An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 1, South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.
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3 ALLENSMORE (C.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXIX, N.W., (b)XXXIX, S.W.)
Allensmore is a parish 4 m. S.W. of Hereford. The church, Allensmore Court and Cobhall Farm are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew, stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of rubble with ashlar-dressings all of local red sandstone; the roofs are covered with slates. The earliest detail in the church is the late 12th-century S. doorway of the Nave, with the adjoining part of the wall. The church, including the Chancel and nave, was largely re-built in the 14th century. The West Tower was added late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. The church was restored in 1880 when a former gallery was removed; the North Vestry and South Porch are modern.
Amongst the fittings the painted glass and the inlaid floor-slab are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (30¾ ft. by 21ft.) is of c. 1320, and has an E. window of four trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the gable-cross is perhaps original. In the N. wall is a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a cusped spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further E. is a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two windows similar to that in the N. wall. The re-tooled chancel-arch is two-centred and of two continuous chamfered orders.
The Nave (53½ ft. by 23 ft.) has in the N. wall three windows, the easternmost similar in date and detail to the side windows in the chancel; the middle window is of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights with partly restored vertical tracery in a restored segmental head; the westernmost window is modern; further W. is the blocked 14th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern similar to the correspond ing window in the N. wall; the western is a large early 14th-century window of three trefoiled ogee lights with tracery consisting mainly of a large sub-cusped trefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the head of the window is carried up into a small gable rising above the eaves; the western part of the wall is of late 12th-century date and contains the S. doorway; it has a round head of two moulded orders, the inner continuous and the outer formerly springing from detached shafts of which only the decayed base of the E. shaft remains; the order is now supported on much later corbels.
The West Tower (15½ ft. square) is of late 15th or early 16th-century date, and of two stages with an embattled parapet and four shaped gargoyles below the parapet-string. In the E. wall of the ground-stage is a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head; above it, on the E. face is a recess with a chamfered segmental head, perhaps the rear-arch of a former W. window. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights in a flat segmental-pointed head with solid filling. High up in the N. and S. walls of this stage are small loop-lights. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two lights with plain segmental heads.
The Roof of the chancel is probably of the 14th century and is of trussed-rafter type with moulded wall-plates. The roof of the nave is of similar date and character partly restored.
Fittings—Chairs: In chancel—two, one with turned front legs, enriched rails, shaped arms, back with arcaded and enriched panel and scrolled cresting, early 17th-century; second chair with turned and twisted legs, carved and turned stretchers, carved and shaped arms, back with turned and twisted side posts, carved rails and styles and an open carved panel in the middle, late 17th-century. Chest: In vestry—with panelled front and back, fluted top rails, plain lid, late 17th-century. Churchyard-cross: S. of nave—on three steps, portion of octagonal shaft, surmounted by 12th-century capital, probably from S. doorway. Coffin-lid: In nave—with incised foliated cross, early 14th-century. Glass: In E. window—in tracery, jumble of fragments of grisaille, borders, fleur-de-lis, etc., but with two figures (damaged) one holding scroll inscribed, "Ave gratia plena," also a crucifix; late 13th or early 14th-century; at top Jacobean cartouche with shield-of-arms (? later). Monuments and Floor-slab: Monuments: In chancel—on E. wall, (1) to Richard Grumor (?), 1702 (?) freestone tablet with foliage, cherub-head and cartouche-of-arms; on S. wall, (2) tablet with oval panel and bay-leaf border, surrounded by scrolls, two cherubs at top and cartouche-of-arms, inscription defaced, late 17th-century. In nave—on N. wall, (3) to William Buean, jun., 1695–6, shaped tablet. In churchyard—S. of nave, (4) to Thomas Baugnal, 1706, headstone with cherub-head and foliage; (5) to John Webb, 1712, headstone; (6) to Charles Penock, 1714, headstone with cherub-head; (7) to John Thomas, 1714, and Mary his wife, 1714, double headstone with enriched borders; (8) to Mat (?) Garet (?) 1705. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Sir Andrew Herl, and Joan his wife, stone slab (Plate 41) inlaid with marble figures of man in armour, basinet, camail, jupon, etc., feet on lion, woman in long gown and feet on dog, canopy over each figure with cinque-foiled head, central and side shafts, inscription at bottom in French, ten shields-of-arms (a) Herl; (b) a fesse between three sheldrakes with a crescent on the fesse for difference for Herl; (a) Pauncefote; (d) b impaling c; (e) as b but with a molet for difference; (f) as c; (g) a bend with a label gules for difference; (h) as b but without crescent; (i) a raven; (j) Verdon of Ewyas (?), late 14th-century. Piscina: In chancel—recess with chamfered jambs and cinque-foiled head, octofoiled drain, rebate for shelf, 14th century. Plate: includes beaker-shaped cup with two bands of strap-ornament, moulded base with cableornament, 17th century, given in 1821, also a pewter plate. Pulpit: of oak (Plate 58), octagonal with bands of carved strap-work to base and enriched cornice above, sides each with enriched arcaded panel, coupled Doric columns at angles on pedestals and supporting an entablature with a deep enriched frieze and cornice, early 17th-century, some modern repair. Miscellanea: In tower—two fragments of painted terminals, probably from a 17th-century monument.
