Pages 161-164

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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Kingstone, the Parish Church of St. Michael

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXVIII, N.E., (b)XXXVIII, S.E., (c)XXXIX, S.W.)

Kingstone is a parish and village 6 m. W.S.W. of Hereford. The church and Kingstone Grange are the principal monuments.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands in the middle of the parish. The walls, except those to the W. end of the nave which are faced with ashlar, are of local sandstone rubble with worked dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The Nave dates from the early or middle part of the 12th century, but the only original feature remaining is the S. doorway. Late in the 12th century a North Aisle was added and an arcade of two bays was inserted in the N. wall of the nave; the E. bay of the arcade was inserted in the 13th century. The chancel was re-built and the North Chapel was added early in the 13th century. In the second half of the 13th century the North West Tower was built at the W. end of the N. aisle which was at the same time widened. The nave was extended westward c. 1330, to as far as the W. wall of the tower. The S. wall of the chancel was re-built in 1762. Modern work includes the rebuilding of the parapet and much of the upper part of the N.W. tower, when the church was partially restored in 1842, and a complete restoration of the building in 1889–90.

The arrangement at the meeting of the arches (Plate 8) of the arcades of the chancel and nave with the chancel-arch and W. arch of the N. chapel is unusual, and among the fittings the font, the 13th-century 'dug-out' chest and the well-carved coffin-lid in the N. aisle are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (24½ ft. by 17¾ ft.) has a modern E. window. The N. arcade (Plate 8) is of early 13th-century date and in two bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the central circular pier has a capital carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage incorporating a carved head on the W. side (Plate 8) and a mutilated 'hold-water' base; the E. respond has stop chamfered angles, and, carrying the inner order of the arch above, a corbel (Plate 8) carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage and supported on a carved head; the W. arch springs, on the W. side, from a circular pier with the capital carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage incorporating a king's head on the W. side, and with a mutilated moulded base; the outer order of the arch is stopped about 3 ft. above the pier, on each side, by a moulded corbel with a tapering end; these corbels also carry the outer orders on the E. side of the chancel-arch and W. arch of the N. chapel respectively.

The S. wall was re-built in 1762; in it are two re-set windows, the eastern of late 13th-century date and a single trefoiled light with a modern rear-arch, and the western of c. 1330 and of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the internal sill is modern. The chancel-arch is of early 13th-century date, and is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; on the N. side the arch springs from the circular pier taking the western arch of the chancel arcade; on the S. side is a square respond supporting the outer order, and the inner order is carried on a semi-octagonal moulded corbel with two carved 'stiff-leaf' corbels below, the one above the other.

The North Chapel (23½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1330, of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two lancet windows, the western one of which has a modern sill. Between the N. chapel and N. aisle is a 13th-century arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the inner order is carried on the N. side by an attached semi-octagonal shaft with a crude moulded capital, probably of later date; on the S. side the inner order is carried on the pier at the junction of the chancel and nave arcades, and the outer order is stopped above the springing on moulded corbels with tapering ends.

The Nave (51¾ ft. by 20¼ ft. at the E. end, widening to 20¾ ft. at the W. end) has a N. arcade of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders carried on circular piers, and a semi-circular W. respond with scalloped capitals and hold-water bases with much worn spurs at the angles and square chamfered sub-bases; the two western arches are of late 12th-century date, but the eastern arch was added in the 13th century, when the eastern respond was completed to form a column; this is indicated by the different working of the scallops on the two sides which form the capital, by the different treatment of the halves of the base and also by the slightly different colour of the later stones on the E. side of the column; at the E. end of the arcade the E. arch springs from the pier between the chancel and nave-arcades, and the outer order being carried on moulded corbels with tapering ends set a few feet above the springing of the main arches. In the S. wall are three windows; the easternmost is of late 13th-century date and of two trefoiled lights grouped together under a two-centred moulded label; the two other windows are each of early 14th-century design and each of two ogee trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the westernmost is original, with a modern mullion and restored label, but the middle window appears to be entirely modern though a few of the jamb-stones may be old; the S. doorway is of early to mid 12th-century date and has plain square jambs and a semi-circular head with chamfered imposts. The partly restored window in the W. wall is of c. 1330, and of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the doorway, below the window, is of the same date and has jambs and two-centred arch of two orders, the inner chamfered and the outer moulded, with a restored moulded label.

