33 HUMBER (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XX, N.W., (b)XX, S.W.)
Humber is a parish 4 m. S.E. of Leominster.
Risbury Camp is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands on the W.
side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble and tufa with dressings of the same materials; the
roofs are tiled. The Chancel was built late in the 12th or
early in the 13th century, and the Nave may be of the
same date though there is little evidence of this; the
earliest detail is of the 13th century. The West Tower
was added probably in the 14th century and late in the
same century the South Porch was built. The church
was restored in 1876–78 when the North Transept was
added; the Tower was restored in 1884, and the top
The timber S. porch is of interest.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32 ft. by
14¾ ft.) has, in the E. wall, two restored and slightly
pointed windows of c. 1200, with a round window
above, enclosing a modern quatrefoil. In the N. wall
are three slightly pointed windows of c. 1200. In the
S. wall are three windows, the two eastern similar to
those opposite and the third modern; the restored
doorway is of c. 1200, and has chamfered jambs and
two-centred head. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (33 ft. by 18 ft.) has, in the N. wall, a
modern arch; further W. is a modern window; the
blocked N. doorway is of the 13th century, with
chamfered jambs and two-centred head. In the S.
wall are three windows each of one trefoiled light and
all modern except parts of the jambs; the 14th-century
S. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head.
The West Tower (9 ft. square) is of three storeys
divided into two stages externally; the two lower
storeys are of the 14th century, but the top storey is
modern. In the ground storey the narrow tower-arch
has a plain segmental-pointed head; in the W. wall is
a window of one trefoiled light, partly modern
externally. The second storey has in the N. and S.
walls a window of one ogee-headed light; the N.
window is modern externally.
The South Porch (Plate 42) is of late 14th-century date
and of timber on dwarf stone walls. The outer entrance
has heavy side-posts, curved braces and a lintel which
forms two foiled openings with the principals and a
central post; the barge-boards have traceried panelling;
the roof is in two bays with moulded double plates, a
tie-beam truss against the N. wall and a collar-beam
truss in the middle; the wind-braces are cusped.
The Roof of the chancel has three tie-beams with
king-posts and foiled struts, the lower ends of the
principals being also foiled to correspond; it is
probably of the 14th century, with added mouldings
and struts to the tie-beams.
Fittings—Bracket: In chancel—on E. wall, square
moulded stone shelf, probably 15th-century. Font
(Plate 56): bowl of scalloped octagonal plan, cut down,
with cable-necking, 12th-century, lower part and stem
modern. Monument: In chancel—on S. wall, to Oliver
Hughes, rector, 1671, slate and freestone tablet (Plate
67), with scrolled sides, entablature, broken pediment
and shield-of-arms. Panelling: In chancel—on E. wall,
high dado, late 17th-century. Piscina: In chancel—
recess with chamfered jambs and multifoiled head,
round drain, early 14th-century. Plate: includes a cup
and cover-paten, the former with the date 1669 and
the names of the churchwardens. Pulpit (Plate 70):
modern but incorporating two sides of late 17th-century panelling, with half-balusters and two panels
with enriched arches. Table: In W. tower—with
turned legs, late 17th-century, top modern.
Condition—Good, much restored.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed and with tiled or slate-covered roofs.
Most of the buildings have exposed external framing
and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(2). Barn, at Humber Court, about 100 yards E.
of the church, is of one storey and partly of stone.
It is of four bays with a corrugated-iron roof.
Risbury Camp in the Parish of Humber
a(3). Cottage, 220 yards N.E. of the church, is partly
of late 16th-century date. The S.W. half is a rebuilding
or addition of the 18th century. The central chimney-stack has three diagonal shafts.
b(4). Upper House and outbuilding at Risbury, over
1 m. S. of the church. The House is of L-shaped plan
with the wings extending towards the W. and N. It
has been largely re-faced in brick and is partly of three
storeys. The Outbuilding, E. of the house, and on the
other side of the road, consists of two barns, each of
b(5). Lowbrook, house, 220 yards E.N.E. of (4).
Set in the pavement is part of a cast-iron (?) slab with
a cable edging and the raised letters T.C.
a(6). Gatehouse, house and barn, 120 yards N.E. of
(5). The House is mainly of stone. Two doorways
have old frames and one has an original door of
moulded battens. The Barn, S. of the house, is of
Condition—Of house, poor.
b(7). Little Maidenhyde, house on the S. side of the
road, 2 m. S.E. of the church, has an 18th or early
19th-century addition on the S. side. The lower
windows on the N. and E. have original moulded
a(8). Risbury Camp, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church,
occupies the summit of a small flat-topped knoll (400 ft.
above O.D.), the levelling of which may be partly
artificial. The work including the defences occupies
an area of about 28 acres, the enclosure itself being
about 8½ acres.
The defences, which follow the natural contours,
consist, on the northern part of the W. side, of two
ramparts with a medial ditch. At the foot of the outer
rampart is a disused millrace which may possibly incorporate an original outer ditch. On rounding the N.W.
corner, the outer rampart becomes lower and its top
gradually widens and attains the form of a berm; the
ground, having become less steep, a further ditch and
outer rampart were introduced; on reaching still flatter
ground, as the N.E. corner (Plate 2) was reached, a
third ditch again with an outer rampart was added.
These outer ramparts have been much destroyed and in
places now consist of little more than scarps. On the
E. side (Plate 1) the defences consist of the high inner
rampart with its ditch, as before, beyond which are two
wide berms with a medial ditch, the whole terminating
in two more ramparts again with a medial ditch. On
approaching the S.E. angle, the inner berm is terminated
by a cross rampart and the outer berm by a scarp; beyond
this the southern defences consist of the inner rampart
and ditch and two terraced berms, with an outer rampart
to the lower one. There are, however, traces which
suggest that there may have been an outer rampart to the
inner ditch and a small rampart on the S. side of the upper
berm. There are two entrances, the main one (Plate 2)
being a little to the S. of the middle of the W. side.
Here the inner rampart is very slightly turned inwards
on each side of the opening and on the S. there is a
scarped berm between the inner ditch and outer rampart,
forming a long protected approach. Between the berm
and the outer rampart there is a cutting giving entrance
to the outer defences, the entrance dying out against a
slight bank with a rough ditch on its S. side; these, however, are very probably later if not actually modern. The
second entrance (Plate 2) is near the middle of the E.
side and consists of a straight-cut opening in the inner
rampart and one rather to the S. in the outer rampart;
considering the comparative elaboration of the W.
entrance and that the W. is also the less accessible side, it
seems doubtful if the E. entrance is original, at least in its
present form. The condition of the inner rampart is
good and of considerable height, rising 15 ft. above the
level of the enclosure, but the outer ramparts when
they become more numerous on the slightly sloping
E. half have become flattened out. When last opened
on the W. side the rampart was found to contain a dry
built stone wall faced externally (Woolhope Club
Condition—Fairly good, partly planted as an orchard
and the inner rampart planted.