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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79 WINFORTON (B.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. XXIV, S.E.)
Winforton is a small parish on the left bank of the Wye, 6 m. S. of Kington. The church and Winforton Court are the principal monuments. The church contains an interesting 18th-century organ and case, not included in the inventory, as probably after 1714.
(1). Parish Church of St. Michael (Plate 9) stands in the village. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with slates. There is little evidence of the date of the Nave except that it was heightened when the roof was re-built in the 14th century. The Chancel was re-built and the North Transept added c. 1300. The lower part of the West Tower is of uncertain mediæval date, but the timber bell-chamber was added in the 16th century. The E. wall of the chancel was re-built probably in 1698. The church was drastically restored in 1895, when the S. wall of the nave and part of the S. wall of the chancel were re-built, the roofs opened out and the South Porch added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24½ ft. by 19¾ ft.) has a re-set and partly restored E. window of c. 1300 and of three plain pointed lights, with the mullions carried up into the two-centred head to form the middle light. Set in the external face of the wall is a stone inscribed "John Houlds, 1698," probably recording the rebuilding of the wall. The gable has re-set remains of a late 14th or early 15th-century cross, with the Crucifixion and conventional ornament. In the N. wall are two modern windows. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern much restored, of c. 1300, the western entirely modern; they are each of two trefoiled lights; between them is a blocked doorway of c. 1300, with a two-centred head. There is no masonry chancel-arch.
The Nave (55 ft. by 19¼ ft.) has, in the N. wall, an arch of c. 1300; it is segmental-pointed and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals; further W. are two modern windows and a blocked doorway with a segmental-pointed head. In the S. wall are three modern windows, and the S. doorway is also modern, except for one moulded jamb-stone.
The North Transept (16¼ ft. by 14¾ ft.) has a modern doorway in the E. wall. In the N. wall is a window of c. 1300 similar to the E. window of the chancel. Above the gable is an original pierced gable-cross.
The West Tower (9¼ ft. square) is of three storeys, the two lower of stone and the bell-chamber of timber-framing with a pyramidal roof. The ground storey has a blocked doorway in the E. wall, recessed on the Nave side, and a modern doorway in the S. wall; there is a square-headed single-light window in both the N. and W. walls to both lower storeys. The bell-chamber has exposed framing in three ranges, all of modern restoration; above the roof is an ancient weather-cock.
The Roofs of the chancel and nave are of the 14th century, partly restored; they are of trussed-rafter type with scissor-braces.
Fittings—Altar: In pavement of S. porch—slab with modern cross cut in middle, said to be former altar-slab. Communion Table: with turned legs and moulded top-rail, early 17th-century. Communion Rails: with turned balusters, moulded rail and turned terminals above it, early 17th-century. Floor-slabs: In S. porch—(1) to Anna Guest, 1699; (2) to Benjamin Guest, late 17th or early 18th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with underside splayed to meet cylindrical stem on round steps, probably 13th-century, plain lid, probably 17th-century, pierced for former staples, etc. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head, square drain, c. 1300. In N. transept—in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, scalloped fanshaped drain, c. 1300. Plate: includes Elizabethan cup, without marks and cover-paten, with the date 1599. Pulpit (Plate 71): five sides of octagon, with panelling in two heights, lower plain and upper with two enriched arcaded panels, inscribed in black letter—"Be not afraide of their faces, for I am with thee, saithe the Lorde. Jeram, Chap. I, verse 8 R.P." and "This pulpit was given by Thomas Higgins, gent. Anno Domini 1613," other sides late 17th century. Scratchings: On E. and S.E. windows of chancel—various masons' marks.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(2). Village Cross, on the S. side of the road, 100 yards W.N.W. of the church, is now represented only by a square stone base with a moulded top-edge and a square socket for the shaft. The stone is loose but rests on a rough foundation, approximately round on plan.
(3). Winforton Court, house and outbuildings, on the S. side of the road, 230 yards W. of the church. The House (Plate 25) is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed, and with slate-covered roofs; it is of H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends, and was built probably in the 16th century, but much altered and partly re-built in the 17th century. The lower part of the N. front has been refaced in brick and stone; the early 17th-century porch has an outer entrance with a shaped head and an inner doorway with a moulded frame and a nail-studded door with moulded fillets planted on and strap-hinges; the gable of the E. wing projects on brackets. The W. and S. sides have been wholly or partly refronted in stone, but the E. side has some exposed timber-framing and a 17th-century doorway with a shaped head. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams are exposed, and there is a moulded door frame. The early 17th-century staircase has turned balusters, panelled risers, moulded rails, and square newels with moulded terminals.
The Barn, W. of the house, is of the 17th century, timber-framed and of five bays. Further W. is a two-storeyed outbuilding of the same date, partly of stone and partly of exposed timber-framing; a three-light window has original moulded mullions. A second timber-framed barn, also of the 17th century, stands S.W. of the house.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed, and with tile, slate or stone-covered roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
(4). Old House Farm, house, 160 yards W. of the church, has cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The W. wing, and probably the main block, were built early in the 16th century, but an upper floor was inserted in the main block and the E. wing added or re-built in the 17th century. On the N. front, the lower part of the W. cross-wing has original close-set timber-framing and the upper storey projects on curved brackets; the main block has a 17th-century dormer-window of five mullioned and transomed lights. Inside the building are some early 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams and a wall-post of the same period, with a shaped head.
(5). Cross Farm, house, 100 yards W.N.W. of the church, has a cross-wing at the W. end. The cross-wing is of mediæval date and has an original central crutch-truss and crutch-construction in the N. wall. The E. wing is a 17th-century addition.
(6). Cottage, 60 yards W. of the church, has a modern wing on the W.
(7). Cottage, 70 yards N.W. of the church.
(8). Cottage, 60 yards E. of the church, has a thatched roof. The S. wall has been refronted in brick.
(9). Malt House Cottage, 100 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. The S. wing has been partly refronted in stone.
(10). Court Barn, cottage and barns, ½ m. S.S.E. of the church. The Cottage is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. The Barn, N.W. of the cottage, has a N.E. wing of five bays and a S.E. wing of two storeys. Further N. are remains of a second barn.