a(2). Meer Court, farmhouse and moat, 1¾ m. W. of the church. The house is of two storeys, partly timber-framed with brick nogging and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It is of 17th-century date and L-shaped on plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and S.W. Low modern additions have been built on the S.W. end of the S.W. wing and on the N.E. side of the S.E. wing; the building has been altered both internally and externally. Inside the building some of the rooms have chamfered beams and exposed joists in the ceilings.
The moat lies to the S.W. of the house and is fragmentary; the S.W. arm and a few feet of the return S.E. side are wet.
Condition—Of house, good.
b(3). Allensmore Court, house, 560 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of brick; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The house was built c. 1714, on a rectangular plan, fronting the S.E. and with two one-storey angle-wings projecting towards the N.W. from either end of the N.W. front. Early in the 19th century a large block was added on the front of the house and a large billiard-room has been built on to the N.W. side of the S.W. projecting wing. Later one-storey additions have also been made on the N.W. side of the N.W. projecting wing and on the N.E. side of the main building.
The elevations of the original building appear to have been symmetrically designed. The walls have a stone base, and there were stone quoins at the angles of the front of the house; the roof of both the main block and the low projecting wings are hipped and have wooden modillioned cornices at the eaves. The windows have segmental heads and hung sashes, and there are flat-topped dormer windows in the roof. The original front elevation is entirely covered by the later front addition. The two side elevations of the original main block have two rectangular projecting chimneystacks each panelled on all sides above the eaves-level; the tops have been re-built; on the face of one of the stacks is a stone panel inscribed "I.P. 1714." The back elevation, which now fronts the kitchen courtyard, has, between the small projecting blocks, a small raised terrace, originally surmounted by a wrought-iron railing with ornamental standards, but only part of the railing now remains. The windows on this front have been re-arranged, and both it and the N.E. side are now partly covered by the later additions; two old lead rain-water pipes with shaped heads remain. Inside the building, one of the rooms on the ground-floor is lined with early 18th-century panelling, in two heights with bolection-moulded panels, moulded skirting, dado-rail and cornice. The panelled doors have bolection-moulded architraves and the fireplace has a bolection-moulded surround, pulvinated frieze and moulded shelf. The original plaster ceiling has in the middle a circular wreath of flowers, fruit and foliage modelled in high relief, and the four L-shaped moulded panels which surround it enclose branches of oak and laurel leaves. The room in the S.W. angleblock is lined with early 17th-century panelling which suggests that the building may stand on the site of an earlier house; a two-panelled 18th-century door covers one of the windows. The kitchen has two moulded beams in the ceiling. On the first floor two of the bedrooms have early 18th-century fireplaces with moulded surrounds, friezes and cornice-shelves. In the attic are several original two-panelled doors, and one of the windows retains an old lead casement.
