Dewchurch, Much

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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'Dewchurch, Much', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 1, South west, (London, 1931) pp. 48-52. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


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

Much Dewchurch is a large parish 6 m. S.S.W. of Hereford. The church and the Mynde are the principal monuments.


c(1). Parish Church of St. David, stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of sandstone-rubble, mostly coursed, and the dressings are of sandstone and limestone; the roofs are covered with stone slates, tiles and shingles. The Chancel and Nave were built early in the 12th century. The West Tower was added in the 13th century. About 1370, the South Porch was added. The church was restored in 1877, and the North Vestry and Aisle are modern.

Much Dewchurch, the Parish Church of St David

Architectural Description—The Chancel (21½ ft. by 20¼ ft.) has a late 14th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and modern stops. In the N. wall is a modern arch, and to the E. of it is a 12th-century window of one small round-headed light. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 13th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights with a circle in a two-centred head, with a moulded label; the mid 14th-century western window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; between the windows is a 15th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head; immediately W. of the western window is the W. jamb of a 13th-century doorway, destroyed when the window was inserted. The early 12th-century chancel-arch has a round arch of two square orders; the responds, built mostly of tufa, are of the same section as the arch and have plain chamfered imposts.

The Nave (42 ft. by 25¼ ft.) has in the N. wall a modern arcade of two bays; further W. is an early 12th-century window of one round-headed light with an external head, perhaps re-cut. In the S. wall are three windows, the two easternmost are of early 14th-century date, and of two cinque-foiled lights with a cusped spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the eastern window is set in a recess, probably for a former altar; the westernmost window is a single round-headed light of early 12th-century date; the early 12th-century S. doorway has a plain lintel of three stones with joggled joints; above it is a recessed semi-circular tympanum filled with square stones; the E. end of the S. wall has been re-built and the rest of the wall, E. of the porch, set back from the original line and refaced.

The West Tower (16¼ ft. by 15¾ ft.) is of the 13th century and of two stages with a moulded plinth and a pyramidal saddle-backed roof with modern dormer-windows. The two-centred tower-arch is of three continuous chamfered orders. In the S. wall is a window of one lancet-light. The 14th-century W. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with defaced head-stops; it is now fitted with a modern window. The second stage has in the E. wall a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The N., S. and W. walls have each a lancet-window similar to that in the stage below.

The South Porch is of c. 1370, and has an outer archway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with head-stops of a bishop and a king. The side walls have each a window of one square-headed light. On the gable is an original gable-cross.

The Roof of the nave is of 15th or early 16th-century date and of braced collar-beam type; the wall-plates, three tie-beams and the timbers of alternate trusses are moulded. The 14th-century roof of the S. porch is of two bays with moulded and curved braces under the collar-beam, chamfered purlins with wind-braces forming trefoiled arches and moulded wall-plates.

Fittings—Bracket: In chancel—In N.E. corner, head of tapering slab with elaborately foliated cross in quatre-foiled circle, moulded under edge, late 13th or early 14th-century. Coffin lids: In chancel—forming sill of S.E. window, with simple foliated cross-head in quatre-foiled circle, 13th-century; forming lintel to S. doorway, with cross formed of intersecting segments, rosettes at sides of stem, late 13th-century; forming sill of S.W. window, with cross having fleur-de-lis points in circle, second circle at base, rosettes at sides of stem, late 13th-century; re-used in footings of N.E. buttress of chancel, two fragments with remains of round crosshead. Incorporated in E. wall of S. porch—worn slab with traces of cross. Font: round bowl with shallow arcade of thirteen round arches springing from flat shafts with square-cut cappings and bases, plain round stem and chamfered base carved with four grotesque faces and four rosettes, early 12th-century. Locker: In chancel—in S. wall, plain rectangular recess. Monuments and Floor-slabs: Monuments: In nave— against E. wall, S. of chancel-arch, (1) to Sir Walter Pye, Attorney General, and Joan (Rudhale), his wife, 1625, black marble and alabaster wall-monument (Plate 82) consisting of arched recess flanked by Corinthian columns supporting an entablature with centre-piece and achievement-of-arms, in recess, kneeling figures of man in civil costume and wife with low pedestal between them, on front of base, kneeling figures of six sons, one figure missing, and seven daughters, all with their names beneath, cartouche and two other shields-of-arms on upper part of monument; in recess immediately W. of above, (2) to John Pye, 1547, and Walter Pye of Mynde, altar-tomb with recumbent effigies (Plate 49) of old man in civil costume with pointed beard and younger man also in semi-civil costume with long cloak, moulded capping to tomb, and on N. side raised panels with shield-of-arms and bust of a man in low relief, all c. 1560–70. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to James Andrews, minister of the parish, 1694, and Benedicta his widow, 1728, with shield-of-arms; (2) to Rowland Andrews, son of the above, 169(0?) (3) to Robert Pye, 1680–1, with shield-of-arms In N. aisle— (4) to—, eldest son of William—mde, 1697, cut on earlier slab with foliated cross, and remains of 'black-letter' inscription; (5) to James Pye, 1646. Piscina: In chancel—recess with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, quatre-foiled drain, early 16th-century. Plate: includes an alms-dish of 1686, with initials and the arms of Chamberlain. Pulpit: of oak and with three sides only, each with enriched pilasters and round arches, reeded frieze with band of guilloche ornament and rosettes above, early 17th-century, base modern. Recess: In nave—in S. wall, with hollow-chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head, label cut back, 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Stoup: In S. porch—shallow recess and projecting base, bowl missing. Miscellanea: In S. porch—two pieces of sandstone (Plate 9), with interlacing ornament on both sides, one side having rows of pellets in place of middle strand of the interlace, one stone apparently part of a shaft, and the other part of an object with a round middle portion and two projections, late 12th-century, also stone roughly hollowed out and with drain and two human faces carved in low relief. In churchyard—churchyard-cross, re-built in 1870, but incorporating the original square base with chamfered upper edge, on four steps.



