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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50 MOCCAS (B.b.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXII, N.W., (b)XXXII, S.W.)
Moccas is a village and parish 9½ m. W.N.W. of Hereford. The church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels (Plates 187, 188) stands on a mound near the right bank of the Wye. The walls are of coursed and squared local white calcareous tufa with some sandstone dressings; the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built about the second quarter of the 12th century and is still complete except the W. wall, which may have been re-built. A S. porch was added in the 14th or 15th century.
The church is of interest as a complete 12th-century building, and among the fittings the 14th-century monument and glass are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Apse (12½ ft. by 12 ft.) has a chamfered plinth and string-course below the window-sills. The three windows are original and have jambs and splays of two orders, round heads, chamfered imposts to the splays and cheveron-ornament on the rear-arches. The apse-arch is semi-circular and of two orders, the inner plain and the outer enriched with cheveron-ornament; the responds, of two plain orders, have chamfered imposts.
The Chancel (19 ft. by 16½ ft.) has in the N. and S. walls a late 13th or early 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights, and a trefoil, all with soffit-cusping, in a two-centred head, with a moulded label; the heads are partly restored. The chancel-arch is semi-circular and of two orders, both enriched with cheveronornament, set flat on the inner and on edge on the outer order; the responds of two plain orders have moulded imposts with diapered enrichment.
The Nave (35 ft. by 22 ft.) has, in both the N. and S. walls, two windows, the eastern is of early 14th-century date and of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with moulded labels; the western is a single round-headed 12th-century light; there are in both walls remains of another pair of original windows, to the W. of the existing eastern windows; the N. doorway, now blocked, is of early to mid 12th-century date, and has a round arch with cheveron-ornament and a moulded label, enclosing a tympanum with much-decayed carving of scrolled ornament and a beast; the jambs are of two orders with an attached shaft on each side with moulded bases, capitals carved with foliage or pointed scallops and hollow-chamfered abaci. The S. doorway (Plate 194) is generally similar to the N., but the capitals differ in design, and the label, with cheveron-ornament, is modern; the tympanum is carved with human figures and beasts flanking a central stem from which spread crude scrolls. High up in the W. wall is an original window of one round-headed light, and on the W. gable is a stone bell-cote with two openings, of uncertain date.
The South Porch is of timber and mostly modern, but incorporates 14th or 15th-century chamfered wall-plates and a tie-beam.
The Roofs are modern and have flat wooden ceilings; at the W. end of the nave is an oak truss, presumably for a former bell-turret; it has a tie-beam, curved struts and wall-posts. At the E. end of the nave is an old tie-beam.
Fittings—Bells: two, inaccessible but perhaps mediæval, one of 13th-century form. Chair: In chancel—with turned front legs, shaped arms, back carved with conventional foliage and cresting with carved beasts, etc., mid 17th-century. Chest: In chancel—of oak and of hutch-type with moulded edge to lid, iron straps and hinges and two locks, 17th-century. Coffin-lids: In churchyard—against N. wall of nave, with remains of cross, ornamental design on one edge, early 13th-century; S. of nave, with much weathered cross and diapering, late 12th-century. Font: round bowl with round chamfered base on modern stem, 12th or early 13th-century. Cover, of oak, with top divided into triangular panels, acorn-shaped knob in middle, 17th-century. Glass: In chancel—in N. window, in two lights, elaborate tabernacle-work including small figures in yellow robes, holding square standards with the arms of Freneyes; in trefoil in head of window, miscellaneous fragments. In S. window (Plate 92), in trefoil in head, shield-of-arms of Freneyes with helm and two green birds. In nave—in easternmost window in N. wall, in upper part of each light tabernacle-work and figures with standards similar to those in the N. chancel-window; in quatrefoil above, shield-of-arms of Freneyes, helm with mantling and green birds; in corresponding S. window, similar quatrefoil. All glass, early 14th-century. Monuments: In chancel—(1) altar-tomb and effigy (Plate 50) of c. 1330; effigy in armour with feet on lion, cyclas open below waist and showing scaled hawberk, and above knees the fringe of a quilted gambeson, broad sword-belt and strap round neck, supporting shield on left side, broken prick-spurs; altar-tomb with moulded capping and chamfered base enriched with pateræ on sides and ends quatre-foiled panels each enclosing; a blank shield; effigy slightly restored and altar-tomb probably original. In churchyard—against N. wall of chancel, (2) to Philip Bowcot, 1701, head-stone with side-shafts and pediment; S. of nave, (3) to Thomas Jones, early 18th-century head-stone. Piscina: In apse—double recess with moulded jambs and cinque-foiled ogee heads, eastern with octofoiled drain, western with plain shelf, hooks for fixing shutters in jambs, 14th-century. Scratchings: On N. and S. windows of nave, series of lines representing numbers and for setting the jamb-stones in position.