a(4). Cobhall Farm, house and barn, on N.E. corner of cross-roads, nearly 1 m. W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and cellars to the S. wing; it is partly of timber-framing with brick nogging and partly refronted with brick; the roofs are covered with modern slates and tiles. Subsequent alterations have somewhat obscured the plan and character of the original building, which appears to have been of late 15th or early 16th-century date and is incorporated in the northern end of the existing house. This earlier part of the building is T-shaped on plan with the cross-wing at the N. end. The cross-wing was extended eastward early in the 17th century, at which date a large block was added to the S. end of the house. The S. and W. walls of the S. block were fronted with brick at a later date and outbuildings have been added on the E. side of the N. wing. Modern alterations include the addition of a room on the N. side of the S. wing and E. of the original house and alterations to the W. end and N. side of the N. wing and to the roof. The S. wing is gabled at either end; the N. wing is gabled on the E. and the roof is hipped at the W. end. On the W. front to the ground floor of the middle block is a slightly projecting window inserted early in the 17th century; it is of four mullioned and transomed lights with moulded mullions and transoms and modern pedimental head; the lights are filled with leaded glazing and retain one old metal casement. Immediately above is a modern window with an old projecting sill supported on a shaped bracket. Farther N. is an early 17th-century doorway with a moulded frame with carved stops. Covering the doorway is an early 17th-century porch incorporating earlier material. The angle-posts at the entrance are moulded and have on the front faces small attached semi-circular shafts and on the return outer faces small semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals; the head of the entrance is four-centred with a lintel above, over which are flat-shaped balusters under a weather-boarded gable; the lower parts of the sides are closed, the upper parts are open and with flat-shaped balusters in two ranges. The central chimney-stack rises above the roof on a stone base with the upper part of brick; the top has been re-built. Inside the building, on the ground-floor, the W. room in the S. wing has the ceiling divided into nine panels by moulded cross and longitudinal beams. The room, except for a small length of the N. wall, is lined with early 17th-century panelling, and has a carved frieze of conventional dolphins and ornamental roundels; below the beams are pilasters, the upper parts of which are fluted. The overmantel to the fireplace is divided by carved Jacobean caryatides into three bays with round arched panels having ornamental arches and pilasters and foliated spandrels; above the arches is a carved frieze of conventional enrichment below an upper frieze of dolphins divided into two panels by carved brackets. The entrance-hall in the E. side of the S. wing has the ceiling divided into six panels by moulded beams. Other rooms have chamfered beams in the ceilings, and the middle room in the N. wing has a stop-chamfered beam and exposed joists laid flat. The side walls of this room have the timber construction exposed, and in the E. wall are three doorways with flat four-centred heads; only the middle doorway is now open and the framing to the S. doorway is considerably damaged. The joists are also exposed in the room adjoining on the E. On the first floor the westernmost bedroom in the S. wing has the ceiling divided into three parts by chamfered beams on which have been run plaster cornices; each panel has a lozenge-shaped central panel enriched with cherub-heads, and in the cornices of the main panels are fleurs-de-lis. The roof over the S. wing is divided into five bays by collar-beam trusses with struts from the tie-beams to the principal rafters, and king-posts above the collars in the alternate trusses.
The Barn stands to the S.E. of the house and is of early 17th-century date. It is in five bays and has a stone base, above which the end walls are of brick and timber-framing, and the side walls of timber-framing covered with weather-boarding or filled between the framing with interlacing slats; the roof is covered with modern roofing material; the roof-trusses are of the queen-post type alternating with those having braced tie-beams and rafters; all the trusses have braces from the wall-posts to the tie-beams.
Condition—Of house, good.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, and of two storeys, timber-framed with brick nogging; the roofs are covered with modern slate or tiles. Many of the buildings have old stone chimney-stacks with brick shafts and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
a(5). Church House, 30 yards S. of the church, has been enlarged by extending it towards the S. A low modern addition has been built on the W. side. The E. and W. walls have been largely refronted in brick, and the later S. wall is of stone.
a(6). Wood Street Farm, house, 200 yards N.E. of the church, is an 18th-century brick house which has been added on the front of part of a 17th-century building. The earlier part consists of two gabled wings extending towards the N.E. and connected by a smaller but taller gabled block; the northernmost block is largely of stone. Inside the building the kitchen has an old stone fireplace with chamfered jambs and has been partly filled in.
a(7). Cottage, on S.W. side of the road, 180 yards W. of the church, has lean-to modern additions at the back and on the N. end.
b(8). Cottage, standing back from W. side of the road, 1400 yards W. of the church, has a later addition on the N.W. side. The S.W. wall is entirely of stone.
b(9). Cottage, on N. side of cross-roads, 540 yards S.W. of (8), is of two storeys with a cellar. The roof is thatched.
b(10). Cottage, on E. side of road, 800 yards S.W. of (9), is of late 17th or early 18th-century date.
b(11). Cottage, at N.E. corner of roads, immediately S. of (10), is of late 17th or early 18th-century date.
