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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24 EYE, MORETON, AND ASHTON (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)VII, S.E., (b)XII, N.E.)
Eye, Moreton, and Ashton is a parish 3 m. N. of Leominster. Eye church with interesting effigies and Eye Manor with its plaster ceilings are the principal monuments.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands on the W. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone with dressings of the same material; the roofs are tiled. The church, consisting of Chancel, North Chapel, Nave, North and South Aisles, was built or re-built late in the 12th and early in the 13th century, the S. arcade of c. 1190 being the earliest work. Early in the 14th century the E. wall of the N. chapel, and perhaps that of the chancel, were re-built and an arch made between the N. chapel and aisle; later in the same century the North Porch was added. The church was restored in 1874 when the West Tower was added or re-built and the South Vestry added.
Amongst the fittings the effigies and hatchment are noteworthy, as is the carved beam in the nave roof.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 17¾ ft.) has an early 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded internal label and head-stops. In the N. wall is an early 13th-century arcade of two bays with segmental-pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from a cylindrical column and half-cylindrical responds with simply foliated capitals and moulded bases; there is a moulded label on the S. face. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 13th-century date and of one trefoiled light; the early 13th-century western window is a single lancet-light; the splays have attached shafts with moulded or foliated capitals and moulded bases; between them is a modern doorway. The partly restored 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from half octagonal attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The North Chapel (21½ ft. by 13¼ ft.) has an early 14th-century E. window of three pointed lights, the mullions being carried up to the two-centred head to form the middle light. In the N. wall is an early 13th-century lancet-light, and further W. a blocked doorway of the same date, with moulded jambs and round head. In the W. wall is an early 14th-century arch, two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer having shaped stops on the E. face and the inner springing from moulded corbels with carved heads below; the outer order on the S.E. is corbelled back below the springing-level.
The Nave (40 ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders springing from cylindrical columns and halfcylindrical responds all with moulded bases and capitals; the N. arcade is of c. 1210, and the S. arcade of c. 1190; on this side the E. pier and respond have scalloped capitals and the rest of the capitals were intended for similar treatment, but not completed. The 13th-century clearstorey has, on each side, three restored windows, each consisting of a large quatrefoil.
The North Aisle (7¾ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, two 13th-century two-light windows, all restored except for parts of the splays and moulded rear-arches; the early 13th-century N. doorway has a round arch of two moulded orders, the inner continued down the jambs and the outer springing from attached shafts with foliated capitals. In the W. wall is a modern window.
The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has a modern doorway in the E. wall, set below the head of a 13th-century single-light window. In the S. wall are two windows of 13th-century origin but with two inserted 14th-century trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the blocked 13th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and round head; set in the blocking is an early 14th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head. In the W. wall is a restored 13th-century lancet-window.
The North Porch (Plate 106) is of late 14th-century date, partly restored and timber-framed on modern dwarf walls. The outer entrance has moulded posts and curved braces forming a two-centred arch under the tie-beam; the barge-boards are elaborately cusped, sub-cusped and traceried; the double wall-plates are moulded and have curved braces below them; against the aisle wall is a second pair of posts, with chamfered angles, braces and tie-beam; the roof is mainly ancient, with curved braces to the ridge.
The Roof of the chancel is of mid 15th-century date, of two bays, with braced collar-beam trusses; the rafters, purlins and wall-plates are moulded. The late 15th-century roof of the N. chapel is of two bays with a moulded central tie-beam supporting four uprights; the purlins and wall-plates are moulded. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of four bays with moulded tie-beams, purlins and wall plates; the alternate trusses have curved braces below the collar-beams, but the first, third, and fifth trusses have upright posts above the tie-beam; the tie-beam of the third truss is carved with elaborate running vine-ornament on both faces.
