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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62 PUDLESTON (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. XIII, S.W.)
Pudleston is a small parish 4 m. E. of Leominster. The church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate 10) 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 and the spire is shingled. The West Tower, in spite of its early features, is perhaps not earlier than c. 1200. The Chancel was probably re-built in the 13th century. The Nave and North Aisle were re-built in 1813, the South Aisle added in 1850, and the chancel restored in 1857. The North Vestry and South Porch are modern.
The tower is of some architectural interest.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by 16½ ft.) has a modern E. window, replacing a three-light window now re-set as the E. window at Middleton on the Hill. In the N. wall is a doorway, an arch and a window, all modern. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost of early 14th-century date and of two lights with a modern head; the two other windows are 13th-century lancet-lights, the first re-set in place of a doorway, the lines of which are shown by straight joints in the walling. There is no masonry chancel-arch.
The Nave (35 ft. by 20½ ft.) and the aisles are modern.
The West Tower (8¾ ft. square) is of three stages finished with a timber spire rising from the middle of a pyramidal roof. The walls have a pronounced batter inwards, and the quoins are of fairly large stones set partly on end; in addition to this the walls are finished with a rubble plinth and rubble oversailing courses at the top and the rear-arches of the windows and the arched recess in the E. wall are all built of rubble slabs not set radially and widely gapped at the apex; all these are features indicating an early and even pre-Conquest date, but, on the other hand, there is no indication that the existing lancet-windows are insertions and must therefore indicate the real date of the tower. The inserted tower-arch (Plate 13), perhaps of the 14th century, has plain jambs and a chamfered segmental arch; the early walling stops at about the width of the tower on the E. face. The N. and S. walls of the ground stage have each an early 13th-century lancet-window. In the W. wall is a 12th-century doorway (Plate 44) with jambs of two plain orders, moulded and enriched imposts and an arch of two orders, the inner plain and the outer with cheveron-ornament; the chamfered label has an enrichment of palmette leaves; the tympanum is modern. The second stage has, in the E. wall, an arched recess of rough segmental form built of thin rubble slabs and of faulty construction at the crown; the arch is set back from the face of the responds on each side; only the slabs at the crown are continued through the wall; within the arch is a lancet-window set looking into the tower. The N. and S. walls have each a lancet-window. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two lancet-lights.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st inscribed in Lombardic capitals, "Johannes amice xpe," said to have come from Whyle Chapel; 3rd inscribed, "Sancte Petre ora pro nobis," both by the Worcester foundry, 15th-century; 2nd by Clibury, 1673; 4th by John Finch, 1639. Bier: In tower—with turned legs and hinged handles, one inscribed, "Anno Domi 1679." Chest: At rectory—dug-out chest with three straps, flat lid with strap-hinges, mediæval. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, destroyed by arch to organ-chamber, except for double chamfered E. jamb and spring of arch with moulded label, probably tomb-recess, 14th-century.
(2). Ford Abbey, house, 1,430 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys, mostly timber-framed; the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. It was built c. 1500 with a central block and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. About 1600 the S. wing and the E. part of the N. wing were re-built, and in the 17th century the S. wing was extended to the W. The W. half of the main block is modern. The upper storey formerly projected on the E. side but has been under-built in rubble. The timber-framing is exposed in the 17th-century S. wing, and on the N. side is a projecting two-storeyed porch on posts; the outer archway is of segmental form with a moulded projection in the middle; the blocked window above has a moulded sill. Inside the building much of the timber-framing and ceiling-beams are exposed. The roof of the original block has cambered tie-beams with large curved braces and shaped wall-posts. The fireplaces, on the S. side of the central stack, have four-centred heads, and there are two doorways with segmental-pointed heads.
(3). Lower Whyle, house, 1,600 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble, and the roofs are covered with slates and corrugated-iron. It was built probably in the first half of the 17th century, but has been much altered. In the N. wing is an original staircase with moulded balusters and handrails and square moulded newels with moulded terminals.
(4). Manor Farm, house, about 1 m. W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of timber-framing, rubble and brick, and the roofs are tiled. There appear to be remains of a mediæval building in the middle part of the house. The S. part dates from early in the 17th century and the N. part from later in the same century. There are various modern additions. Some of the timber-framing is exposed both outside and inside the house.