An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2, East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.
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55 MATHON (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXIX, S.W., (b)XXXVI, N.W.)
Mathon is a large parish 5½ m. N.N.E. of Ledbury. The church, with remains of late 11th-century work, is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, formerly St. Margaret (Plate 166), stands in the N. part of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are tiled. The middle part of the Nave was built late in the 11th century. Foundations of an apse are said to have been found beneath the floor of the chancel. Late in the 12th century the Chancel was re-built and the nave extended eastwards and also westwards at a rather later date. Late in the 14th or early in the 15th century the West Tower was added and the South Porch is a 15th-century addition. The church has been restored in modern times, when the Organ Chamber was added.
The roof of the nave is a good example of 14th-century work.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¼ ft. by 19 ft.) is of late 12th-century date and has, in the E. wall, two round-headed windows with a round window above them. In the N. wall is a much restored, early 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the S. wall is a modern window and, farther W., a 12th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and round head. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (66½ ft. by 19 ft.) is partly of late 11th-century date, the extent of the early work being indicated by the herring-bone courses below the eaves in both walls. In the N. wall is a modern arch and two windows; the eastern window is of c. 1330 and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head and the western window is of late 11th-century origin subsequently enlarged and lengthened; it is now of one pointed light; the late 11th-century N. doorway, now blocked, has square jambs and a corbelled lintel with cable-ornament on the lower edge. In the S. wall are four windows, the easternmost of late 13th-century date and of two pointed lights in a two-centred head; the second window is modern and the two westernmost are probably of late 18th or early 19th-century date: W. of the westernmost window is a blocked 13th-century lancet-window; the late 11th-century S. doorway is similar to the N. doorway, but the lintel is cut to a semi-circular form with a relieving arch above it.
The West Tower (11 ft. by 10½ ft.) is of late 14th or early 15th-century date and of three stages with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles. The E. buttresses have each a double panel with trefoiled heads on the lower parts; the upper parts are set diagonally. The two-centred tower-arch is of one continuous hollow-chamfered order. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred head. The second stage has a window of one small pointed light in the N., S. and W. walls. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the S. window is partly modern.
The South Porch is of the 15th century, considerably restored; it is timber-framed with dwarf walls at the sides. The outer archway has a depressed four-centred head with foliated spandrels. The side-walls are of four bays, the two middle bays on either side with moulded posts and each divided into two lights with modern heads; the other bays are now blocked. The roof has moulded wall-plates and some other old timbers.
The Roof of the chancel, recently opened out, is of collar-beam type and probably of mediæval date. The roof of the nave (Plate 19) is of 14th-century date and of seven bays; the easternmost bay is of trussed-rafter type, but the rest have collar-beam trusses with curved braces and two ranges of curved and foiled wind-braces; there are two moulded tie-beams, independent of the trusses. The second stage of the tower has an old timbered ceiling with a round opening in the middle.
Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; sanctus by John Martin of Worcester, 1675. Churchyard Cross: S. of nave—square base with niche in S. face, having pointed head and two trefoiled panels above, socket for square shaft, 14th or 15th-century. Chest (Plate 45): In tower—of hutch-type, bound with iron straps and hinges with trefoiled terminations, on lid the inscription "Jo. How gent., H. Dangerfield, Gar. 1698." Coffin-lids: In chancel—in sill of N.E. window, (1) with formy cross-head in circle, stem and base, early 13th-century; in sill of S. window, (2) with worn stem of cross. In nave—in sill of N.E. window, (3) fragment with part of cross-head of intersecting circles, 13th-century. Door: In tower—in W. doorway, of battens in two leaves, date uncertain. Glass: In nave—in second N. window, sacred initials and foliated border; in third and fourth S. windows, Agnus Dei and foliated medallions, 14th or 15th-century. Lectern: modern but incorporating two early 17th-century turned posts. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Jane (Sloughter), wife of John Walweyn, 16, freestone monument, formerly in nave, with kneeling figures in relief of man in civil costume, wife with large hat, and daughter, in square-headed panel, flanked by enriched pilasters, enriched cornice with achievement-of-arms in strap-work cresting, panelled base with three shields-of-arms; (2) to William Cliffe, 1684–5, and Robert Cliffe, 1691, draped tablet with cherub-head, achievement and shield-of-arms. In W. tower—on N. wall, (3) to William Vobe, 1689, Martha, his wife, 1689, John, their son, 1711, and another later, plain slab; (4) to Thomas Dangerfield, 1705, and Catherine, his wife, 1715–6, moulded panel; on S. wall, (5) to Anne, wife of Richard Wilmore, 1705, and Richard Wilmore, 1714, plain slab. In churchyard—S. of chancel, (6) to Jane, wife of Philip Perkins, 1695–6, head-stone; S. of porch, (7) to William Thomas, c. 1700, head-stone; (8) to William Briggs, 1694–5, head-stone; (9) to Margaret, wife of John Mort, 1685–6, head-stone; (10) to George Horbert, sen., 1707–8, head-stone. Piscina: In chancel—recess with chamfered jambs, round head and square drain, probably late 12th-century. Plate: includes a late 17th-century pewter flagon and an alms-dish of the same material. Pulpit: semi-octagonal with four sides, each with arcaded upper and enriched lower panel divided by enriched rail, styles with baluster-ornament, late 16th or early 17th-century. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, small, with square jambs and round head, late 12th-century. Seating: In nave—six modern benches incorporating early 17th-century material.
