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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12 BREINTON (A.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXIII, S.W., (b)XXXIII, S.E.)
Breinton is a parish on the N. bank of the Wye, immediately W. of Hereford. The church, Warham Court and Breinton Camp are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands on the S. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are slate-covered. The Nave may date from the 12th century as indicated by the W. doorway and two buttresses on the S. wall. The Chancel was perhaps re-built early in the 14th century. The church was drastically restored in modern times when the chancel was entirely and the nave largely re-built, the N. arcade built, and the North Aisle, North Vestry and South Porch were added.
Among the fittings the communion table and painted wooden tablet are of interest.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21¼ ft. by 17¼ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a modern arch, and farther E. a 14th-century window of one trefoiled ogee light. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows each of one trefoiled ogee light. The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (48½ ft. by 21 ft.) has a modern N. arcade. In the S. wall are two windows and a doorway, all modern. In the W. wall, N. of the axis, is a late 12th-century doorway with roll-moulded jambs, round head and moulded label; above it is a round-headed window of doubtful date, and a small modern opening still higher up. Above the W. end is a modern timber bell-cote with an octagonal broach spirelet.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st inscribed in Lombardic capitals "Ave Maria gratia," probably 14th-century; 2nd inscribed in Lombardic capitals "Ave Maria grasia plenas," probably 15th-century. Chest (Plate 45): In N. aisle—boarded chest with iron bands and straps, iron extensions as legs and two carrying rings, 17th-century. Communion Table (Plate 50): In N. aisle —with richly carved bulbous legs having Ionic capitals, carved upper rails, moulded lower rails on feet, late 16th-century. Monuments: In N. aisle—loose, (1) to Captain Rudhall Booth, 1685, painted and framed oak panel (Plate 63) with achievement-of-arms. In churchyard—E. of vestry, (2) to Katherin, wife of Major John Booth 163, and to John Booth, 1690, slab with round-headed panels. Plate: includes a cup of 1641, with baluster-stem.
Condition—Good, largely re-built.
b(2). Warham Court (Plate 25), over ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and with stone-slate and slate-covered roofs. The N. wing is of 16th-century or earlier date and probably formed part of a larger house, of which the lower S. wing possibly represents the original one-storeyed Hall; its existing features, however, indicate a 17th-century date, and so do those of the addition on the W. side. The original wing has exposed and close-set timber-framing; the stone chimney-stack has two 17th-century brick shafts, set diagonally. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and with tiled or slate-covered roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(3). Barn, 200 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan and partly weather-boarded. It incorporates earlier timbers. The roof is partly of corrugated iron.
a(4). Barn, at Pigeon-house Farm, 270 yards N.W. of the church, is of five bays and of a single storey, weather-boarded.
a(5). Barns, at Breinton Court, 350 yards W.N.W. of the church, flank the approach to the house. Both have been converted to various purposes and have exposed timber-framing.
a(6). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, ¾ m. W. of the church, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. The lower storey is of stone.
a(7). House (Plate 30), now three tenements, ¾ m. N.W. of the church, is perhaps of 15th or early 16th-century date, but retains little evidence pointing to an earlier date that the 17th century. Inside the building the outlines of a heavy original cambered tie-beam can be seen. The staircase in the N.W. angle has late 17th-century turned balusters.
a(8). Upper Hill Farm, house and barn, 1,060 yards N.N.E. of the church. The House has a roof of stone slates and is of irregular plan with 18th-century and later additions on the S. and N. The E. end of the house forms a cider-mill. The Barn, S. of the house, is weather-boarded.
a(9). Breinton Camp (229 ft.) is situated on the edge of the bluff overlooking the River Wye, 60 yards S.W. of the church. It consists of a low roughly oval mound (Plan, p. xxvi) with flat top and traces of an inner rampart. There is an outer ditch on the E. side which continues round the N. and W. sides; but the S. side, abutting on the slope to the river, was sufficiently guarded by the steep natural scarp. An old sunken trackway, 30 yards W. of the mound, leads down to the ford which previously existed at this point.
The site was excavated and described in the Transactions of the Woolhope Field Club for the year 1922. Beneath the rampart "two parallel walls 18 in. high" were found. The original depth of the ditch was 6 ft. 6 in. below the present level.