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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60 ORLETON (D.b.)
(1). Parish Church of St. George (Plate 9) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with tiles and stone slates. The Nave was built in the 12th century and early in the 13th century the Chancel was re-built and probably enlarged, and later in the same century the West Tower added. About 1340 the chancel-arch was re-built and the nave altered and partly re-built. The North Porch was added in 1686. The church was restored in 1863, when the chancel was partly re-built; the unused Organ Chamber and South Vestry are modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by 19 ft.) has, in the E. wall, two early 13th-century lancetwindows; in the gable is a window of one trefoiled light. In the N. wall is an early 13th-century lancet-window, and further W. a modern opening. In the S. wall are three lancet-windows uniform with that in the N. wall; the re-set 12th-century doorway has chamfered jambs and round head. The two-centred chancel-arch, of c. 1340, is of two chamfered orders, the outer continued down the responds and the inner springing from semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the moulded label has stops carved with bishops' heads and at the apex another head.
The Nave (55 ft. by 27¾ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two early 14th-century windows, the eastern of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label having decayed head-stops; the western window is of two trefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the early 14th-century N. doorway has chamfered jambs, two-centred head and moulded label; the lower part of this wall is probably of 12th-century date. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, the eastern of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; the western window is similar but of two lights; the 14th-century S. doorway, now blocked, has chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label with head-stops of a king and queen; the lower part of the wall is probably of the 12th century; above the S.W. buttress is a stone inscribed, "Edward Hill and John W. . ., Church(wardens), .. 17 (?).
The West Tower (9¼ ft. square) is of three stages finished with a timber broach-spire. It has a roll-moulded and battered plinth. The 13th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, continued down the responds; above it is the rear-arch of a round-headed 12th-century window, looking towards the W. and dating from before the erection of the tower; above it are the weather-courses of the early gabled nave-roof. In the W. wall is a doorway, probably of the 12th century re-set; it has jambs and round head of two chamfered orders; above it is a 13th-century lancet-window. The second stage has, in the N. and S. walls, a 13th-century window of one round-headed light. The third stage has, in each wall, a window of two plain square-headed lights.
The North Porch (Plate 106) is of timber on dwarf stone walls and was built in 1686. The outer archway is formed by two curved braces below the tie-beam; between it and the collar are two turned balusters, and on the face of the tie-beam are the initials and date R. S. 1686; the gable has moulded barge-boards and an enriched pendant at the apex. The side walls have close lower panels and six openings above divided by turned balusters, perhaps brought from elsewhere, as there are mortices for other posts or studs.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by John Finch, 1639; 2nd and 3rd by John Martin, 1665. Brasses: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Miles Blount, 1663, plate with inscription, shield-of-arms, emblems of mortality, etc.; (2) to Thomas Blount, 1679, plate with inscription in wreath and achievement-of-arms; (3) to Thomas Fletcher, 1665, erected by Winefred (Blount) his wife, plate with inscription, skull and cross-bones. Chests: In vestry—(1) dug-out chest (Plate 152) 5¾ ft. long with two original strap-hinges and fragments of other ironwork, probably 13th-century, two later lock-plates and other hinges; (2) dug-out chest (Plate 152), 6¼ ft. long, with rounded lid, three strap-hinges, 13th-century, with added straps. Churchyard Cross (Plate 46): S. of church—octagonal to square shaft, set in octagonal to square base, with small pointed niche in W. face, four octagonal steps, 14th-century, head of shaft modern. Communion Table: modern but incorporating four 17th-century turned legs. Door: In N. doorway—of battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century, with modern framing. Font (Plate 153): cylindrical bowl carved with an arcade of nine bays, with round moulded arches springing from shafts with moulded capitals and bases; under each arch a standing figure probably of an apostle, but only St. Peter identifiable by his key, early 12th-century. Glass: In nave—in N.E. window, 14th-century fragments including heads of priest and a female saint, drapery, tabernacle work, quarries with foliage, a red roundel enclosing vine-leaves, etc.; in foils of N.W. window a border of ruby with yellow pateræ; in tracery of S.E. window, fragments including tabernacle work, old quarries and foliage; 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—E. of chancel—(1) to Alice and Richard Smith, c. 1700, headstone; N.E. of chancel, (2) to Richard Crump, 1701, headstone; S. of nave, (3) to Samuel Browne, 1710, flat slab. Floor-slabs: In chancel— on N. wall, (1) to Anne, widow of Thomas Blount, 1697–8. In organ-chamber—on N. wall, (2) re-cut slabs to Anne, daughter of Richard Griffin, 1713–4; (3) to Richard Griffin, 1701–2. Niche: In chancel— in E. wall, tall recess with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, 13th-century. Panelling: In nave— dado made up of late 17th-century panelling. Piscina: In chancel—modern recess with 14th-century round drain with moulded projecting edge. Plate: includes cup (Plate 60) made up from two or three pieces, base probably Elizabethan, marks probably foreign on bowl; late 16th-century cover-paten; also a pewter flagon and plate. Pulpit (Plate 70): with four panelled sides, each in three tiers, lowest tier with arabesques and jewel ornament, half-balusters at angles, middle tier with enriched arcaded panels, columns at angles, carved base-mould and cornice, uppermost tier similar to lowest; early 17th-century, probably remodelled later, base modern. Miscellanea: In nave—on N. and S. walls, two head-corbels, of king and queen, for former rood-beam; near first, another head-corbel; all three probably 14th-century. In nave—mutilated stone (Plate 16), formerly used as a clock-weight and 1½ ft. long, remains of carved monster and foliage, probably 12th-century.