b(12). Winnal Court, house, 980 yards S.E. of (11), is built on an irregular T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end. This wing is of early 17th-century date and is of two storeys with a cellar and attics. The S.W. wall has been refronted with stone. The N.E. wing is of stone and was added or re-built later in the 17th or early in the 18th century. At the N.E. end of the N.E. wing is a stone stable, and a two-storey granary was added in the 18th century on the S.E. end of the S.W. block. Inside the building the principal room on the ground-floor of the S.W. block has the ceiling divided into six panels by moulded cross and longitudinal beams. The N.E. and N.W. walls are lined with early 17th-century panelling; in the former wall are two original doors, each hung on two old hinges, but now blocked, and in the latter wall is an original doorway with stop-chamfered jambs and head. The smaller room in the S.W. block also has a moulded ceiling-beam and early 17th-century panelling lining two of the walls; an original door in this room is hung on two strap-hinges. The staircase in the S.W. block has a central octagonal newel and an original doorway on the first floor with chamfered jambs and head.
b(13). Whitehouse Farm, cottage, 100 yards S. of (12), has been largely altered, added to and partly refronted in brick in modern times.
a(14). Little Cobhall, cottage, 100 yards N.N.W. of (4), is probably part of a central-hall type of house of 15th-century date. It is now T-shaped on plan with the cross-wing at the S.E. end, the N.W. wing representing the former hall which was originally open to the roof. Late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, an upper floor was inserted and a stone chimney-stack was built at the N.W. end of the hall. The former wing at the N.W. end of the hall has been demolished, the house has been largely refronted in brick, and modern work includes a lean-to addition on the S.E. side of the building and a porch on the S.W. side of the hall. Both ends of the remaining cross-wing are gabled as is the N.W. end of the N.W. wing, the eaves of which are at a much lower level than those of the S.E. wing. Inside the building, on the ground-floor, later partitions have been inserted in the original hallblock; in the ceiling is a stop-chamfered beam and exposed stop-chamfered joists. Springing from the N.E. wall is a heavy shaped bracket below the central roof-truss over the hall, which, from the remains of the timber-construction seen in the end gable, appears to have been of a single hammer-beam type. In the roof-space above are the principal rafters of this truss with the mortices for other members of the truss which have now gone; the truss supports side purlins which are strengthened with curved wind-braces. In the ceiling of one of the ground-floor rooms in the S.E. wing the heavy exposed joists are laid flat. The other room has a chamfered ceiling-beam.
a(15). Mawfield Farm, house, barn and stables, 500 yards N. of (14). The House is built on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. It may date from late in the 15th century, but was considerably altered early in the 17th century, when the whole of the central block appears to have been re-built. The walls have been partly refronted with later brick, and a later addition has been built on the E. end of the N. wing. The W. or front elevation is carried up in four gables; the lower parts of the two end wings have been refronted in later brick. The main chimney-stack which rises from the middle of the building on the N. side of the S. wing is of early 17th-century date; it is of brick and rectangular on plan with V-shaped ribs projecting on each side. The back of the central block has been entirely refaced with later brick as has the whole of the S. side of the building above the stone base. The projecting wings are gabled on the E. front. Against the S. wing is a stone projection covering the kitchen oven; it has a stone-slate pent roof. Inside the building the ground-floor room in the middle hall-block has been divided into compartments by inserted partitions; in the ceiling are moulded beams of early 17th-century date. The stair-case to the N.W. of this room is of the same date; it has an original newel with a shaped top and a moulded hand-rail. Other rooms in the end wing have exposed beams and joists in the ceilings; the exposed joists in the middle room of the S. wing are of heavy section and are laid close together. On the first floor, in the ceilings of the bedrooms in the central block are early 17th-century moulded beams and one bedroom in the S. wing has a similarly moulded beam. One bedroom in the S. wing has an early 17th-century fireplace with square jambs and a chamfered lintel. The roof over the N. cross-wing is in four bays with two trusses with shaped braces below the collar; below the purlins were shaped wind-braces, but some of these are now missing.
The Barn stands to the S.E. of the house and has a stone base with a timber-framed superstructure with brick nogging and interlacing slats in the panels; the roof is of stone-slates. It is L-shaped on plan with the main arm in four bays.
The Stables stand to the E. of the house and are of two storeys. The walls have a stone base and are timber-framed with brick nogging to the lower storey and weather-boarding to the upper storey; the roofs are covered with stone-slates.
a(16). Cottage, on W. side of road, 750 yards W.N.W. of (15), has a stone-slate roof. The back is weather-boarded.