c(2). Homestead Moat, in Bryngwyn Park, 600 yards S.S.E. of the church.

b(3). The Mynde, house, nearly 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century with a central hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The cross-wings were extended to the W. at the end of the 16th century, and about the middle of the following century an addition was made between the cross-wings and flanking the hall on the W. The cross-wings were again extended, as stabling, about the same time. Early in the 18th century the original building was almost entirely remodelled and the external walls recased or re-built. The N., S. and E. fronts of the main building have been re-built in modern times. The W. Front of the main block has a 17th-century doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch; above it is a frieze with triglyphs and baluster-shafts in relief and a cornice and pediment. The S. wall of the original N.W. wing has a chamfered plinth returned along the original W. end; in the S. wall is a window blocked by the wall of the 17th-century addition to the hall-block; further W. are several square-headed windows, probably of early 16th-century date. The N. wall of the original S.W. wing has a blocked doorway, probably of the 17th century; the end of the original wing is marked by a straight joint, a foot or two further W. There are two small square-headed windows in the W. wall of this wing. The late 16th-century extension of the N.W. wing has two square-headed windows of this date; the corridor, crossing this extension, has a doorway at the N. end with moulded jambs and segmental head; the doorway at the S. end has a chamfered segmental head and a nail-studded door with strap-hinges. The doorway at the E. end of the S. wall has chamfered jambs and four-centred head and a nail-studded door with a diamond-shaped scutcheon. The late 16th-century extension to the S.W. wing has two doorways of this date with chamfered and moulded jambs and four-centred heads respectively; one has a nail-studded door with strap-hinges and scutcheon. The N. wall of the 17th-century extension to the N. wing has timber-framing with brick filling. Lying loose in the courtyard is a carved 17th-century achievement-of-arms.

The Mynde, Much Dewchurch, Sketch Plan

Interior—The decorations of the hall are of early 18th-century date; the side walls are divided into five bays by Corinthian pilasters supporting an enriched cornice; the windows have enriched architraves and those in the lower range, a cornice in addition; the doorway in the E. wall has architrave, cornice and pediment. The doorways in the W. wall have enriched architraves and cornices and are surmounted by panels with busts in relief of Kings Egbert and Alfred; in the middle bay is a trophy of arms; the remaining bays have trophies of sculptor's and draughtsman's instruments. The N. and S. walls are each of three bays and have doorways surmounted by busts of Edward III, Henry V, William I and another. The S.E. room is lined with mid 17th-century panelling. The early 18th-century staircase has twisted balusters, newels in the form of Doric columns, and box-ended stairs finished with carved and moulded brackets, the mouldings of which are continued across the soffit of the staircase; the walls have a panelled dado. The middle room of the original N. wing is lined with early 18th-century panelling with cornice and dado-rail; the doorways have enriched architraves and pediments enclosing two faces, a scallop, etc. The adjoining room on the W. has early 18th-century and re-used mid 17th-century panelling; the fireplace has a moulded surround and cornice. The room flanking the hall is lined with mid 17th-century panelling with a cornice; the N.E. fireplace has an overmantel (Plate 37) with two ranges of arched panels divided by slender Doric columns and finished with an enriched frieze; the S.E. fireplace is flanked by fluted pilasters and surmounted by a fluted frieze; the overmantel (Plate 37) has two ranges of arched and enriched panels divided by enriched Ionic pilasters and finished by a double enriched frieze. The extensions of the two wings have exposed ceiling-beams. The first floor retains a considerable amount of mid 17th-century panelling.


