Pages 103-104

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1934.

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In this section

43 LAYSTERS (E.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)VIII, S.E., (b)XIII, N.W.)

Laysters is a parish on the Worcestershire border 5½ m. N.E. of Leominster. The church and a house called Cinders are the principal monuments


The Church, Plan

b(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (Plate 11) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The Nave was built in the 12th century but was perhaps lengthened towards the W. at a later date. The Chancel was re-built probably in the 13th century, and the West Tower was probably added at the same period. The church was restored in the second half of the 19th century, when the S. wall of the chancel was re-built; the Organ Chamber and South Porch are modern.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (14½ ft. by 18 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a modern arch to the organ-chamber, and further W. the head of a 13th-century window, now blocked. In the S. wall is a modern window and W. of it is a blocked 13th or 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. There is no chancel-arch.

The Nave (39½ ft. by 18 ft.) has two modern windows in the N. wall; further E. is a blocked 17th-century window with a wooden frame and mullion; between the modern windows is a blocked 12th-century window of one round-headed light with a groove cut round the opening; there are traces, visible internally, of the destroyed N. doorway. In the S. wall are two modern windows; the 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 44) has moulded jambs, shouldered lintel, plain round arch above and a plain sunk tympanum.

The West Tower (8½ ft. square) is of three storeys with a hipped roof and a square lead-covered capping. The plastered tower-arch is plain, round-headed, and of uncertain date. The S. and W. walls have each a restored window of one pointed light. The bell-chamber has square-headed loop-lights, two in the S. and one in the W. wall.

The Roof of the chancel is of three bays and probably of the 17th century, it has collar-beam trusses, and below the easternmost truss of the nave is a tie-beam with curved braces. The late 14th-century roof of the nave is of eight bays with collar-beam trusses; the collars have curved braces, and the wind-braces are cusped to form quatrefoils; the wall-plates are moulded.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 3rd from the Worcester foundry, c. 1450, and inscribed respectively "Sancte Petre ora pro nobis" and "Sancta Maria ora (pro) nobis." Font: round tapering bowl, 12th-century, on later mediæval base, octagonal stopped out to square, font said to have come from Pudleston. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to William Yeamans, 1710–1, Elizabeth Yeamans, 1708, and Elizabeth Broughton, 1708–9, stone tablet (Plate 67) with crude putti and fleur-de-lis. In churchyard—against S. wall of chancel, (2) to Thomas Rea, 1707, and Margaret his wife, 1727, headstone. Floor-slab: In nave—to ... of William Holland, 1644. Miscellanea: Incorporated in the fittings of the chancel, a number of turned balusters with capping, probably early 18th-century and part of former communion-rails.



a(2). Cinders, house and outbuilding, about 1½ m. N.E. of the church. The House (Plate 29) is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and timber-framing, and the roofs are tiled. The thick walls of the lower part of the house, the S. doorway and other details, indicate that the main block was built in the 14th century. It was heightened, and chimney-stacks added probably in the 16th century, and the N. wing was added in the 17th century. There are other modern additions. On the S. front the entrance doorway has sunk-chamfered jambs and two-centred head of 14th-century date; further E. is a blocked window of the same date and of one trefoiled light. On the N. side are two blocked windows each of one square-headed light, and there is a late 16th or early 17th-century window of two lights with a moulded oak frame and mullion. The two late 16th or early 17th-century chimney-stacks have enriched brick shafts, one with a form of rusticated ornament and the other with projecting nibs. The N. wing has some exposed framing in the upper part. Inside the building, the late 16th or early 17th-century staircase has flat shaped and pierced balusters, plain rails and chamfered newels with moulded terminals. Some of the ceiling-beams are exposed, and there are two doors of 17th-century panelling.

The Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, is of the 17th century, timber-framed, and mostly weather-boarded. A building, called a chapel and perhaps of mediæval date, is said to have stood a short distance to the S. of the house; it was destroyed in the 19th century, but a sketch of it shows the niche or window-head of curved triangular form, now re-set in the garden wall, S. of the house.


b(3). Wilden, house and outbuildings, 1,400 yards N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and timber-framing, and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built early in the 17th century, and is of T-shaped plan with the cross wing at the N. end. The cross-wing was probably re-built in the 18th century, and there are additions of the same period. A little timber-framing is exposed, as are some of the ceiling-beams. The original staircase has moulded grip-handrails, turned balusters, and square newels; at the top are some flat shaped balusters.

The Outbuildings, S.E. of the house, include a 17th-century tallat with lower walls of stone and open framing above.


b(4). Great Heath, house and outbuilding, nearly 1 m. W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, partly of stone and partly timber-framed; the roofs are slate and tile-covered. It was built early in the 17th century, and has a later wing on the E. side. The cider-house on the N. contains a mill and press of 1771. Some framing and ceiling-beams are exposed.

The Outbuilding, N. of the house, is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. It is partly of stone and partly of exposed timber-framing.


b(5). Woonton Court, nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, partly of stone and partly of exposed timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It is a long, low building of which the L-shaped block in the middle dates from early in the 17th century with later extensions on the E. and W. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams.


b(6). Whitehouse, house and outbuildings, 250 yards S.S.E. of (5). The House is of two storeys, partly of stone and partly of exposed timber-framing; the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. There are various modern additions. Some ceiling-beams are exposed inside the building.

The Outbuildings, S. of the house, are probably of the 17th century, much altered. In the E. part is a cidermill and press (Plate 80); the framing of the press is probably of the 17th century.

Condition—Fairly good.


b(7). Mound, 30 yards S. of the church, is of circular form, 25 yards in diameter at the top and rising some 9 ft. above the bottom of the surrounding ditch. A trench has been dug into the mound in modern times and only partly filled in.