d(2). Orleton Manor (Plate 18), house, ¼ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built probably late in the 16th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. There is a modern addition on the S.W. The fairly close-set timber-framing is mostly exposed and the house retains much of its original appearance. The N.W. front has a gable at the N.E. end, and at the same end is an original window of three transomed lights with moulded frame and mullions; there are two porches, the northern, formerly a bay-window, of semi-octagonal form and of two storeys; the upper storey has a two-light transomed window, with moulded mullions, in each face; the more southerly porch is of two storeys and gabled; the upper storey has a four-light transomed window with acanthus-brackets under the sill; the gable has moulded barge-boards and base-beam. The inner doorway of the porch has an original moulded frame and a nail-studded door with ornamental strap-hinges. Elsewhere there are several original windows of the type already described. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams. The S.E. room on the ground-floor is lined with 17th-century panelling with a carved frieze. A fireplace in the N.E. wing has an original moulded and four-centred head. On the first floor, the S.E. room has an original fireplace (Plate 52) with moulded jambs and a four-centred head; painted above it is an ogee head and terminal and a repainted inscription, "Honner Him in hart and souffered on the crosse for thee and worship him"; the walls are panelled, and have jewel and rosette-ornament.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed, and with tile, stone or slate-covered roofs. Many of the buildings have exposed external framing and internal ceiling-beams.
d(4). House, two tenements, on the S.E. side of the road, go yards N.E. of (3), is perhaps of mediæval origin, largely re-built in the 16th century; the E. wing is a 17th-century addition. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the main block on curved brackets; the window in the first floor has an original moulded sill. Re-set in the W. chimney-stack is a moulded 15th-century bracket of stone.
d(6). House, 40 yards N.E. of (5), is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.E. end. The N.W. wing is of the 16th century, but the cross-wing is a 17th-century addition or rebuilding. There are some windows of c. 1700 with solid frames. The 17th-century staircase has turned balusters and moulded hand-rails.
d(7). Lower House (Plate 18), 10 yards N.E. of (6), is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.E. end. In the middle of the S.E. front the upper storey projects and is gabled; the curved brackets spring from shaped shafts attached to the main posts. On the N.E. side is a projecting gabled dormer with moulded bressummers, brackets and barge-boards with an apexpost; the window is of four transomed lights with diamond-shaped mullions. A doorway on this side has a shaped head, and there is also an original window of four main transomed lights with moulded frame and mullions; below the sill is a shaped bracket. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams. There is also some original panelling. In the yard is an iron fire-back with the initials and date F.B., 1630.
d(10). Church Croft (Plate 19), house, 90 yards W.N.W. of the church, has a cross-wing at the W. end. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the cross-wing on curved brackets; the gable also projects; the upper storey formerly projected at the S. end of the wing, but has been under-built. Inside the building is an original moulded door-frame.
d(21). Portway, house, on the W. side of the road, 800 yards N.W. of the church, is of three storeys, and was heightened and refaced on three sides with brick early in the 18th century. Inside the building, the staircase has moulded balusters of rectangular section.
d(27). Comberton Farm, house, on the S. side of the road, 180 yards E. of (26), was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. The upper storey projects on part of the N. side and is supported on a post with a moulded cap, perhaps 15th-century material re-used.
d(28). House (Plate 19), 40 yards E. of (27). The upper storey projects and is gabled at the W. end of the N. front; the projection is supported on a moulded bressummer with three-quarter shafts attached to the main posts below; the first-floor window has a projecting moulded sill and the post below it is carved with a standing figure of a man holding an axe; above the window two panels of the framing have curved braces with ornamental projections, resembling foils; the window in the gable has a moulded frame and mullions. The upper storey formerly projected at the E. end of the house, but has been under-built.
c(32). Ashley Moor Farm, house, 1¼ m. W. of the church, was built c. 1600. The S.E. wing was added late in the 17th century, and there is a modern addition on the N. The upper storey projects at the S. end of the main block but has been under-built; the gable has diagonal framing. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.