Upton Bishop

Pages 192-195

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. XLVII, S.W.)

Upton Bishop is a parish 3 m. N.E. of Ross. The church and Upton Court are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of St. John the Baptist (Plate 7) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble and ashlar and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The Nave is of early 12th-century date and to it was added a S. aisle and arcade c. 1180. The Chancel was re-built early in the 13th century. About the middle of the 14th century the South Aisle was re-built and the South Porch added. The West Tower was built c. 1400. The church was restored in 1862 and the roofs generally renewed; the South Vestry was added in 1880.

The church is of some architectural interest, and among the fittings the 14th-century effigy is noteworthy.

Upton Bishop, the Parish Church of St John the Baptist

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28½ ft. by 19¾ ft.) has, in the E. wall, two early 13th-century lancetwindows, with moulded internal reveals; between them is a mid 14th-century window, perhaps replacing a third lancet-window, and of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 14th-century date and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the western window is a 13th-century lancet-light. In the S. wall are two mid 14th-century windows similar to that in the E. wall; between them is a modern archway. There is no chancel-arch.

The Nave (45 ft. by 19¼ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows, the eastern of late 14th-century date, partly restored and of two trefoiled ogee lights; the western window is of c. 1360, but with modern mullions and tracery; the early 12th-century N. doorway, now blocked, has plain jambs with moulded corbels supporting the plain lintel. The late 12th-century S. arcade is of three bays, with two-centred arches of one plain order; the cylindrical columns and semicylindrical responds have moulded bases and capitals (Plate 16) carved with enriched scallops or leaves; the capital of the W. respond is modern; the square abaci are hollow-chamfered and the soffit of one abacus has carved foliage and beasts in the spandrels.

The South Aisle (11 ft. wide) has a 14th-century E. window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head; above it is a small 14th-century window of one trefoiled light. In the S. wall are two partly restored mid 14th-century windows, the eastern of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the western window is similar but of two lights; the partly restored S. doorway is of the 14th century with jambs and segmental-pointed head of two chamfered orders. In the W. wall is a restored 14th-century window of one trefoiled ogee light.

The West Tower (14½ ft. by 15¼ ft.) is of c. 1400 and of four stages with a moulded plinth and parapet with gargoyles. The two-centred tower-arch is of two moulded orders continuing down the responds as plain chamfers. The partly restored W. window is of four cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with casement-moulded reveals and a moulded label; below the window are traces of a destroyed W. doorway. The second stage has, in the N. wall, a window of two trefoiled lights in a square head. The third stage is undivided, externally, from the stage below. The S. and W. walls have each a window of one trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a much restored window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. Across the angles is corbelling forming an irregular octagon.

The South Porch is of the 14th century and has a partly restored outer archway, two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continued down the responds. The E. and W. walls have each a window of one trefoiled light.

The Roof of the bell-chamber of the tower has curved principals and braces of the 15th century. The porch has a late 16th-century roof of collar-beam type with curved and moulded braces, a moulded longitudinal rib and moulded wall-plates.

Fittings—Brackets: In S. aisle—on E. wall, two moulded corbels, now cut back, 15th-century. Chairs (Plate 42): In chancel—(1) with turned legs, curved arms, carved framing, panelled back with arch and scrolled top-rail; (2) with carved framing, panelled back with conventional foliage and initials I.R. and curved arms; both chairs mid 17th-century. Chest: In tower—plain with moulded edge to lid, strap-hinges and bands, on front the initials and date, in nail-heads, R.R., I.B., 1703. Coffin-lids: In chancel—in S. wall, part of slab with round foliated head of cross, late 13th-century; in S. aisle—re-used as window-sill, with round and foliated head of cross, and foliated stem, late 13th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs, moulded front rail with shaped brackets, c. 1630–40. Font: octagonal bowl, each face with quatre-foiled panel, trumpet-shaped stem with angleribs and a traceried panel in each face, late 14th-century, restored and upper part of bowl modern. Glass: In S. aisle—in tracery of S.E. window, foliage, etc., in situ, also a round quarry with geometrical figure and foliage, 14th-century; in tracery of S.W. window, foliage and borders, in situ, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. aisle—in S. wall, (1) recess, with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed arch, containing slab (Plate 82) with figure in low relief of a man in civil costume holding a square object in his hands, above head a trefoiled ogee arch with a carved finial and carved leaves in the spandrels, mid 14th-century. In churchyard—head-stones, etc., E. of chancel, (2) to Sarah, daughter of Jacob Nash, 1711; S.E. of chancel, (3) to Mary, wife of Edmund Elsmore, 1709; (4) to Elizabeth, wife of Edmund Elsmore, 1712; S.E. of porch, (5) to Benjamin Davies, 1699, and Anne, his wife, 1707, flat slab; (6) to John Worr, 1680; (7) to John Taylor, 1705–6; (8) to Shusana, wife of John Jones, 1707; S.W. of porch, (9) to Henry Pr[eece ?], 1705; (10) to William Palmer, 1708; S.W. of tower, (11) to John Dekins, 1688. Floor-slabs: In S. aisle—(1) to Mary, wife of Jacob Nash, 1711; (2) to Robert Pritchard, 1712; (3) to Jone, wife of Daniell Fisher, 1706. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with two-centred head, shelf and square drain, 13th-century; W. of last, recess with cinque-foiled head, moulded label and octofoiled drain, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with trefoiled ogee head and broken square drain, 14th century. Pulpit (Plate 70): hexagonal, outer faces each with enriched arcaded panel, fluted bands above and below, fluted pilasters at angles and enriched cornice, early 17th-century. Table: In vestry—with turned legs late 17th-century, modern boarding and drawer added. Miscellanea: In chancel—incorporated in S. wall, carving of a woman's head in a wimple, 14th-century; a carved rosette and part of a Roman tombstone (Plate 78) with upper part of round-headed recess with figure and remains of a second recess and figure. In nave—loose in N. doorway, fragment of 14th-century crocketed canopy and part of a large 13th-century gablecross with 'stiff-leaf' foliage. In vestry—incorporated in cupboard, traceried head in oak, 15th-century.