a(2). Church Farm, house, moat and mill-site. The House, 70 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and has exposed ceiling-beams of that date.
Tne Moat, W. of the house, encloses a roughly oval-shaped island. A small stream to the W. has been dammed to form pools or fishponds. To the N. of the main stream and 250 yards N.N.W. of the church is a mill-site consisting of a mill-race channel, now dry, with an arm forming a loop to the N. of it.
Condition—Of house, good.
b(3). Moat Farm, house, outbuilding and moat, about 1 m. S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and has exposed timber-framing. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams. The Outbuilding forms a long wing extending W. from the house. It is of two storeys and dates from late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. The roof has collar-beams and curved braces springing from the first floor.
The Moat, N.W. of the house, encloses a roughly rectangular island.
Condition—Of house, fairly good.
a(4). Netherley Hall, house, about ½ m. N.E. of the church, is an early 19th-century building, but adjoining it on the W. is an early 17th-century wing, of two storeys, timber-framed and with a tiled roof. Some of the framing is exposed as are some of the ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and with tile or slate-covered roofs. The external timber-framing is wholly or partly exposed in nearly all the buildings. Some have exposed ceiling-beams and original chimney-stacks in addition.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(5). House and shop, on the N. side of the road, 180 yards E. of the church, has a cross-wing at the W. end.
a(6). Raven Hill, cottage, 40 yards E. of (5).
a(7). Cliffe's Arms Inn, 30 yards E. of (6), has a modern extension on the W.
a(8). House, now Post Office, 20 yards S.E. of (7), is of two storeys with attics. The timber-framing is in regular square panels.
a(9). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, 470 yards E. of the church. On the W. front, the beam at the first-floor level is cut with the initials and date I.V. 1601 R.M.G.
a(10). Cottage, S. of (9), has been partly re-faced in brick and stone.
a(11). Cottage, 20 yards S. of (10).
a(12). House and shop, on the W. side of the road, 150 yards S. of (11), has a thatched roof.
a(13). Cottage, two tenements, on the S.W. side of the road, 700 yards S.E. of the church, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date and has a thatched roof.
a(14). Town House, house and outbuilding, 120 yards E. of (13). The House has later additions at both ends. In the W. gable is a crutch-truss of late type.
The Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, includes a 17th-century cow-house with a corrugated iron roof. A partition is framed with a crutch-truss.
a(15). House, two tenements, on the N. side of the road, 1,100 yards S.E. of the church, has a cross-wing at the E. end. It has been partly re-faced in stone.
a(16). Lane End Cottage, 50 yards S.E. of (15), has been re-built except for the S.W. end.
a(17). Rose Farm, house and outbuildings, about ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church. The House is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E.
The E. wing appears to have been added or re-built in the 19th century.
The Stables, adjoining the E. wing, have exposed timber-framing. The Barn, S.E. of the house, is of four bays.
a(18). Bank Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the church, was built probably early in the 16th century, with a cross-wing at the S. end. The main block was probably lengthened late in the 17th century.
a(19). Cottage, 150 yards S. of the road and about 1¾ m. E.S.E. of the church, has a thatched roof.
a(20). Barton Cottages, two tenements, on the S. side of the road, 630 yards W. of (19), have later extensions at both ends.
b(21). House, S. of Ham Green and nearly 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, has an added dairy-wing on the N., probably of early 18th-century date, and later 18th-century extensions on the E. and W.
b(22). Cottage, N.W. of Weobley Cross and 1,500 yards S.E. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(23). House, on the S. side of the road at South End, 250 yards W. of (22), was extended to the W. early in the 18th century. The entrance has an early 18th-century flat hood on shaped brackets. Inside the building is a battened door with ornamental strap-hinges.
b(24). Tan House, 200 yards W. of (23), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W.
b(25). Old Country House, 1,500 yards S.S.W. of the church, has rather later cross-wings at the E. and W. ends, and the central block has been heightened. The E. end of the main block appears to have had a projecting upper storey on shaped brackets, but this is now included in the E. wing.
a(26). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, ½ m. S.S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
a(27). Rook Row, house, nearly ½ m. S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
a(28). Cottage, two tenements, on the S. side of the road, 400 yards W. of (27), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century and has a thatched roof.