12 BREINTON (A.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXIII, S.W., (b)XXXIII, S.E.)
Breinton is a parish on the N. bank of the Wye,
immediately W. of Hereford. The church, Warham
Court and Breinton Camp are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands on the
S. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs
are slate-covered. The Nave may date from the 12th
century as indicated by the W. doorway and two
buttresses on the S. wall. The Chancel was perhaps
re-built early in the 14th century. The church was
drastically restored in modern times when the chancel
was entirely and the nave largely re-built, the N. arcade
built, and the North Aisle, North Vestry and South
Porch were added.
Among the fittings the communion table and painted
wooden tablet are of interest.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21¼ ft. by
17¼ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a
modern arch, and farther E. a 14th-century window
of one trefoiled ogee light. In the S. wall are two
14th-century windows each of one trefoiled ogee light.
The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (48½ ft. by 21 ft.) has a modern N. arcade.
In the S. wall are two windows and a doorway, all
modern. In the W. wall, N. of the axis, is a late 12th-century doorway with roll-moulded jambs, round head
and moulded label; above it is a round-headed window
of doubtful date, and a small modern opening still higher
up. Above the W. end is a modern timber bell-cote
with an octagonal broach spirelet.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st inscribed in Lombardic
capitals "Ave Maria gratia," probably 14th-century;
2nd inscribed in Lombardic capitals "Ave Maria
grasia plenas," probably 15th-century. Chest (Plate
45): In N. aisle—boarded chest with iron bands and
straps, iron extensions as legs and two carrying rings,
17th-century. Communion Table (Plate 50): In N. aisle
—with richly carved bulbous legs having Ionic capitals,
carved upper rails, moulded lower rails on feet, late
16th-century. Monuments: In N. aisle—loose, (1) to
Captain Rudhall Booth, 1685, painted and framed
oak panel (Plate 63) with achievement-of-arms. In
churchyard—E. of vestry, (2) to Katherin, wife of Major
John Booth 163, and to John Booth, 1690, slab
with round-headed panels. Plate: includes a cup of
1641, with baluster-stem.
Condition—Good, largely re-built.
b(2). Warham Court (Plate 25), over ¾ m. E.S.E. of
the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and with
stone-slate and slate-covered roofs. The N. wing is of
16th-century or earlier date and probably formed part of
a larger house, of which the lower S. wing possibly
represents the original one-storeyed Hall; its existing
features, however, indicate a 17th-century date, and so
do those of the addition on the W. side. The original
wing has exposed and close-set timber-framing; the
stone chimney-stack has two 17th-century brick shafts,
set diagonally. Inside the building are some exposed
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 timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(3). Barn, 200 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of
L-shaped plan and partly weather-boarded. It incorporates earlier timbers. The roof is partly of corrugated
a(4). Barn, at Pigeon-house Farm, 270 yards N.W.
of the church, is of five bays and of a single storey,
a(5). Barns, at Breinton Court, 350 yards W.N.W.
of the church, flank the approach to the house. Both
have been converted to various purposes and have
a(6). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, ¾ m. W. of the
church, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. The
lower storey is of stone.
a(7). House (Plate 30), now three tenements, ¾ m.
N.W. of the church, is perhaps of 15th or early 16th-century date, but retains little evidence pointing to an
earlier date that the 17th century. Inside the building
the outlines of a heavy original cambered tie-beam can
be seen. The staircase in the N.W. angle has late
17th-century turned balusters.
a(8). Upper Hill Farm, house and barn, 1,060 yards
N.N.E. of the church. The House has a roof of stone
slates and is of irregular plan with 18th-century and
later additions on the S. and N. The E. end of the
house forms a cider-mill. The Barn, S. of the house, is
a(9). Breinton Camp (229 ft.) is situated on the edge
of the bluff overlooking the River Wye, 60 yards S.W.
of the church. It consists of a low roughly oval
mound (Plan, p. xxvi) with flat top and traces of an
inner rampart. There is an outer ditch on the E. side
which continues round the N. and W. sides; but the
S. side, abutting on the slope to the river, was sufficiently guarded by the steep natural scarp. An old
sunken trackway, 30 yards W. of the mound, leads
down to the ford which previously existed at this point.
The site was excavated and described in the Transactions of the Woolhope Field Club for the year 1922.
Beneath the rampart "two parallel walls 18 in. high"
were found. The original depth of the ditch was
6 ft. 6 in. below the present level.