25 EWYAS HAROLD (B.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLIV, S.W., (b)XLIV, S.E.)
Ewyas Harold is a parish and village on the W. side
of the Golden Valley. The church and castle are the
b(1). Parish Church of St. Michael and All
Angels (Plate 93), stands in the village. The walls are
of rubble with ashlar dressings, all of local sandstone;
the roofs are covered with stone slates and tiles. The
Chancel and West Tower are perhaps of mid 13th-century
date. The E. wall of the chancel was re-built at some
uncertain period. The church was restored in 1868,
when the Nave and chancel-arch were re-built, an arch
inserted in the E. wall of the tower, in place of a former
doorway, and the Vestry and South Porch added. The
tower was repaired in 1899.
The arch in the S. wall of the tower is an unusual
feature, and among the fittings the tomb and effigy in
the chancel are noteworthy.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft. by
20 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is
a modern doorway to the vestry. In the S. wall are
three windows; the easternmost and westernmost are
13th-century lancet-windows; the middle window is
of early 14th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights
with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head; the
jambs are moulded and the head has been restored.
The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (51¾ ft. by 24¼ ft.) is modern, except for
parts of the E. and W. ends and the thick base to the
N. wall, showing internally as a broad offset below the
The West Tower (12½ ft. square) is of three stages
of mid 13th-century date; it has a deep splayed plinth,
capped by a moulding, and there is a string-course at the
base of the top stage; the tower is finished with a
pyramidal roof. There is a modern archway in the E.
wall of the ground-stage; in the S. wall is a 13th-century archway, two-centred and of two splayed
orders, the outer continuous with moulded stops, and
the inner springing from semi-circular responds with
restored moulded capitals and weathered 'hold-water'
bases; the label is continued round the arch from the
capping of the plinth; above the arch is a window of
two pointed lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred outer order with a chamfered label; this
window was formerly in the second stage which was
approached by a short corridor from the stair-turret, in
the thickness of the W. wall; the doorway has been
removed and the opening blocked. The existing low
second stage has in the S. wall a window of one slightly
trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has in the E. and
N. walls a window of two pointed lights with detached
shafts to the jambs and mullion, having moulded capitals
and bases and a plain chamfered outer order with a two-centred head. In the S. wall is a similar window, but
of three lights and with shafts to the outer order in
addition. There is no window or opening in the W.
wall of the tower.
The Roofs of the chancel and nave are of trussed-rafter type, and though considerably restored are
partly of 13th or 14th-century date.
Fittings—Chairs: In chancel—two, one with turned
front legs and arm-posts and curved arms, 17th-century,
panel in back modern; the other modern, except the
carved and panelled back. Churchyard Cross: part of
square to octagonal base with broach-stops, an octagonal
platform of three steps, octagonal shaft with broachstops, probably old, 14th or 15th-century, restored
1868, and cross-head modern. Coffin-lids or slabs: in
chancel—(1) by vestry doorway, part of head of slab,
with incised cross, mediæval. In vestry—(2) on E.
wall, broken slab with elaborate cross-head of eight
floriated arms in sunk circle; in middle of circle two
birds, 13th-century; (3) loose, part of tapering coffin-lid with moulded edges and head of a cross in low
relief with four foliated arms, 13th-century. Communion Table: modern, but incorporating a number of
bands of rich vine-ornament in oak, late 15th or early
16th-century. Monument and Floor-slabs: Monument:
In chancel—in N. wall, recess with moulded and
double-shafted jambs and moulded segmental-pointed
arch, cusped on the soffit and with a chamfered label
and head-stops of a man and a woman in a wimple and a
third head, perhaps of a bishop, at the apex; in recess,
slab with effigy of woman in high relief, with draped
head-dress and wimple, holding heart in hands and with
feet on crouching lion, early 14th-century. Floor-slabs:
In chancel—(1) to . . . bert, Par . . ., 1636; (2) to
. . . eman . . . 16 . .; (3) to . . ., 1699–1700. Panelling: In chancel—portions of enriched panelling with
moulded styles, made up with modern work, on dado
and in one desk, also in small cupboard in vestry, 17th-century. In nave—on side walls, dado made up of
late 16th and 17th-century pews. Plate: includes a
stand-paten of 1707, inscribed on back C.L. 1721, and
given in 1846 to Dulas church. Pulpit: of oak, two
sides only with two ranges of carved panels and enriched
styles and rails, ornament consisting of conventional
foliage, intersecting and interlacing bands, etc., early
17th-century. Reredos: modern, but incorporating a
length of vine carving as on communion-table, and
four carved panels (a) figure of Christ with inscription
"Ihs Christus Salvator"; (b) Christ before Caiaphas,
with inscription "Und se ferden Jesus nach Kaiefas";
(c) Christ before Pilate, with inscription "Und se
brachten Jesus zu Pilatus"; (d) Faith with a cross and
book, 17th-century, German. Seating: Incorporated
in modern bench-ends and desks in nave, a number of
carved panels of various sizes and designs probably
from former seating of the 17th century, the plainer
parts of which are re-set in the dados (see Panelling).
b(2). Ewyas Harold Castle, motte and bailey
earthwork, 300 yards W. of the church, occupies the
end of a spur running out from the W. side of the
valley. A castle was built here before the Conquest,
but this was replaced by the castle of William Fitz
Osbern before the Domesday survey (V.C.H.
Hereford, I, 337).
The castle is a remarkable example of a motte and
The motte (Plate 1) is nearly circular, being 79
and 74 yards in diameter at the base; it is divided
from the base of the spur on which it stands by a
ditch and rises 42 ft. above the bottom of this ditch
and 50 ft. above the bailey to the E. The bailey is
kidney-shaped and is defended on the outer side by
a steep scarp with a shallow ditch at the base; on
the N. side are remains of a rampart. There is no
ditch between the bailey and the motte. There are
now two or perhaps three entrances to the bailey
formed by overlaps of the scarp; the original entrance
was probably that on the N. The area, to the S. of
the bailey, has a scarp and bank along its S. side, and
is said to have been the site of the Priory, a cell of
the Benedictine abbey of Gloucester, founded about
1100. A second scarp and a sunken track occupy the
adjoining field on the W.
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 stone or modern slates. Some of the buildings
have old chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(3). Bridge Farm, house, granary and barn, 260
yards S.E. of the church, forms an L-shaped block with
wings extending towards the S. and W. Much of the
timber-framing is exposed, especially in the W. wing,
containing the granary and barn.
b(4). Upper Prill, range of cottages on the S. side of
the road, 290 yards S.W. of the church, now forms one
house. It has been much modernised, but re-set in the
N. wall are two stones dated 1674 and 1753 respectively.
b(5). Pen-y-lan Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m. S. of the
church, is built of stone, on an L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the E. and S. The E. wing
was perhaps extended in the 18th century. Inside the
building is an original moulded ceiling-beam.
a(6). Hill Farm, house about 1 m. S.W. of the
church, has been largely re-built in rubble. The original
timber-framed N. wall is covered by a later addition.
a(7). Cwm Barn, 600 yards N.W. of (6), is of three
bays, weather-boarded. It has modern additions at