The North Aisle (32½ ft. by 19½ ft.) has in the N. wall two partly restored early 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a trefoil in a two-centred head with soffit-cusping and internal and external moulded labels; the western window is modern externally; between the windows is a blocked doorway the lines of the jambs of which are visible externally, and those of the splays and rear-arch internally.

The North-West Tower (about 12 ft. square) is of mid to late 13th-century date, and has been considerably restored and much of the upper part re-built. It rises off a battered plinth, without break to a modern embattled parapet, and has modern quoins to the upper part. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders with a chamfered label on the E. side; the inner order is carried on semi-octagonal responds with mutilated capitals; the two outer orders on the E. side are continuous, and on the W. side stop against the side walls of the tower. The N. doorway is modern, but above are the upper parts of the splays and rear-arch of an old window. In the S. wall of the ground storey is a single light window with a trefoiled head and an internal rebate for a shutter; it was blocked when the nave was lengthened in the 14th century. In the W. wall is a similar window, open and with a chamfered label, but externally it is entirely modern except perhaps the keystone. The second stage has in the N. and also in the W. wall a single lancet; the head of the N. window is modern as are also the head, jambs and sill of the W. window. The bell-chamber has in each wall a modern two-light window of 14th-century design.

The Roof of the N. chapel is probably of c. 1500, and is of the trussed-rafter type with curved braces and a moulded central purlin running the whole length of the roof. The roofs of the nave and N. aisle are of similar type and perhaps of earlier date, with a central moulded purlin below the collars; all three roofs have modern boarding and wall-plates and the central purlin of the nave is also modern.

Fittings—Chest: (Plate 28) at E. end of N. aisle— long 'dug-out' chest with coped lid in two divisions each hung on two iron hinges with shaped ends and strengthened with piece of ornamental iron-work; front bound with later and modern iron straps, 13th-century. Coffin-lid: against N. wall of N. aisle—at W. end, with hollow chamfered edge ornamented with round studs and foliated head of cross cased within circle at top of slab, foliated head to top of shaft and super-imposed on shaft, shield with a fesse and a label of five points, late 13th-century; 17th-century inscription cut across middle of shield (see Floor-slabs). Churchyard Cross: in churchyard—W. of church, square base only with upper part of angles splayed off to an octagonal plan with sinking for shaft, mediæval. Below modern cross, S. of above, two steps, square on plan with angle splayed off upper one, probably mediæval and belonging to old base. Communion Table: in N. chapel—of oak, with turned legs, moulded rails and edge to top, late 17th-century. Font: with irregular circular bowl of breccia on short, moulded stem, perhaps a re-used capital, base of freestone, probably 13th-century on modern step. Floor-slabs: in chancel—(1) to Clement Clarke, 1656; (2) to "Anne wife of Richd . . . . and lastly wife of Morgan . . ." surnames and date destroyed, 17th-century. In N. chapel—(3) to Miles Parry, 1693, also to Elizabeth his daughter, 1719, decayed stone slab with border of conventional leaves and shield-of-arms; (4) to Elizabeth (Leinthall) wife of Richard King, Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, 1699; (5) to Joan Parry, 1690, portion of slab only; (6) small slab with incised cross on three steps and arms of fleur-de-lis form, small heart at junction of head and shaft, probably 13th-century; (7) portion of slab with incised cross formed by quarter circles terminating in finials and enclosing a quatrefoil; remains of black letter inscription, hidden by large cupboard placed above it, 15th-century. In N. aisle—at W. end, (8) with inscription cut on mediæval coffin slab (see Coffin-lid) to John Parry, 1689; (9) to Mary, daughter of William Williams, 1714. Locker: in N. chapel—in E. wall, plain rectangular. Piscina: in N. chapel—with chamfered jambs, two-centred head and circular drain, 13th-century. Recess: in N. aisle—in N. wall—for tomb, with stop chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head, 13th or 14th-century. Plate: includes a plain cup, without date-letter, second half of the 17th century. Sundial: in tympanum in head of easternmost window of S. wall of nave—incised dial, mediæval.

