Norton Canon

Pages 153-155

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.


In this section


(O.S. 6 in. XXV, S.W.)

Norton Canon is a parish 10 m. N.W. of Hereford. The church, with interesting plate, and the Old Manor House are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas (Plate 9) stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls of the tower are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the rest of the church is of red brick on a stone base and with stone dressings; the roofs are covered with stone slates and tiles. A piscina, now loose in the porch, indicates the existence of a 12th-century church on the site. The earliest part of the existing building is the late 13th-century North-West Tower. The rest of the church, consisting of Chancel, Nave, Transepts, North Vestry and South Porch, was re-built in 1706, with the re-use of many late 13th-century windows and doorways. The church was restored in 1868 and 1876, when the walls generally were raised a few feet, new arches inserted to the chancel and transepts, and the internal window-splays, etc., renewed.

Though altered the building is of some interest as an early 18th-century structure, and among the fittings the pre-Reformation paten is noteworthy.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (25¾ ft. by 16¼ ft.) has a re-set late 13th-century E. window of three pointed lights with the mullions carried up to the two-centred head to form the middle light. The side walls have each two windows of the same date and of two pointed lights in a two-centred head; between the S. windows is a late 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The chancel-arch is modern.

The Nave (58½ ft. by 20 ft.) has modern arches opening into the transepts. The three side windows, one on the N. and two on the S., are all of late 13th-century date re-set and of two trefoiled lights; the 13th-century N. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head; the S. doorway, probably of the same date, has chamfered jambs and a rounded head. In the W. wall is a modern doorway and a re-set late 13th-century window of three trefoiled lights in a segmental-pointed head.

The North Transept (9 ft. by 17¾ ft.) and the South Transept (8 ft. by 18 ft.) have each a late 13th-century window in the outer wall, similar to the E. window of the chancel.

The North-West Tower is of late 13th-century date and of three stages with a splayed plinth and a pyramidal roof resting on a plain corbel-table. The ground-stage has, in the E. wall, a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The N. and W. walls have each a window of one trefoiled light of differing detail; the recesses have flat corbelled heads. The second stage has, in the E., N. and W. walls, a window similar to those in the stage below. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights. The E. wall has the marks of a former pent-roof, cutting across the second-stage window.

The North Vestry has, re-set in the E. wall, a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights.

The South Porch has an outer archway with plain jambs and segmental head. On the W. jamb is the inscription, "This church re-built 1706," with the added date 1897 below.

The Roof of the tower is of mediæval date and has a central post standing on crossed tie-beams.

Fittings—Chest: In S. transept—large, framed, with plain fielded panels, one lock, probably early 18th-century. Coffin-lids: In nave—three, all fragmentary, with ornamental cross-heads and two with enriched stems in addition, all 13th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs, moulded lower and enriched upper rails, early to mid 17th-century. Communion Rails: with turned balusters and moulded rail, early 18th-century. Doors: In nave—in N. doorway, of battens with ledges at back, plain strap-hinges, 17th-century; in tower-doorway, of nail-studded battens diagonal framing, plain strap-hinges, 17th-century or earlier. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Mary, wife of Henry Jones, 1698–9; (2) to Henry Jones, 1706–7; (3) to Mary, wife of George Whittney, 1698. In S. transept— (4) to John Price, 1695–6. Font (Plate 57): octagonal bowl with splayed under-side moulded at the top and bottom, plain stem and moulded base on steps with high step on W. side, 13th-century. Glass: In nave—in S.W. window, quarries with grisaille, late 13th-century. In N. transept—in N. window, similar quarries with coloured border of running flower-ornament, late 13th-century. Piscina: In S. porch—loose, scalloped and enriched capital of pillar-piscina, with square drain, 12th-century. Plate: includes an Elizabethan cup (Plate 60) with a band of engraved ornament round the bowl and a late 15th-century paten (Plate 59) with a sex-foiled sinking at the bottom enclosing an engraved 'vernicle.' Pulpit: modern but incorporating early 17th-century material, including an enriched arcaded panel, styles with terminal figures, other styles and rails with guilloche-ornament, etc. Reredos: made up of early 17th-century woodwork, including an arcaded panel and others with various enrichments, styles with half-baluster ornament, etc. Seating: In nave and N. transepts, eleven pews and front-desks, with fielded panelling, early 18th-century, one standard made up of earlier panelling. Miscellanea: Under the S.E. angle of the S. transept, large square stone with part of a circular setting-out line on the top surface, probably Roman.