Fittings—Brackets: In nave—on E. and adjoining N. and S. walls, four corbels, one with a crowned head, connected with the former rood-loft. Chest: In second stage of tower—small, with moulded edge to lid and stretchers to front, two strap-hinges, 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with moulded under-edge, late 13th or early 14th-century, stem modern. Hatchment: In N. chapel—on N. wall, with moulded frame, painted arms and inscription to John Blount, 1629, and Elizabeth his wife. Monuments: In chancel —on S. wall, (1) to Elenor (?), wife of . . . Blunte, early 17th-century, moulded panel with guilloche ornament and shield-of-arms. In N. chapel—in N.E. corner, (2) ascribed to Sir Richard Cornewall c. 1540 and Jane (Melborne) his wife, alabaster altar-tomb and effigies (Plate 65); altar-tomb with moulded plinth and capping with traces of inscription, on S. side carving in low relief of the Annunciation with four sons on right and two daughters on left, at W. end two angels supporting an achievement-of-arms, the arms almost obliterated, at N. end, pilaster with early Renaissance ornament; effigy of man in plate armour with tabard bearing the arms of Cornewall and SS collar, feet on lion, head on helm; effigy of wife in French cap, gown, and cloak; in N.W. corner, (3) ascribed to Sir Rowland Cornewall, c. 1520, modern altar-tomb with original alabaster effigy (Plate 65) of man in plate-armour with SS collar, head on helm, feet on lion, gauntlets at side. Panelling: In nave—incorporated in modern benches, panels carved with grotesque dolphins and one with the initials and date I.H. 1684. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with trefoiled head and moulded label, octofoiled drain, cut back, early 14th-century. In N. chapel—in E. wall, recess with moulded jambs and trefoiled head, rectangular drain, 13th-century. Pulpit: three sides only in three heights, top and bottom range with arabesque panels, middle range with enriched arches and cornice and small carved figures at the angles, two panels with the names of churchwardens and the date 1681, pulpit itself probably earlier. Miscellanea: In chancel—on S. wall, carved angel in alabaster holding a shield and probably part of monument (2).
a(2). Castle Tump, 1¼ m. N.E. of the church, is a roughly circular mound, 33 yards in diameter at the base, and occupying the end of a small spur. It rises only some 7 ft. above the ground at the back of the spur from which it is separated by a very slight ditch. The mound rises 19 ft. above the end of the spur.
b(3). Eye Manor, house, N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of brick and stone and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built for Ferdinando Gorges in 1680, and has a modern range on the N. and a modern porch on the E.
The original ceilings and staircase are noteworthy.
The walls have a stone plinth and the basement has stone windows with mullions and square head; some of these are blocked; the doorway to the basement in the W. wall and now blocked has an elliptical head.
The upper walls are of brick with stone quoins; the windows are mostly modern, but on the N. side are two stone windows each with mullion and transom; there is also an oval window in one gable. Inside the building, the Entrance Hall is lined with moulded panelling and has a fireplace with a moulded stone surround and a wooden cornice; the W. doorway has panelled side-pilasters and a cornice; the ceiling (Plate 110) is divided into nine rectangular panels by bold moulded trabeations with rosettes at the intersections and drapery and swags in the coved moulding of the panels. The Staircase Hall has a panelled dado; the staircase (Plates 74, 109) has twisted balusters, moulded strings, and handrails and square panelled newels. The S.E. room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling with a moulded stone surround and wooden cornice to the fireplace; the ceiling (Plates 111, 112) has a geometrical design of moulded panels, the large central ones being enriched with acanthus and flowers; these panels enclose wreaths of fruit and flowers and sprays of foliage; the long side-panels have scrolled acanthus and flowers with small figures of two putti, one holding a lion by the tail, Hercules and the Hydra, and perhaps Adonis. The N.W. room has panelling and fireplace surround similar to the S.E. room; the ceiling (Plate 112) has moulded panels forming a geometrical design, with a central panel enriched with flowers and acanthus; the outer central panels have shields-of-arms of Gorges and Hilliard, for Ferdinando Gorges and Meliora (Hilliard), his wife, and two crests. The S. W. room has panelling and fireplace similar to the N.W. room; the panelled geometrical ceiling (Plate 110) has enrichments and rose-sprays in the angles of the central panel; the outer panels have wreaths and figures of Bacchus and other divine or allegorical persons. On the first floor, the landing is panelled to a certain height, and on three walls are central features with side-pilasters, cornice