St. Margarets

Pages 225-227

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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59 ST. MARGARETS (B.c.).

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

St. Margarets is a parish 10 m. W.S.W. of Hereford. The principal monument is the church.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret (Plate 93) stands towards the S. end of the parish. The walls are of shaly rubble with local sandstone dressings; the roofs are covered with slates and stone slates. The church may date from the 12th century or earlier, but the only evidence of this is the chancel-arch. The earliest feature of the nave is the S. doorway which may be of the 13th century. The Chancel was perhaps re-built in the 14th century. The bell-turret appears to have been largely reconstructed. The South Porch has recently been re-built.

The rood-loft is an unusually complete survival and is richly carved.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (22½ ft. by 15 ft.) has an E. window, of uncertain date and of two square-headed lights. The N. wall has no openings, but in the N.E. internal angle is a projecting offset against the E. wall, 3½ ft. long and of uncertain significance. In the S. wall is an early 14th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights. The chancel-arch, probably of the 12th century or earlier, is semi-circular and of one square order with rough chamfered imposts; the wall has been thickened on the W. face, probably in the 17th century; N. of the arch, on the E. face, is the lower entrance to the late 15th or early 16th-century rood-loft staircase; it has a square head.

The Nave (38½ ft. by 21 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows, the eastern of 15th or early 16th-century date and of two square-headed lights with casementmoulded jambs; the western window is modern and replaces the former N. doorway, the straight joints of which are visible in the wall below the sill. In the S. wall is one late 16th-century window of two square-headed lights, with moulded jambs and mullion; the S. doorway, perhaps of the 13th century, has jambs and two-centred arch of one plain square order of undressed stones. Across the W. end of the nave is a wall supporting the square stone bell-turret; this wall has a doorway with a square head, and the outer W. wall has a small rectangular light set fairly high up. The stone turret has a timber super-structure, weather-boarded externally.

The Roof of the chancel is of braced collar-beam type and probably of the 14th century; it has rough wall-plates, a plain tie-beam against the W. wall, and a modern tie-beam in the middle of the chancel. The early 16th-century roof of the nave is of five bays with braced collar-beam trusses, the braces forming a segmental arch; under the fourth truss from the E. is a moulded tie-beam, and there are three modern tie-beams; the wall-plates are moulded and embattled; the roof has a modern boarded soffit with hollow-chamfered fillets planted on, some of which are original.

Fittings—Chairs: In chancel—two of similar character, with turned front legs, carved rails, shaped arms, panelled and carved backs with scrolled cresting, early to mid 17th-century. Chest: In tower—with panelled front and lid, moulded uprights, chest reconstructed and lid in two parts with three strap-hinges, mid 17th-century. Communion Rails: with moulded upper and lower rails, heavy turned balusters and square posts with turned tops, c. 1630. Door: In nave— in S. doorway, of battens with modern furniture, 17th-century; re-set on back, large 14th or 15th-century trefoiled head. Font and Cover: octagonal bowl with moulded upper and lower edge, plain stem and chamfered base, 14th-century. Cover, of oak, pyramidal with panelled sides, moulded terminal and enriched band at base, 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—E. of chancel, (1) to Peter Prichard, 1694–5, slab with enrichment of lozenges, etc., S. of chancel, (2) to Margery, daughter of William Prosser, 1698, table-tomb with enriched slab; (3) to Isiah, son of William Prosser, 1699–1700, table-tomb, with re-cut inscription. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to . . . . ., 1664. In nave—(2) to H.P., 1698. Paintings: In chancel—flanking E. window, painted texts in black on white ground, within a marbled border, 18th-century. In nave—over S. doorway, similar text in black border; on soffit of rear-arch of S. doorway, the words "Go and sin no more," 18th century. Panelling: In nave—re-set as dado on E., N., and S. walls, some 17th-century panelling. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1618, with band of ornament round bowl of cup. Recess: In nave—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head, 13th or 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Screen: (Plate 195) At E. end of nave—consists of a panelled loft supported on two posts; the posts are semi-octagonal on the W. face, each of the sides having applied bands, carved with running ornament; at western angles are remains of small buttresses, and at top of each post the semi-octagonal face is cut back to form a niche with crocketted and pinnacled canopy; the loft-front is simply panelled, with moulded muntins and moulded upper and lower rails, both the latter enriched with running vine and other foliage and brattishing; the soffit of the loft is slightly coved and is divided into panels by moulded ribs with bosses at the intersections, carved with foliage, lion and human faces, interlaced knot, a cross on a shield, etc.; at the base of the cove is a cornice carved with running oak-foliage and finished with brattishing, late 15th or early 16th-century, recently restored.