Monuments (2–25)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed, and with tile or slate-covered roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(2). Cottage (Plate 33), on the S. side of the road, 270 yards S. of the church, has a thatched roof.

(3). Cottage, 30 yards S.W. of (2), has a shingled roof. The eaves have moulded wood fascias. Inside the building, the staircase has a balustrade at the top, with original flat shaped balusters.

(4). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, opposite (3), has a thatched roof.

(5). Norton House and outbuilding, on the N. side of the road, 300 yards S.S.W. of the church. The House is original only in its eastern part; the rest was re-built and the whole refronted in brick early in the 19th century. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.

The Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, is partly of modern brick. The roof has side-posts standing on the main beams of the first floor.

(6). Barns, at Cross Farm, 120 yards E. of (5), are weather-boarded; the lower part of the northern barn is of stone, and the roof is covered with corrugated-iron. The southern barn is of three bays.

(7). Cottage and outbuildings, on the S. side of the road at Pig Street, 1,560 yards W.N.W. of the church. The Cottage was built probably late in the 16th century and contains some original moulded ceiling-beams. The Outbuildings include a barn of four bays, weather-boarded, and a range of stables with a tallat above.

(8). Cottage, 60 yards W.N.W. of (7), has been very much altered and restored.

(9). Cottage (Plate 27), 20 yards N.W. of (8), has a thatched roof.

(10). Cottage (Plate 27), N.W. of and generally similar to (9), has a thatched roof.

(11). Cottage, 250 yards W.N.W. of (10), and 1 m. W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.

(12). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, at Norton Wood, 1¼ m. W.N.W. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.

(13). Cottage, 60 yards N. of and generally similar to (12), has a plastered front. The outbuilding, W. of the cottage, is of the 17th century.

(14). Cottage, 370 yards W. of (13), has a thatched roof.

(15). Outbuilding, at Calver Hill House, 1,500 yards N.W. of the church, has heavy framing and five roof-trusses. The roof is covered with corrugated-iron.

(16). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 160 yards S.E. of (15), has an 18th-century extension on the E.

(17). House and barns, on the E. side of the road, 50 yards S. of (16). The House was built on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E., but the space between the wings has now been built over. The W. front has been refaced in brick. The Barn, E. of the house, is of three bays. A second barn, S.W. of the house, is also of three bays and is connected with the house by a later range of outbuilding.

(18). The Old Manor House and outbuildings, 30 yards N.E. of (17). The House was built probably late in the 16th century, and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. It probably once extended further to the W. The N. wing is probably a 17th-century addition. The original wing has exposed timber-framing and with a moulded beam at the base of the N. gable; this side retains two original oriel-windows, three-sided, and resting on shaped brackets; the mullions, cornices and sills are moulded.

The Barn, N.W. of the house, is partly roofless, and is probably of the same date as the house. The out-building adjoining the W. end of the house is of four main bays, and probably of late 17th-century date.


(19). Cottage, 120 yards S. of (17), has an outbuilding on the N. side.

(20). Cottage, 50 yards S. of (19), has been heightened in the 18th century and refronted in modern brick.

(21). Red Castle, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, ¾ m. W. of the church, has a thatched roof.

(22). Green Farm, house (Plate 29), on the E. side of the road, ¾ m. N.W. of the church, is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end. It has been refaced in stone. Inside the building is an original doorway with a shaped head.

(23). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 200 yards S.S.W. of (22), has been much altered.

(24). Cottage, immediately S. of (23), has been re-roofed and otherwise altered.

(25). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road, at Eccles Green, 960 yards N.N.W. of the church, has been refaced in brick and has a modern wing on the N.W.