and pediment; the tympana are painted with (a) an escallop and swags; (b) the arms of Gorges with two male supporters, and (c) the arms of Hilliard with two female supporters; the ceiling has moulded panels with an acanthus-boss. On this floor and in the attics are a number of fireplaces (Plate 53) with moulded surrounds and the first-floor rooms have a certain amount of panelling. The N.E. room has a panelled ceiling with enriched mouldings, scallop-shells and foliage of various types. The ceiling (Plate 111) of the middle room is panelled and has an oval wreath of fruit and foliage in the middle panel with cherubs in the spandrels; the side panels have acanthus-scrolls and poppy-sprays. The ceiling of the S.E. room has an oval central panel with enriched mouldings and a wreath of fruit and flowers; in the angles are round panels with wreaths of laurel and oak. The ceiling of the N.W. room has a quatre-foiled central panel with guilloche and acanthus enrichment, and foliage sprays and wreaths in the angles. The ceiling of the S.W. room has a central oval panel with enrichments and a wreath of fruit and flowers; the end-panels have foliage wreaths, and on the N. and S. sides are acanthus-bosses.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and with tile or slate-covered roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(4). Eye Court Farm, house, two tenements, and outbuildings, about 50 yards N.W. of the church. The House is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. The N. wing was built, probably late in the 16th century, and the W. wing was added in the 17th century. The N. wing is largely faced in brick and the lower part of the W. wing is stone-faced.
The Barn, W. of the house, and the Stable, adjoining the house on the N., have been refaced in brick.
b(5). House, now three tenements, on the W. side of the lane at Moreton, 550 yards E.N.E. of the church, has a cross-wing at the E. end. The upper storey projects at the S. end of the cross-wing on curved and enriched brackets.
b(6). Cottage, 100 yards S. of (5).
b(7). Cottage, on the S. side of the lane, 120 yards E. of (6), has a thatched roof.
b(8). Moreton Farm, house, 60 yards N.E. of (7) and 700 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and was built c. 1600.
b(9). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 200 yards N. of (8).
b(10). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 50 yards N.W. of (9).
b(11). Cottage, on the E. side of the lane, 190 yards W.N.W. of (10), and 700 yards N.E. of the church, was built probably late in the 16th century.
b(12). House and smithy, on the W. side of the road at Ashton, about 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the church, has modern additions at the N., S., and W. sides.
b(13). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 90 yards S. of (12).
b(14). Lower Ashton Farm, house and outbuildings, 70 yards E. of (13). The House is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. and with large modern additions on the W. It has been partly refaced in brick.
The Stable, E. of the house, has an original six-light window with diamond-shaped mullions. The Barn, N. of the house, is partly of rubble and has a wrought-iron weather-vane with a crowned lion.
b(15). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 150 yards S. of (13), has a thatched roof.
b(16). Cottage and shop, on the E. side of the road, 100 yards S.S.E. of (15).
b(17). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 100 yards N. of (12).
b(18). Cottage, 20 yards N. of (17), was built c. 1600. It has a chimney-stack dated 1766.
a(19). Upper Ashton Farm, house, on the E. side of the road, 1¼ m. N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The W. wing only is old.
a(20). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 50 yards N.N.W. of (19), has a thatched roof.
a(21). Castle Ground Farm, house, over 1½ m. N.E. of the church, was built of brick, c. 1700, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. It incorporates some early 16th-century moulded beams.
a(22). Upper Ashwood Park Farm, house, 370 yards E. of (21).
a(23). Ashwood Park Farm, house and barn, 2¼ m. N.E. of the church. The House was built c. 1600 on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.W. and N.W. The Barn, S. of the house, is weather-boarded.
b(24). Earthworks (Plate xxviii), called Camp on O.S., S. of Lower Ashton Farm and 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the church, consists of an irregularly shaped platform with two mounds upon it. The platform rises at most 10 ft. above the surrounding ground. The larger mound is about 35 yards square and has an average height of 3¾ ft. The smaller mound, to the S.E., is circular, 15 yards in diameter and 3½ to 4 ft. high. To the N. of the platform are traces of a small ditch and bank terminating at the W. end at a circular sinking. Following the boundary on the E. and N. sides of the adjoining field are remains of scarping and a length of moat or pond, now dry. The works are probably mediæval.