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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4 BACTON (B.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXVIII, S.W., (b)XLIV, N.W.)
Bacton is a small parish on the W. side of the county 10 m. S.W. of Hereford. The principal monument is the church.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Faith, stands in the southern half of the parish. The walls are of sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material and of a local sandy limestone; the roofs are covered with slates. The church dates from early in the 13th century, and the W. wall, and possibly portions of the N. and S. walls of the Nave, are of that date. Late in the 15th century the church was largely re-built and lengthened, and further work was done in the following century when the nave and chancel were re-roofed. The West Tower was added probably shortly after 1573, when £5 was left for its erection by Symond Parry. The church was restored in 1894, when the E. wall was re-built, and the South Porch and Organ Chamber were added. In 1907 the W. tower was restored.
Among the fittings the mediæval cup and cover paten, the Elizabethan altar-cover and the monument to Blanche Parry, a maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has in the modern E. wall a re-set 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the lower lights are separated from the tracery by a transom at the level of the springing of the head. In the N. wall is a partly restored late 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with pierced spandrels in a square head and a shaped oak lintel, in place of a rear-arch; further W. is a modern recess for the organ. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is similar to the window in the N. wall and the western is of late 14th-century date, and of two ogee cinque-foiled lights in a square head; the late 15th-century doorway between the windows has moulded jambs and four-centred head. There is no structural division between the chancel and the nave.
The Nave (34¾ ft. by 17¼ ft.) has in the N. wall two windows; the eastern is of late 15th-century date and of two lights similar to the window in the N. wall of the chancel, but with a partly restored mullion; the western window is of late 14th-century date, probably re-set, and of two lights, similar to the westernmost window in the S. wall of the chancel; to the E. of the eastern window is a small square-headed doorway opening into the rood staircase, and in the upper part of the wall is a similar doorway giving access to the former rood-loft. In the S. wall are two late 15th-century windows similar to the window in the N. wall of the chancel; the late 15th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred head.
The West Tower (11½ ft. by 10¼ ft.) is of late 16th-century date, and is of two storeys, undivided externally, with a slightly battered plinth and an embattled parapet; at the angles of the parapet are plain water spouts, but only the spout at the S.E. angle is old. The tower is covered with a low pyramidal roof. In the E. wall, opening out of the nave, is a re-set early 13th-century doorway with keel-moulded jambs and obtuse pointed arch; it is probably the original W. doorway reversed; above it is a 13th-century lancet-window with a round rear-arch. In the S. wall are two small square-headed lights, one above the other and between these is a recessed rectangular panel with a chamfered stone surround and modern filling. In the W. wall is a single small light with a modern head. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window, each of two lights with chamfered jambs and elliptical heads.
The Roof of the chancel is of late 15th-century date with moulded and embattled wall-plates and small carved angels, mostly old, above them; it is of pointed barrel-form and is ceiled with modern boarding which probably covers the old timbers. The roof of the nave is of arched and braced-rafter type, and has moulded and embattled wall-plates similar to those of the chancel roof and retaining painted quatrefoils and other traces of colour at the E. end; the roof is of late 15th-century date, and has been boarded in, but the boarding is now removed.
Fittings—Altar-frontal: now enclosed in glass case on N. wall of nave, several pieces of white silk fabric worked with intricate designs, in green and other coloured silks, of sprigs of flowers and foliage and numerous beasts, birds, insects, monsters, boats, etc., said to be the work of Blanche Parry, Elizabethan. Bells: four; 3rd by A. Rudhall, 1710. Font: plain round bowl and stem with moulded base, 13th-century. Glass: A glass panel representing Blanche Parry, formerly in this church, was removed to Atcham, Shropshire, in 1811. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against N. wall (1) of Blanche daughter of J. Parry, Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth, wall-monument (Plate 82) in white stone and alabaster, with effigy of the maid-of-honour wearing flat cap with veil behind, high collar with small ruff, full gown with tight-fitting bodice and sleeves with ruffs round wrists, ribbon with cross pendant round neck, holding in right hand an egg-shaped (? scent) box and kneeling before figure of Queen Elizabeth, crowned and dressed in usual close-fitting corsage, full skirt, ruff, mantle over shoulders, jewelled collar, orb in right hand, left hand broken, but probably originally holding sceptre; on tail of mantle reclines a small lion. The figures are placed within an arched recess flanked by Corinthian columns supporting entablature with shield of the Royal Arms within a garter above, the whole standing on a base divided by panelled pilasters into three panels with quartered achievement-of-arms of Parry in middle panel, and lozenges of same arms in side panels. Inscription at back of recess. In nave—on S. wall (2) of Alexander Stantar, 1620, and Rachel (Hopton), his widow and wife of Lewis Thomas, 1663, mural monument of freestone with figures of man holding skull in hand, and wife clasping book, both in costumes of the period retaining traces of colour, kneeling in recess with central and flanking Doric shafts supporting entablature with achievement and two shields-of-arms above. Floor slabs: In W. tower—(1) to Thomas Rogers, 1706, and Abigail his wife; (2) to . . . of Rachel Thomas, 1644; (3) to . . . daughter of John Pitt, 1648. Piscina: In chancel—recess with chamfered two-centred head, projecting drain in form of scalloped semi-octagonal capital, late 12th or early 13th-century. Plate: includes a 15th-century chalice (Plate 56), with hemispherical bowl, hexagonal stem, knop with leopard's head in each face, spreading base with pierced foot at each angle; on base engraved crucifix and the words, John and Caputt (?) in black-letter, also paten, of same date, with sex-foiled sinking enclosing an engraved head of Christ. Recess: In nave—E. of S. doorway, plain rough recess, possibly intended for a stoup. Seating: In chancel—on either side, bench with desk in front, with plain seats to benches, moulded top rails and elbow standards with half popey-heads. Desk on N. side with popey-head standards and front panelled in seven bays, six with trefoiled ogee heads and traceried spandrels, second from E. end with cinque-foiled head, all cusp points with rosettes or foliated ends. S. desk, similar, with front panelled in six bays, with trefoiled and sub-cusped ogee heads and all probably late 15th-century, repaired.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, and of two storeys. The roofs are covered with stone-slates or modern slates. Inside the buildings some of the rooms have exposed and chamfered beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
b(2). Cottage, 25 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It is partly timber-framed and in modern times has had the N. and S. walls re-built in stone and brick respectively. Later additions have been made on the E. and N. sides. On the W. side is a projecting chimney-stack which is original up to the weathered offset.
b(3). The Dingle, farmhouse, 570 yards W.S.W. of the church, is timber-framed with brick nogging on a stone base. It was built probably in the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The E. wing was lengthened in the latter part of the 17th century. An addition has been built on the W. side of the house and the brick nogging is modern.
b(4). Paradise, cottage, 70 yards S.S.W. of (3), is timber-framed with plaster infilling except the S. wall and the re-built W. wall, which are of stone. Adjoining the N. end is a derelict barn, most of the weather-boarding of which has been stripped from its walls.
b(5). Upper House Farm, farmhouse and barn, 500 yards W.S.W. of (4). The House was largely remodelled in the 18th century, and modern additions have been made at the W. end. A doorway in the W. end of the S. front has an original moulded frame and the porch has some re-used shaped brackets to the hood.
The Barn, S.W. of the house, is partly timber-framed and partly of stone. It is in five bays with a modern extension at the W. end. Below the two westernmost bays is a basement E. of which the barn has been reduced in width. In the E. gabled wall are three doorways to the basement each with a chamfered oak frame.
b(6). Tremorithic, farmhouse and barn, nearly 1 m. S.W. of the church. The House is partly of two storeys with attics and partly of one storey with attics. It appears originally to have been of timber-framed construction, but was remodelled late in the 18th century, when the external walls were refaced or re-built with stone and the southern end of the house was heightened. Later additions have been built at the S. end of the house. Set in the S. wall is a stone inscribed T.L. 1785.
The Barn adjoins the N. end of the house and is in four bays. It is of timber-framing with modern weather-boarding and has a stone base.
b(7). Pen-tŵyn, farmhouse, ½ m. S.E. of the church, is of one storey with attics. The walls are timber-framed with brick infilling on a stone base, except the S. wall, which is of stone. There are extensions on the N. and W. of the building. The exposed timber-framing is in square panels.
a(8). Barn at Newcourt Farm, W. of the railway, about ¾ m. N. of the church, is of two storeys. It is timber-framed with brick nogging or weather-boarding. It has been extended towards the S.E. in modern times and has some modern partitions inserted inside the building. The house has been almost re-built, but incorporates in the base of the outside walls some walling of an earlier house, possibly of 16th-century date. Inside the building a doorway to a cupboard in one of the ground-floor rooms incorporates portions of two panels carved with conventional ornament of late 16th-century date.
Condition—Of barn, poor.
a(9). Fortified Enclosure (Plan, p. xxxiv), 180 yards S.W. of (8), consists of an irregular triangular enclosure about ⅓ acre in extent, protected on two sides by a largely natural double scarp with a berm between, and on the third or western side by a ditch and inner rampart. Within the easternmost angle of the enclosure is a small mound with a sinking on its top.