Condition—Good, considerably restored.


b(2). Kingstone Grange (Plate 18), house and outbuildings about ¾ m. S. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are timber-framed and plastered, on a stone base; the roofs are covered with slates. It was built c. 1600 on an E-shaped plan with the wings projecting towards the S.E. and a projecting staircase wing on the N.W. side. There is a modern addition at the N.E. end. The S.E. front has exposed timber-framing, except the three gables which are tile-hung. The central porch is of two storeys with moulded posts and lintel and shaped brackets under the moulded bressummer of the projecting upper storey. The inner doorway has a moulded frame and eight-panelled door, both original. The back elevation has exposed timber-framing throughout, and a gable at each end. At the S.W. end of the house is a large stone chimney-stack. Inside the building, the hall has original moulded ceiling-beams, forming six panels; the cupboard under the staircase has an original panelled door; the doorway on the S.W. side has a moulded frame; above the fireplace is a frieze of arabesque panels. The drawing-room is lined with original panelling and has moulded ceiling-beams. The rooms in the N.E. wing have chamfered ceiling-beams. On the first floor, the room over the drawing-room is lined with early 18th-century panelling, with cornice and dado-rail and incorporating some earlier work. The fireplace has an early 18th-century moulded surround and shelf. Other rooms have some original panelling and moulded or chamfered ceiling-beams. The early 18th-century staircase has turned balusters, straight strings and square newels.

The Outbuilding, N. of the house, is of two storeys and of stone timber-framing and brick. It was built early in the 17th century. The Barn, N.E. of the house, is timber-framed and weather-boarded. It is probably of 17th-century date and is of five bays with queenpost trusses. The Barn, E. of the house, is also timber-framed and weather-boarded. It is of three bays and was built in the 17th century.


Monuments (3–13)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys or one storey with attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are covered with stone slates or modern materials. Most of the houses have exposed ceiling-beams and timber-framing.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

c(3). Cottage, at Grithill, about 1 m. S.S.E. of the church, has brick filling to the timber-framing. The back portion is probably an 18th-century addition.

c(4). Cottage, at Arkstone Common, about ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church.

a(5). Whitehouse Farm, house on the W. side of the road, 200 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the E. end. The timber-framing is partly exposed.

b(6). The Old Vicarage, on the N. side of the churchyard, has later additions on the N. and E. sides.

b(7). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 80 yards S.W. of the church, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date, with modern additions on the N. and E.

b(8). Bull Ring Inn, at the N. angle of the crossroads, 140 yards S.W. of the church, is partly of two storeys with cellars and attics. It is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end. The cross-wing has been refaced with brick, and there is a large modern addition on the N.W. side of the house.

b(9). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road, 30 yards W. of the cross-roads, was built probably early in the 16th century, but has been much altered. It has a cross-wing at the E. end which contains original moulded ceiling-beams. The lower main block was perhaps the original Hall.

b(10). Cottage, two tenements, 100 yards W.N.W. of (9), has low modern additions on the S. and E. A doorway in the S.E. end has an original door of nail-studded battens with strap-hinges.

b(11). White Cottage, ¼ m. S.W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century and has modern additions on the S. and W.

b(12). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 140 yards W. of (11), has a thatched roof.

a(13). Cottage, at Coldwell, on the S.E. side of the road, 700 yards N.W. of the church, has a modern addition at the N.E. end.

Little Birch, see Birch, Little.

Little Dewchurch, see Dewchurch, Little.