Stoke Edith

Pages 172-173

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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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. XXXIV, S.E.)

Stoke Edith is a parish 6 m. E. of Hereford. The ruined house of Stoke Edith Park is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands towards the N. end of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone with dressings of the same material. The West Tower was built in the 14th century and the spire added probably in the 16th century. The rest of the church was re-built in 1740–42.

Architectural Description—The West Tower (11¾ ft. square) is of the 14th century and of four storeys with diagonal buttresses. The tower-arch, now blocked, is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds are chamfered. The W. window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the W. doorway, with square jambs and a chamfered two-centred head, is a later insertion. The second storey has, in the S. and W. walls, a lancet-window with an ogee head; in the E. wall is a pointed doorway into the former roof-space of the nave; above it are remains of the weathering of the former roof. The third storey has a similar window in each wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two ogee-headed lights with uncusped tracery in a two-centred head. The octagonal stone spire rests on arched squinches; it has rolls at the angles and at the foot of the E. face is a doorway with a four-centred head and ogee label with finial and side-buttresses; opposite it is a loop-light. High up in the N. and S. faces of the spire are small lights with pointed heads and labels.

Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd inscribed, in Lombardic capitals, "Sancte Rafael ora pro nobis," probably early 15th-century; 5th by John Finch, 1636. Door: In E. doorway of second storey of tower—of battens with strap-hinges, mediæval. Glass: In W. window of tower—jumble of fragments, including a shield-of-arms, argent a lion with a forked tail gules (?) crowned or, angel-head, figure playing lute, etc., 15th-century and later. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against N. wall, (1) to Paul Foley, 1699, marble sarcophagus and wall-monument, erected by Thomas Foley, probably early in the 18th century. In nave—at W. end, (2) alabaster effigy (Plate 142), of a lady, probably a Walwyn, in horned and veiled head-dress, broad waist-band, two dogs at feet, c. 1470, mutilated. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to N[icholas Griffin, 1644–5], with shield-of-arms, partly covered by effigy; (2) to Anne [(Lingen), wife of Nicholas Griffin, 1660], with lozenge-of-arms; (3) to Elizabeth Wickens, 168.; (4) to John Wickins, 1686; (5) to Anna, widow of John Wickins, 1692; (6) to Eleanor, daughter of N. Baker, 1694; (7) to Elizabeth (Baker), wife of John Wickins, rector, 1697–8.



(2). Stoke Edith Park, house and outbuildings, S.E. of the church. The House was of three storeys with attics; the walls are of brick with stone dressings. It was built at the end of the 17th century by Paul Foley and his son Thomas, but the outbuildings were not completed till some little time later. The house was burnt out in 1927, leaving only the main walls standing, and has not since been repaired. The plan is half H-shaped with the wings extending towards the S. and with low quadrant-shaped blocks connecting it with the outbuildings and offices flanking the courtyard on the N. of the house.

The N. Front (Plate 176) is of two main storeys with a half-basement storey below; they are divided by bands and the angles are rusticated. The central bay projects slightly and has four fluted Corinthian pilasters supporting the main entablature; the central pediment and main cornice have been destroyed. The windows are symmetrically arranged and have stone architraves. The central doorway has an enriched architrave, Corinthian side-pilasters, cornice and a carved panel above flanked by vases; the doorway is approached by a double staircase with iron balustrades (Plate 177), partly of scrolled ornamental work.

The S. Front (Plate 176) is more severely damaged, the upper part of the main block having fallen. The projecting wings, however, survive and are treated in a similar manner to the side bays of the N. front except that the windows have no stone architraves. The E. and W. Elevations (Plate 177) are generally similar to each other and to the side bays of the N. front. The central doorway (Plate 38), on the E. side, is flanked by attached Ionic columns supporting entablatures and a continuous cornice; above the doorway is a carved swag and two cherub-heads. The corresponding doorway, on the W. side, is flanked by attached Corinthian columns supporting a plain entablature; it is approached by a flight of steps with scrolled wrought-iron work.

The interior of the building, now completely gutted, had a large central hall rising through the two main storeys and having painted decorations by Sir James Thornhill.

The Outbuildings, flanking the courtyard, were formerly connected with the house by a blind arcade of three round arches on a quadrant curve; these still exist, but have been pierced and backed by later buildings; above them is a stone cornice and balustrade with a carved figure of a griffin on the angle pedestal; part of the balustrade has been raised on a modern addition. The W. range (Plate 176), forming the stables, is of early 18th-century date and of two storeys, with two ranges of square-headed windows (the upper range being square) and an eaves-cornice. Through the building runs a carriage-way, the height of both storeys, and entered by a tall round-headed arch at each end, set in a slight projection and finished with a pediment. Inside the building, the southern part has two ranges of stalls in the dividing wall, each stall has a large grated opening with vertical wooden bars and a separate trap-door from the loft above, by which fodder was conveyed to the horses; this dividing wall is panelled and finished with an entablature; the stall-divisions (Plate 177) are finished with circular posts with large pine-apple terminals. The staircase at the S. end has turned balusters, square newels and moulded strings. The doors from the carriage-way are panelled. In the stables are portions of cornices, panelling, etc., removed from the house, and a wrought-iron weather-vane.

The E. range is probably of rather later date than the W. range. It contains the kitchen and offices and is designed to balance the W. range in the general design of the windows, etc., and with a similar wide passageway through it. Adjoining the N. end on the E. side is a further block—the brewhouse—of two storeys with a half-basement. It is of early 18th-century date and has two main ranges of windows, the lower each with solid frame, mullion and transom, and the upper with a central mullion only. The basement has intersecting barrel-vaults of brick.

Condition—Of house, ruined.

(3). The Rectory, W. of the church, is an 18th-century building, but, on the S. side, is a two-storeyed 17th-century range. The walls are of stone and timber-framing and the roofs are tiled. On the E. front is a stone with the date 1695, and some timber-framing is exposed in the W. wall. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams.


Monuments (4–8)

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 timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

(4). Cottage, 150 yards W.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. It has been much altered.

(5). Cottage (Plate 33), two tenements, 310 yards S.S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof. In the S. gable is some diagonal framing.

(6). Cottage, 50 yards S.S.W. of (5), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. The roof has been raised.

(7). House, N. of the cross-roads at Perton, 800 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S.

(8). Cottage, 20 yards E. of (7), has a thatched roof. Inside the building are remains of three mediæval crutch-trusses, but the ends of the house appear to be later additions and the end walls are now stone-faced.