Sapey, Upper

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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'Sapey, Upper', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2, East, (London, 1932) pp. 167-168. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section

70 SAPEY, UPPER (D.a.)

(O.S. 6 in. XIV, N.E.)

Upper Sapey is a parish on the N.E. border of the county 6 m. N.N.E. of Bromyard. The church, with 12th-century detail, is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Michael (Plate 5) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls and dressings are of local sandstone and the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built probably in the third quarter of the 12th century. The church was restored in 1859–60, when the chancel-arch was re-erected as the tower-arch and the West Tower and South Porch added.

The N. and S. doorways and the tower-arch have interesting 12th-century detail.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (18½ ft. by 15¾ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a 12th-century window of one round-headed light. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of early 14th-century date and of two cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label and headstops; at the head of the mullion, internally, is a quatre-foiled panel; the western window is a 'low-side' with a re-used cinque-foiled head. The chancel-arch is modern.

Upper Sapey, the Parish Church of St Michael

The Nave (50 ft. by 20½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows, the eastern modern and the western a 13th-century lancet-light; the 12th-century N. doorway (Plate 12), now blocked, has a round arch of two orders enclosing a plain tympanum; the outer order has cheveron-ornament and the inner is moulded; the jambs are of three orders, the two outer shafted and with scalloped or carved capitals and moulded or carved abaci of unusual form. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of c. 1300 and of two trefoiled lights with a trefoiled panel between the heads; the western window is modern; the 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 15) has a round arch of two orders similar to those of the N. doorway; the jambs are of three orders, the two outer are shafted and have moulded bases and abaci and foliated or scalloped capitals; the plain inner order supports a segmental arch, probably modern.

The West Tower is modern except for the 12th-century chancel-arch, re-set as a tower-arch (Plate 15); it is round and of two orders, the outer with vesicashaped ornament on the voussoirs and the inner with cheveron-ornament; the responds have each two attached shafts with moulded bases, abaci either moulded or diapered and capitals carved with scallops, volutes or foliage.

Fittings—Bell: one, inaccessible, but said to be inscribed "Sum campana Saunte Marie," 14th-century. Brass: Loose in nave—to Hughe Lea, 1622, inscription only. Chair: In chancel—with panelled back, curved arms and shaped top-rail, late 17th-century, partly modern. Communion Table: with turned legs and carved rails with shaped brackets, mid 17th-century. Font: plain round bowl with curved sides, moulded necking and base, 13th-century. Lectern: made up of 17th-century carved panelling. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In nave—in S. wall, tomb-recess with chamfered segmental-pointed head, moulded label, carved head-stops and a third head at the apex, 14th-century. Floor-slab: In tower—to Francis Nuige (?), 168–. Panelling (Plate 67): In chancel—panelled dado made up of 17th-century and modern material, with some enrichment. Plate: includes cup (Plate 69) of 1571, with engraved ornament and cover-paten of the same date. Pulpit (Plate 70): four sides panelled in two heights, panels with conventional ornament, rails inscribed "Blessed are they that heare the worde of God and keepe it." Added reading-desk with fluted front panel, early 17th-century. Reading Desk: made up with 17th-century panelling, with fluting and conventional ornament. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, small, with trefoiled head, date uncertain. Scratching: On E. jamb of S. doorway, formy cross in a circle, perhaps a consecration-cross. Seating: In nave—four 16th-century benches made up with modern work, moulded top-rails and ends; also two early 17th-century benches with panelled ends and turned tops to posts. Sundial: On E. jamb of S. doorway— scratched dial. Miscellanea: Over S.E. window of nave—two carved heads.



(2). Earthwork at Yearston Court, ¾ m. E. of the church, consists of the remains of a ditch probably enclosing a roughly oval site on which stands the modern house and outbuildings. It is approached on the N.E. by a long ditch or sunk way which is continued at the opposite end of the site for a short distance.

(3). Lea Farm, house, 1,000 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1700 and has a S. front, originally symmetrically designed and having windows with solid frame, mullion and transom; there is a band between the storeys. Inside the building is an original staircase with turned balusters. Some of the ceiling-beams are exposed.

Condition—Fairly good.

Monuments (4–9)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and with tiled roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed external framing and internal ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(4). Dudshill Court, house, 800 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. The W. wing is built of rubble and is probably of mediæval date, but much altered; the S. wing is an early 17th-century addition.


(5). High House, ½ m. N.E. of the church, has modern additions on the S. and E.

(6). Cottage, on the S. side of the road at Sapey Common, about 1¼ m. E. of the church.

(7). Cottage, 600 yards E. of (6), was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. There is a modern addition in the angle.

(8). Linehill, house, 120 yards S.E. of (7), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. and modern additions on the W. and N.

(9). Brook Farm, house, 250 yards S.E. of the church, was built late in the 16th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The walls are mainly of rubble. In the W. wing are some original windows with chamfered frames and mullions. Inside the building is a staircase with an octagonal oak newel and a doorway with a four-centred head. The E. staircase has turned balusters and square newels. The fireplace at the E. end has a moulded surround of c. 1700.