c(4). Vicarage, E. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars; the walls are of rubble and brick and the roofs are tiled. The main block was built early in the 17th century, and has an added late 17th-century block on the S. side. There are modern additions on the N. and S. sides and the house has been much altered. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and two 17th-century panelled doors. A floor-slab, now used as a draining board, commemorates William, son of Sir Roger Bodenham, K.B., 1641, and his wife, 1671. There are also some fragments of 14th and 15th-century glass, including two men's heads.


Monuments (5–11)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates or tiles. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.


c(5). Post Office, house, 70 yards N. of the church, has a central block, probably of late 15th-century date with 17th-century additions on the E. and W. The partition-wall in the main block is of original chamfered studding with a doorway having a four-centred head. The roof has a cambered tie-beam on shaped wall-posts.

c(6). Black Swan Inn, on the N. side of the road, 40 yards N.E. of (5), is of 15th-century date, and has, inside the building, some vertical studding and a doorway with a four-centred head, of this date.

c(7). House, 100 yards W.N.W. of the church, has been much altered. Inside the building is some mid 17th-century panelling.

c(8). Church Farm, house, about 100 yards W.S.W. of the church, incorporates, in the N. wing, one bay of a 15th-century or earlier building with an original crutch-truss. The truss has a tie-beam at the first-floor level and a collar above.

c(9). Barn, at Cottage Farm, 800 yards S. of the church, is timber-framed with brick filling. The roof is of six bays, with queen-post trusses and shaped wall-posts.

a(10). Old Horseshoe Farm, 750 yards W. of Tram Inn Station, has some exposed timber-framing on the N.E. side; the S.W. side has been re-faced with brick.

d(11). New House Farm, house, cider-house and barn, 2¼ m. S.W. of the church. The House consists of two rectangular and parallel blocks, of which the southern is of two storeys with cellars and attics. This block has on the N. side a doorway with an original moulded frame and two windows with moulded frame, mullion and transom. The shafts of the chimneystacks are divided by grooves. Inside the building, the staircase to the basement is original and has a griphandrail, moulded strings and square newels with moulded terminals; the splat-balusters are missing. The staircase (Plate 62) to the first floor, also original, has turned balusters, grip-handrail, moulded risers, and square-panelled newels with moulded terminals. In the cellar is a moulded ceiling-beam, and on the first floor is some original panelling. The N. block of the house has some original windows similar to those in the S. block, also a window with diamond-shaped mullions; the doorway on the S. side has a moulded frame. Inside the building, the staircase is original and has grip-handrails, moulded newels carried up and returned under the ceiling and a moulded string.

The Cider-house, S.W. of the house, has been extended on the E. The staircase, inside the building, is original.

The Barn, W. of the cider-house, is partly timber-framed and partly of rubble. It is of three bays with a two-storey extension and wing at the N. end.


d(12). Cole's Tump, earthworks, at the W. end of Orcop Hill, and 2 m. S.S.W. of the church, consist of a series of round and rectangular mounds, etc. At the W. end is a natural tump crowned by a round enclosure, about 19 yards in diameter, with a slight ditch and sunk top; immediately against the ditch on the N.E. is a rectangular sinking. About 320 yards to the E. is a round mound, about 34 yards in diameter and 2 ft. high; it is crossed by a slight scarp making the S. half higher than the N. half. Between these two earthworks are seven rectangular 'pillow mounds' and one round mound; the 'pillow mounds' vary from 12 to 24 yards in length, from 4 to 6 yards in width, and from 2½ to 4 ft. in height. In type they are precisely similar to the so-called barrow in the camp at Midsummer Hill, Eastnor, and have been considered by some authorities to be artificial rabbit-warrens of no great age. They are disposed in no order or alignment, and near the middle of the group is the round mound, about 8 yards in diameter and 2½ ft. high.

Condition—Fairly good.

c(13). Fortified Mound (Plan, p. xxxiv), called the Camp, 360 yards E.N.E. of the church, occupies the top of a small hill. The earthwork consists of a roughly oval-shaped mound surrounded by a ditch and with slight traces of an inner bank and traces of a bank beyond the ditch. On the N.E. side the ditch dies out and there is a small terrace leading to an outer enclosure or base-court on the N.W. and a smaller enclosure on the E. There are indications of a triangular platform still farther to the E.