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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26 FOY (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLVI, S.E., (b)XLVII, S.W., (c)XLVII, N.W.)
Foy is a parish mainly on the left bank of the River Wye, 3 m. N. of Ross. The principal monument is the church.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on the W. side of the parish and on the N. side of the River Wye. The walls are of local sandstone rubble except the S. wall of the nave and the W. tower which are of ashlar; the dressings are of local red and grey sandstone; the roofs are covered with modern slates. The Chancel and Nave are of early 13th-century date. The West Tower and South Porch were added in the 14th century, and in the same century the S. wall of the nave was re-built. From the construction of the top stage of the W. tower it is apparent that the addition of a spire was originally intended, but if this was built and at some subsequent period fell or was taken down, or if the spire was never erected, is now uncertain. The E. wall of the chancel was re-built in 1673. The church was restored in 1854 and again in 1863.
Amongst the fittings the two 13th-century carved coffin-lids, the glass in the E. window of the chancel, and the mural monuments in the chancel are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 20½ ft.) has an E. window of late 14th-century character, partly repaired and of four trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; externally in the gable above the window, under a square moulded label, is a small panel carved with the arms and initials "I. A." for John Abrahall, and the date 1673. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern a small early 13th-century lancet and the western an early 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with a cusped spandrel in a two-centred head, with a moulded label. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of the 14th century and of two trefoiled lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the western is also of the 14th century, partly restored and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; below it is a doorway, probably of the 14th century and with hollow-chamfered jambs in a square head. The early 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders carried down the responds on to shaped stops and interrupted at the springing by a moulded impost; there is a moulded label on the W. side.
The Nave (42¼ ft. by 26¾ ft.) has in the N. wall three modern windows; the N. doorway has 13th or 14th-century chamfered jambs and a modern head. The S. wall was re-built in the 14th century and has three windows; the easternmost of two trefoiled lights with a multifoiled light in a two-centred head; the second window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with curvilinear tracery in a two-centred head; the westernmost window is uniform with the second window in the N. wall of the chancel, but with defaced head-stops to the label. The 14th-century S. doorway has jambs and two-centred head of two wave-moulded orders.
The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of 14th-century date. It is of three storeys, undivided externally, and has a deep moulded plinth and a plain parapet. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders carried down the responds on to shaped stops; the arch has a chamfered label towards the nave. The W. window is of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label on carved head-stops, one defaced. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a single-light window with chamfered jambs and a square head; on the external face of the E. wall is the string-course marking the line of the former and steeper roof to the nave. The bell-chamber has in each wall an original window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label. Across the upper angles of this stage are two-centred arches, each of two chamfered orders; these were either built for or formerly carried a spire.
The South Porch was added in the 14th century, but the addition was made after the S. wall of the nave had been re-built. The entrance archway has jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders. The side walls have each a window of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the mullions are modern.
The Roof of the nave is of late 14th or early 15th-century date, and is of collar-beam type with hollow chamfered braces forming flat semi-elliptical arches below the collars; above the collars are struts to the principal rafters forming open cusped panels in the apex of each truss. Above the moulded wall-plate is a deep fascia with a central frieze of trefoiled and quatre-foiled panels and an embattled cornice. The S. porch has a plain collar-beam roof probably of the 14th century.
Fittings—Bells: modern, except sanctus by John Finch, mid 17th-century. Bier: In W. tower— with turned legs, moulded framing and turned handles hinged at ends, 17th-century. Book: In vicarage— dilapidated copy of Prayer Book of 1677. Brackets: (see Recess). Chair: (Plate 27) In chancel—with turned front legs and arm supports, moulded front and side stretchers, carved front and side rails to seat, shaped arms and carved framing and panel to back surmounted by scrolled top with initials "T. R." on back, first half 17th-century. Chest: In W. tower—in ringing chamber, with plain sides and ends and coped top in one piece hung on two strap hinges and with four plain lock plates, 13th or 14th-century, in advanced state of decay. Churchyard Cross: W. of W. tower, moulded octagonal base with sinking for square cross-shaft, much worn and with modern inscription on upper edge, mediæval. Coffin-Slabs: (see Monuments (1), (5) and (6)). Communion Table: In W. tower—with plain top, turned legs and moulded stretchers; drawer modern, late 17th-century. Communion Rails: now, with modern work, enclosing choir stalls at E. end of nave —with turned balusters and moulded rail, c. 1640. Doors: In nave—in S. doorway (1) in two leaves (Plate 34) with two-centred head, with each leaf divided vertically into two divisions by applied ribs and horizontally by cusped rail across middle; back strengthened by intersecting diagonal ribs, of 14th-century origin with 17th-century and modern repair; each leaf hung on two wrought-iron hinges with sickle-shaped terminations at ends, 14th-century re-used. In W. tower—(2) in two vertical pieces with two-centred head and hung on four strap hinges, 15th-century with modern repair. Fonts: In chancel —(1) disused bowl of circular font with tapering sides, 12th or 13th-century. In nave—(2) octagonal bowl, each face with three trefoil-headed panels, splayed underside, late 14th-century, stem and base, modern. Glass: In chancel—in E. window (Plate 94), in multifoiled light in traceried head of window, (a) a crucifix on blue and ruby background with modern repair, with running yellow border; in cusped lights on either side of (a), in N. light, (b) figure of the Virgin in yellow gown and ruby cloak, (c) in S. light, figure of St. John in yellow gown and blue cloak, similar setting to (b). In main lights of window from N. to S., (d) in upper part of light, figure of one of the Magi, holding covered cup and wearing tunic and hose of diapered white, blue trunks and sleeves and red cloak; in lower part of light, figure of woman; (e) in upper part of light, figure of man (St. Joseph?) in blue gown and yellow cloak; in lower part of light, kneeling figure of one of the Magi holding sceptre, head modern; below figure mutilated monogram P.D. and a knotted cord; (f) in upper part of light, figure of the Virgin wearing yellow gown and blue cloak, in lower part of light, scene in stable with ox and ass, with date below, 1675; (g) in upper part of light, one of the Magi wearing blue and white gown and holding covered cup; in lower part of light, figure of St. Catherine in yellow robe and ruby cloak with sword behind; below, part of monogram with letter "A" reversed. Each of the upper figures in main lights stands beneath a pediment surmounted by a triple pinnacled canopy in yellow stain, and above the lower figures are remains of trefoiled canopies; each light has a border as described in (b), all c. 1675, but with modern repair. The general design of the window is that of the E. window at Sellack church, from which it was probably copied. In westernmost window in N. wall, border of yellowish brown quatrefoils alternating with ruby, fragments of foliage, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on floor in N.E. corner (1) carved on tapering slab, much worn figure, probably of woman, in low relief, with flat-topped head-dress, hands in prayer and holding an object, feet resting on circular boss; figure set within trefoil-headed canopy surmounted by a cross, broken and much defaced, late 13th-century; on N. wall, (2) of Paul Abrahall, 1675, painted bust of man (Plate 54) holding book in left hand, in elliptical-headed niche, flanked by twisted Ionic columns resting on carved brackets and supporting entablatures with broken and scrolled pediment surmounted by 'putti' and enclosing cartouches-of-arms; below bust inscription-tablet in border of scroll-work; (3) to Dorothy (Abrahall) Jones, 1690, and William Jones, 1696, her husband, vicar of the parish, inscription-tablet set in moulded frame (Plate 54) flanked by carved scroll-brackets with cartouche and cherub-head below and surmounted by curved and broken pediment enclosing cartouche-of-arms; on S. wall (4) to George Abrahall, A.M., 1673–4, rector of Foy, and Elizabeth, 1681, his wife, painted stone monument (Plate 54) with inscription-tablet surmounted by skull in moulded frame with segmental top and flanked by two female figures holding an anchor and cartouches respectively and surmounted by entablature with curved pediment, two 'putti' and cartouche-of-arms; below tablet, moulded shelf on acanthus-leaf brackets flanking cartouche with cherub-head, and later inscription to above-mentioned Elizabeth Abrahall who erected the original monument. In nave—on sill of middle window in N. wall, (5) two pieces of effigy carved on slab in low relief, of figure wearing long gown belted at waist and with hands crossed; probably coffin-lid, 13th-century; (6) in recess S. side of chancel arch, effigy of woman (Plate 43), carved in low relief on tapering slab, wearing long pleated gown with belt round waist and cloak fastened by buckle across throat; hair bound with fillet and feet resting on grotesque mask; figure set within trefoil-headed canopy resting on slender shafts with defaced caps and bases and with pinnacles terminating in crosses rising off capitals of shafts; slab now broken and in two pieces, 13th-century. In churchyard—S. of porch (7) to James Mayor, 1700, flat slab; (8) headstone with scroll top and illegible inscription, late 17th-century; by S. wall of nave, (9) to Henery Gammond, 1707, headstone with scroll top carved with foliage and carved foliage at sides; N. of nave, (10) to Ann, daughter of Thomas..., 1701, headstone; (11) to Penelope, daughter of William and Mary Wiles, head-stone, late 17th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Mary (Abrahall) wife first of Paul Abrahall and afterwards of Col. Jeremiah Bubb, Usher to William III, and Governor of Carlisle, date hidden, late 17th or early 18th-century; (2) to Mary Bubb, 1678, daughter of above Mary and