(2). Wayside Cross at Old Gore, 1½ m. N.W. of the church, now forms a modern War memorial, but incorporates a 14th-century square base stopped to an octagonal form at the top.


(3). Upton Court, house and brew-house, ¾ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of sandstone rubble and ashlar and the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 14th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends; the hall-block survives, but the E. cross-wing has been removed and the W. cross-wing was largely re-built c. 1500. The upper part of the same wing was re-built, an upper floor inserted in the hall and chimney-stacks added at both ends of the house late in the 16th century. A mid 17th-century staircase inserted in the N.W. angle of the hall has been moved into a modern N. addition.

The remains of the original hall-roof are noteworthy.

The exterior is partly faced with ashlar and in the W. wall is a window of c. 1500, apparently re-set and of four four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label and lozenge-shaped stops. Inside the building the ground-floor has some exposed ceiling-beams and timber-framing. In the W. wing is a door and linings of linen-fold panelling. The S.W. room, on the first floor, is lined with mid 17th-century panelling (Plate 67) with a frieze carved with bold scrolls. The roof of the hall-block is mainly of the 14th century and of five bays and part of a sixth bay; the trusses, where complete, have tie-beams and collars with a range of foiled open panels between them; the principals, above the collar, are also foiled and the ridge is moulded; there are foiled wind-braces below the purlins; three trusses have had 15th or early 16th-century braces, forming four-centred arches, inserted below the tie-beams. The W. wing has a late 16th-century roof with three posts between the tie-beams and collars.

The Brew-house, E. of the house, is of early 17th-century date and of two storeys, timber-framed on a stone base. The fireplace has moulded jambs.


(4). Felhampton (Plate 25), house and barn, 1,000 yards S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, partly timber-framed and partly with stone walls; the roofs are covered with slates. It is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.; most of the N.W. wing was built in the 15th century and the N.E. wing is a late 17th-century addition. There are modern additions in the angle and at the E. and W. ends. The original W. wing has close-set timber-framing with herring-bone struts in the gable. Inside the building most of the timber-framing is exposed and the N.W. wing has much of its original roof; this has cambered tie-beams, shaped wall-posts, curved braces and wind-braces.

The Barn, S.E. of the house, was built early in the 17th century of rubble and has a tiled roof. There is a doorway with an elliptical head and some original windows with square heads and moulded labels.


Monuments (5–14)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of local rubble with ashlar dressings and the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have old chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

(5). Cottage, at the N.W. angle of the cross-roads at Crow Hill, about ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church, has modern additions; the roof is covered with slates.

(6). Hill Top, cottage, 700 yards S. of the church, is partly timber-framed and has a roof of corrugated iron.

(7). Marsh Farm, house, about 700 yards E.S.E. of the church, was built in the 16th century on an H-shaped plan with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The N. cross-wing has been replaced by a modern structure and there is a partly 17th-century wing on the W.

(8). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, 650 yards E. of the church, is partly timber-framed.

(9). Cottage (Plate 28), two tenements, opposite Tanhouse and about ½ m. E. of the church, is timber-framed on a stone base. It was built late in the 16th century and the timber-framing is exposed externally.

(10). Tedgewood, house, ¾ m. E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and is partly roofed with stone slates. It was built in the first half of the 16th century and is partly timber-framed. The E. front has three slightly projecting windows to the first floor, one of five and two of seven lights and all three with transoms; the main timber uprights of the front have attached shafts on the face. The S. chimney-stack has ashlar dressings and two diagonal shafts. The W. front has shafted posts like those on the E. front. Inside the building most of the timber-framing is exposed and the roof has queen-post trusses.

(11). Woodhouse Farm, house and stable, about 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church. The House is of mediæval origin, and the middle part is probably of this age; there are 17th-century additions or rebuildings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The roofs are covered with stone slates. On the S.E. front is a pent-house shelter of the 17th century carried on cantilever-beams and brackets. There is some exposed timber-framing on the N.E. addition. Inside the building the N.E. end of the main block has two original trusses of crutchtype. There is also some exposed timber-framing.

The Stable, S.E. of the house, has a slate roof. In the W. wall is a three-light window with wooden frame and mullions.

(12). Chiblers Rough, cottage, nearly 1½ m. N.N.E. of the church, is timber-framed with plastered infilling.

(13). Cottage, on the W. side of the road at Fishpool, 1½ m. N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed.

(14). Daubies Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m. N.E. of the church.