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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28 DINMORE (B.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. XXVI, N.E.)
Dinmore is a small parish 7 m. N.N.W. of Hereford. The chapel of the Knights Hospitallers is the principal monument.
(1). Chapel of St. John of Jerusalem (Plate 6) stands in the S. part of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble and ashlar, with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The Preceptory of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem at Dinmore appears to have been founded c. 1189–90, and to this date belongs the greater part of the N. wall of the church. About the middle of the 14th century this building was extended towards the E., and probably widened towards the S., and the W. tower inserted towards its W. end. The earlier building formerly extended farther to the W. and may have had a nave, now entirely destroyed. Two buttresses on the N. side are parts of the walls of a range of buildings extending towards the N., and the basement of the existing house (2), lying still farther N., incorporates portions of mediæval work. The English houses of the Order were dissolved in 1540. The building has since been in continuous use as a chapel and was restored in 1886.
The chapel is of some interest, both architecturally and as a building of the Order of St. John.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (38¼ ft. by 16¼ ft.) has a 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two doorways, the eastern of the 12th century and now blocked; it has square jambs and round arch; the 14th-century western doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, much scraped; in the E. part of the wall is a square-headed squint-opening formerly communicating with the upper storey of the range running N. from the church; the junctions of the 12th-century and later masonry are visible in this wall; in the western of the two buttresses, forming part of the former N. range, are remains of a 12th-century doorway with round head and relieving-arch. In the S. wall of the chancel are three 14th-century windows, the easternmost generally similar to the E. window and the other two of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; below the eaves runs a string-course stepped up over the head of the easternmost window; at the W. end of the wall is a modern doorway.
The West Tower (7¼ ft. square) is of mid 14th-century date and of three storeys with an embattled parapet and an octagonal spirelet. The tower-arch (Plate 10) is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continued down the responds and the inner dying on to them; on the springing stones are cut small panels with trefoiled and ogee heads. In the W. wall is a quatrefoil set in an outer order with an ogee head. The second storey has, in the S. wall, a loop-light. The bell-chamber has in each wall a single-light window with a segmental head. The stone spire rests on squinches and has an ogee-headed opening in the E. face. The N. wall of the tower is built within a 12th-century wall which extends farther to the W. and finishes with a splay, probably part of a former window. In this wall is the doorway to the turret-staircase and above it is a destroyed and blocked doorway to an upper storey.
The Roof of the chancel is probably of late 14th-century date; it is low-pitched and of five bays, with moulded and cambered tie-beams, moulded purlins and plates and curved brackets between the central purlin and the tie-beams; above it is a modern roof of higher pitch.
Fittings—Coffin-lids: Re-used as lintel of squint in N. wall, slab with remains of cross-head, 13th-century. Re-used as lintel of doorway to tower-staircase, with ornamental cross-head, 13th-century. Communion Table: modern, but front and sides made up of tracery probably from former screen, late 14th-century. Door: In doorway to tower-staircase, of battens with strap-hinges having ornamental ends and drop-handle, 14th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Susanna, wife of . . ., 1648–9; (2) to Jane Williams, 1644, with incised three-armed cross; (3) to John Wol[ryche], 1703, with shield-of-arms; (4) obliterated inscription, with shield-of-arms. Piscina: In chancel —recess with ogee arch and panelling in square head, 14th-century, projecting bowl with trefoiled drain cut in re-used capital of triple 13th-century shaft. Sundials: On third buttress of S. wall, round incised dial (Plate 18) with Roman numerals, 14th or 15th-century; on westernmost buttress, defaced round incised dial, perhaps earlier. Stoup: On N. wall, E. of doorway, re-used 13th-century foliated capital with drain cut in it and small ogee-headed recess at back.
(2). Dinmore Manor, house and barn, immediately N. of the chapel. The House is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of rubble with ashlardressings and the roofs are tiled. The preceptory of Dinmore was granted to Sir Thomas Palmer in 1548. The house was re-built late in the 16th century, incorporating a small part of the mediæval building. It was of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.; a modern addition makes the plan nearly square and there is a lower 18th-century wing on the W. A wing, perhaps part of the mediæval building, formerly adjoined the S. front, but was pulled down probably in 1830. The N. and E. fronts have no ancient features, except the N. doorway which is of the 13th or 14th century re-set; it has chamfered jambs and two-centred head, and cut on the E. jamb are the initials and date: F. W. 1665. The S. front has a slightly projecting central portion with three gables, one of which is dated 1830. The chimney-stacks are of late 17th-century brickwork. Two breaks in the masonry of the projection perhaps indicate the extent of the surviving mediæval work which appears to have been the N. end of a building now otherwise destroyed. In the W. wall is a late 16th-century three-light window with moulded oak frame and mullions.
Interior—The inner doorway of the porch may be of mediæval date, but has been re-set and entirely retooled. The entrance-hall and back-hall have dadoes of 17th-century panelling with enriched rails; between the rooms is an opening with early 18th-century lining and architrave; in the W. wall of the back-hall is a round-headed arch with early 18th-century architrave, key and impost-blocks. The doorway into the modern S. porch is of 12th or 13th-century date, re-set; it is of one moulded order. The S.W. room is lined with early 18th-century panelling and elsewhere there is some re-used late 16th-century panelling. The S.E. room has late 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams and framing. One room has an early 18th-century stone fireplace with panelled pilasters and head. The late 16th-century roof-trusses remain in the attics and are of queen-post type. The basement, on the S. side of the house, retains some portions of mediæval date. In the S. wall is a blocked 14th-century doorway with rounded jambs and segmental-pointed head; W. of it is a dressed quoin indicating the western extent of the mediæval building. The cross-wall, E. of the doorway, has a second doorway of the same date and character, but with a later head. A timber partition with the cellars to the N. of it are probably of 16th-century date. There appears to have been a well in the cellar to the N.E. of the parts described and perhaps formerly in the open.
The Barn, N. of the house, is of the 17th century, timber-framed, but considerably restored and now divided up. About 350 yards W. of the house is a well, domed over in rubble; on the plastered soffit are some crude figure-drawings in red line.
(3). Upper Dinmore, house and barn, 800 yards N.W. of the chapel. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of stone and brick and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built in the 17th century and has 18th-century additions. The Barn, N.E. of the house, is timber-framed. The three N. bays are probably of early 17th-century date and the three S. bays a later addition.
(4). Mound, 300 yards E.N.E. of the chapel, is about 87 ft. in diameter surrounded by a shallow ditch. The mound rises only about 5 ft. above the lowest part of the ditch.
(5). Lynchets, on the N. side of the valley, 650 yards E. of the chapel, consist of four terraces of varying width and extending for about 160 yards.