with winged dragons, falcons, griffons, foliage and roses, early 15th-century and restored with new work in 1896, reputed to have come from Wigmore Abbey, and evidently part of a larger series of stalls. Table: In N. chapel—plain, with chamfered posts, 17th or 18th-century. Miscellanea: In N. chapel—six carved wooden angels holding shields, from ends of roof-trusses, late 15th-century. In chancel and N. chapel— 15 th-century wood tracery incorporated in prayerdesks and similar work in detached door in aisle-chapel.
a(3). Heath House (Plate 133), 2 m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built about the middle of the 17th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. There is a modern addition on the W. The S. front has a moulded plinth and a coved eaves-cornice of plaster; the string-course between the storeys has been cut back. The windows are modern, but the doorway is original and is flanked by fluted tapering pilasters with a cornice, pediment and pedestals above the pilasters. The E. and N. fronts have plinths and cornices as on the S. front and retain their moulded string-courses; both fronts retain some original windows, with moulded frames, mullion and transom, and some have moulded labels. The roofs, both on the S. front and at the ends of the wings, are hipped and have small dormer-windows lighting the attics.
Interior—The hall is lined with original moulded panelling, and the fireplace is flanked by moulded pilasters with the cornice carried across as a mantelshelf; in the fireplace is an iron fire-back with the initials and date, I. and H.E., 1708. The staircase (Plate 76), on the N. of the hall, is original and is arranged with double flights up to the half-landing, double flights again to the first floor, and two parallel straight flights to the second floor; it has turned balusters, panelled risers, moulded rails and square panelled newels with moulded terminals; the lower flights are cased with panelling of c. 1700. The passage, W. of the staircase, is lined with original panelling. The S. room in the E. wing is lined with panelling of c. 1700, and the ceiling has twelve original moulded panels of plaster. The N. room has a moulded surround to the fireplace, also of c. 1700; this room and others in the W. wing have exposed ceiling-beams, and in the W. wing also there are fireplace surrounds of c. 1700. On the first floor the S.E. room is lined with mid to late 17th-century panelling with a moulded cornice; the ceiling has twelve plaster panels; the fireplace has a square head flanked by pilaster-strips with moulded bases and capping and a moulded mantelshelf. The N.E. room is lined with panelling of c. 1700; the original stone fireplace has flanking pilasters of two stages, the lower with enriched panels and the upper fluted; the upper capping is carried across as a mantelshelf.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and with stone, slate or tile-covered roofs. Some of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
c(47). Watkin's Farm, house, 220 yards S.E. of (45), is of two storeys with attics, and was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. It was built in the 16th century, but heightened and added to in the 18th century. The walls are of rubble.
c(52). Lynchets, 250 yards E. of Trippleton Farm and nearly ¾ m. S.E. of the church, consist of six terraces, 190 to 200 yards long and varying from 4 to 12 yards in width. The vertical height of the terraces varies from 10 to 15 ft. There is a second series of three terraces of about the same length, to the S.E.
c(53). Lynchets, 100 yards N.E. of the river Clun and 750 yards W.N.W. of the church, consist of three terraces, 200 to 215 yards long. The outer terraces are 23 to 17 yards wide, and the intermediate one 4 yards wide. There is a second group of five terraces, immediately to the N.W., about 160 to 180 yards long and 16 yards wide, except the second from the top, which is 5 yards wide.
c(54). Lynchets, 800 yards N.E. of Stormer Hall and 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church, consist of four terraces, about 190 to 200 yards long and terminating on the N.W. in a transverse bank. The terraces vary in width. There are traces of two further groups to the N.W.