Jeremiah Bubb; also to Scudamore Bubb, 1681, with lozenge-of-arms; (3) to G. A. (George Abrahall), 1673, with shield-of-arms; (4) to John Abrahall, 1703–4; (5) to Mary, wife of John Abrahall, 1701, and others later; (6) to Richard Abrahall, 1705–6, with shield-of-arms; (7) to Paul Abrahall, 1675, with shield-of-arms and cartouches in angles; (8) to William Apperley, 1647; (9) to Thomas Apperley, 1679, with shield-of-arms; (10) to Susanna, wife of Thomas Apperley, 1699, with lozenge-of-arms; (11) to Joane, wife of William Apperley, 1643; (12) to James Collins, 1683, Mary (Abrahall), his wife, 1701, and others later. In nave—(13) to ... ce, relict of James Collins, 1696; (14) to Elener, wife of Richard Rideout, 1696; (15) to Robert Furney, c. 1700. Panelling: In W. tower—set in modern framing and re-used as dado round side walls, 'linen-fold' panelling, early 16th-century. Piscina: In nave—in sill of easternmost window in S. wall, round sinking for piscina, date uncertain. Plate: includes a cup of 1656, with baluster-shaped stem, and a stand-paten of 1691. Pulpit: hexagonal on plan with sides panelled in two heights with continuous vertical fluting round lower part and upper part with round-arched panels with arabesque enrichment with scrolls above, fluted cornice and projecting shelf carried on shaped brackets at the angles, c. 1620–30. Recess: In nave—in E. wall on S. side of chancel arch, with moulded jambs and four-centred depressed ogee and cinque-foiled head; in back of recess, moulded shelf and two brackets, one rectangular with sinking in top, the other semi-octagonal, late 14th-century. Screen: Under chancel arch—in seven bays with the wide middle bay hung with two-leaf doors; side bays divided horizontally by moulded rail with lower part filled in with 'linen-fold' panelling and faced on E. side with modern casing; upper part open and divided by hexagonal columns with moulded caps and bases and shafts enriched with panels and varying patterns of cheveron, lozenge and scale ornament; above shafts intersecting semi-elliptical arches, forming two-centred trefoiled arches to each bay with cusped spandrels; lintel enriched on E. side with frieze of re-used brattishing and small trefoiled panels, and with projecting canopy towards nave with fascia or carved frieze of running vine; soffit divided into seven panels by moulded ribs with carved bosses of foliage, human face and hedge-hog; doors, each divided horizontally by plain rail with lower panel of intersecting diagonal framing with open panels and upper part of open panel with semi-elliptical arched head springing from panelled responds with carved cartouches above crown of arch, plain roundels on spandrels on E. side and cherubs' heads on W.; doors hung on heavy strap-hinges, with large lock-plate and grating of spiked iron bars in upper panels; early 16th-century with certain amount of modern work and doors of c. 1660. Seating: In chancel—four benches, with carved scrolls to tops of ends, 16th-century with some modern repairs. Stoup: In nave—by N. door, in shaped recess with broken bowl, mediæval. Sundial: on apex of gable of S. porch—in shape of a cube, with incised sundial with gnomons on S. face and lozenge-shaped sinkings on E. and W. faces with continuous but partly illegible inscription "The gift of Thomas... 1687."
b(2). Barn, on the W. side of the road, about 2 m. E. of the church, is timber-framed with brick nogging on a stone base; the roofs are covered with slate. It is of late 17th-century date with a low modern addition at the S.W. corner. The N. and S. walls have large doorways extending from ground to eaves. Inside the building the roof is divided into five bays with queenpost trusses with braced rafters.
Condition—Good, with some modern repair.
The following monuments are of the 17th century. The walls are of local sandstone rubble and the roofs are covered with stone-slates, slates or tiles. Inside the buildings are some exposed ceiling-beams.
a(3). Court Farm, farmhouse at Hole-in-the-Wall, on the S. bank of the River Wye, ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with a basement and is built on a rectangular plan with a later addition on the N.E. end. In the W. wall of the basement is a small original window with chamfered jambs and a square head.
a(4). Range of three tenements, 40 yards N.E. of (3), is of one storey with attics. Some of the windows retain their 17th-century frames.
a(5). Range of three tenements, immediately N.E. of (4), is of two storeys. On the N. wall is the following re-cut or modern inscription, "John Abrahall 1610."
a(6). Camp, in Camp Field, about ½ m. E. of the church, is on the side of a hill with the ground sloping down towards the River Wye on the N.W. It consists of an L-shaped length of scarped hillside with the arms projecting towards the N.E. and S.W., and apparently largely natural. Below the N.E. arm is a smaller scarp, probably later in date and constructed in connection with a cart-track above it. Apart from the fact that the locality of the work is traditionally called "Camp Field," there is little definite evidence of the existence of a camp.
(7) Dyke, from the N.E. side of the Hereford-Ross road, opposite Perrystone Court and travelling towards the E. for approximately 500 yards. The remains consist of a bank with a ditch on the S. side, but the middle portion now only shows a slight scarp without a ditch. A very slight sinking for another 100 yards eastwards to the parish boundary may indicate a further line of dyke in this direction, and following the parish boundary line from this point up the hillside for about 100 yards towards the S.E., is another line of ditch and bank, the latter cut away on the inner side to form a path.