b(2). White House, house and barn, nearly 1¼ m. N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of plastered timber-framing and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built in the latter half of the 16th century, but the southern end was taken down early in the 19th century and a taller stone wing erected in its place. At the same time the N. and W. elevations were re-built in stone and the interior remodelled. The E. front has three gables with projecting barge-boards enriched with carved pattern of interlacing half-circles and supporting apexposts with turned finials and pendants. On the ground floor are one six-light and two five-light transomed windows, the frames of which project in front of the general wall-face and have chamfered sills and moulded cappings. On the first floor are three similar five-light windows, and in the gables are one three-light and two four-light windows, the latter are low and without transoms. The first-floor windows have been re-set as have probably also those on the ground floor. In the W. wall one old window of five transomed lights remains. Inside the building in most of the ceilings are plastered beams, but in the kitchen the beams are exposed and stop-chamfered. The doorway to the kitchen has some re-used panelling on the reveals. A room on the first floor has an early 18th-century fireplace with a bolection-moulded surround and cornice. The staircase (Plate 62) is original but has been re-set; it has square newels surmounted by pierced and shaped finials, moulded and pierced splat-balusters and modern strings and hand rail. In the new wing is a re-set overmantel with moulded base and dentilled and enriched cornice; it is divided into two bays by panelled pilasters; in each bay fluted pilasters with moulded imposts support round arches with enriched archivolts and foliated spandrels; the panels have conventional ornament of vine and acorns, but each has since been covered by a painting of a bust of a man with landscape background and a globe in the sky. The panels are inscribed respectively "Tibi arrideo" and "Pro te fleo," while below is the motto "Vanitas, vanitatis." Standing loose in the study is a portion of a moulded panel-rail inscribed "Karka dy Ddiwedd 1574"; it is said to have come from St. Margaret's church. Re-set in the walls of the modern conservatory is a pair of stone lockers with moulded jambs and trefoiled heads, and probably of 13th-century date.

The Barn, N.N.W. of the house, is timber-framed with wattled filling. It was built in the 17th century and is of seven bays divided into three compartments.


b(3). Barn, at Tanhouse Farm, 50 yards W. of the church, is of 17th-century date and of weather-boarded timber-framing on a stone base; the roof is covered with stone slates. In the E. end are three square-headed doorways with heavy oak frames opening into a chamber below the main barn. Inside the building the barn is divided into five bays by queen-post roof-trusses.


Monuments (4–6)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of late 16th or early 17th-century date and of two storeys. The walls are of stone rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates. Some of the buildings have old chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

c(4). Fair Oak Farm, house, about 1 m. S. of the church, is a comparatively modern building incorporating, as a N. wing, a small early 17th-century house, the gables of the E. and W. walls of which were abolished and the walls heightened when the later extension was built. Inside the original building are two old doorways with battened doors hung on strap-hinges.

b(5). Tre-Cadifor, house and barn, 1¼ m. N.W. of the church. The House is a rectangular building, the middle block of which is original, with N. and S. extensions of late 17th or early 18th-century date; the N. extension is a two-storeyed stable with the rubble walling laid dry. There are several original windows with chamfered oak frames and rough stone labels. Inside the building, the original doorway, on the E. side of the chimney-stack, has heavy oak posts and lintel with a slot for a draw-bar in the chimney-breast. The original staircase on the opposite side of the chimney-stack has windows of oak baulks. The partition on the N. side of the main living-room is original, and is of wide oak posts and narrow panels.

The Barn, E. of the house, has been extended at either end. The middle part is of three bays and is probably of the same date as the house; it was probably originally timber-framed but the walls are now of dry stone rubble.

a(6). Coed-poath, house and barn, on the E. side of the road to Urishay Common, 1 m. W.N.W. of (5). The House is of two storeys with attics, and has later additions on the E. and W. sides. In the N. wall are the remains of an early 17th-century window, originally of six lights with moulded oak frame, transom and mullion, but the two easternmost lights are blocked. On the ground floor is the opening for a similar window. Inside the building, the ground-floor rooms have moulded ceiling-beams. The doorway between the house and the E. addition has an old plank door hung on strap hinges, and there is a similar door to the staircase. There is a 17th-century four-panelled door in the S. room. The Barn, S.W. of the house, is of 17th-century date and of six bays, entered by three doorways in the S. wall, each of which has a heavy oak frame.


b(7). Two Earthen Banks, in Park Wood, nearly ½ m. S.E. of the church, about 2½ ft. high and 16 ft. wide, forming a cross, with the arms approximately 65 yards and 50 yards long respectively. There are signs that the arms turned at right angles at their extremities.


b(8). Mound, in field, about 600 yards E.N.E. of the church, oval on plan about 52½ ft. at its longest and 50 ft. at its shortest diameter. It stands between 10 ft. and 5 ft. high above the surrounding land. There has been some removal of soil from the S.E. scarp.


b(9). Enclosure, on hillside, 70 yards S.W. of (2), is roughly rectangular, measuring approximately 9 yards by 7 yards internally and surrounded on the N.W., N.E., and S.E. sides by a ditch, while on the S.W. side in place of the ditch is a berm with a scarp cut in the hill-side.