a(2). Moccas Castle (Plan, p. xxxvi), ¾ m. S.W. of the church, consists of a roughly oval court enclosed by remains of a ditch and with a subsidiary scarp within the area. At the E. end is a very small motte with a ditch between it and the bailey. The area, including the defences, is about 2¼ acres.
a(3). Lower Moccas Farm (Plate 19), house, 680 yards E.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of timber-framing and brick on stone foundations; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The S. wing dates from late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and the N. wing from later in the 17th century. The W. and E. faces of the S. wing have some closelyspaced timber-framing; at the S. end of this wing and in the N. wing the timbering is more widely spaced with square panels of brick infilling. The doors and windows are modern. Inside, the building has been much modernised; there are some exposed ceiling-beams; the staircase has a plain handrail and turned oak balusters.
b(4). New House Farm (Plate 19), house, 1,100 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered, and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built late in the 16th century, but the W. wing was burnt down in modern times and the rest of the house has been restored or partly re-built. The N. front has the main part gabled; the upper storey projects, with curved brackets under the angle-posts. The lowest storey is plastered and painted to represent the original timber-framing which apparently remains beneath the plaster. The upper part has the original timbers exposed. The window frames are modern, but there is an original door of nail-studded battens with ornamental strap-hinges. The square stone chimney-stack is set diagonally and grooved to represent four shafts. The fireplace on the W. side is exposed and has an oak lintel 28 in. deep. The lower storey on the W. side is of stone, and the upper of timber-framing with modern brick infilling. The E. side is timber-framed with plaster infilling. Inside the building, there are some exposed beams, and one retains the groove for the top of the lower part of the former S. wall which was re-built without the original overhang. There is an oak staircase leading to the attics which are entered by an old battened door. The heavy roof-timbers are exposed in the attics.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of one storey with attics; the walls are timber-framed, with plaster or brick infilling, and some have stone foundations; the roofs are covered with stone slates.
a(5). Smithy, house and forge, at the cross-roads, ½ m. S.S.W. of the church, is an L-shaped building with later stone additions.
b(6). Cottage, two tenements, in Woodbury Lane, 250 yards S.S.W. of (5), has a central chimney-stack with two diagonal stone shafts. Much of the old plaster infilling has been replaced by modern brick.
b(7). Woodbury Farm, house and farm buildings, about ¼ m. S.S.W. of (6), has a tiled roof and a central stone chimney-stack with a modern shaft. The lower storey of the N. front is of sandstone.
South of the house there is an L-shaped building of two storeys, the lower of stone and the upper of timber-framing, partly plastered and partly weather-boarded. N. of the house there is a timber-framed barn on stone foundations; the lower part is weather-boarded and the upper part has interlaced oak slats. Farther W. there is a similar barn, and between the two barns an open cartshed, possibly later in date, with four round, stone columns supporting the roof.
a(8). Cottage, ½ m. S.S.W. of the church and 50 yards W. of (5), on the S. side of the Moccas-Bredwardine road, has a heavy stone chimney-stack at one end.
a(9). Cottage, 820 yards W.N.W. of (5), on the N. side of the Moccas-Bredwardine road, has a similar chimney-stack to (8).
a(10). Farm building at Cross End Farm, ¾ m. W. of the church and ¼ m. N.W. of (9), is of two storeys, the lower of sandstone and the upper of timber-framing. The lower storey on the W. front has a range of open windows with diagonal posts or bars. At the N. end is an external flight of stone steps leading to the loft.
a(11). The Cottage (Plate 22), ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church, on the S. side of the road, has a stone chimney-stack with off-sets and an 18th-century or later brick top.
a(12). Cottage, near the village school, about 600 yards S. of the church, has two chimney-stacks similar to above.
a(13). Cottage, close to (12), has two chimney-stacks similar to (11).
Much Birch, see Birch, Much.
Much Dewchurch, see Dewchurch, Much.