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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3 ASTON (D.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. III, S.W.)
Aston is a small parish 8½ m. N.N.W. of Leominster. The church, with a remarkable 12th-century doorway, is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Giles stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built about the middle of the 12th century. The Chancel was largely re-built in the 13th century when the chancel-arch was re-built. There appears to have been a N. vestry, now destroyed. At some uncertain date the E. wall of the chancel was re-built. The church was restored in 1883 when the bell-turret was re-built.
The tympanum and other ornaments of the N. doorway are remarkable examples of mid 12th-century work.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (13½ ft. square) has an E. wall, perhaps of the 17th century or earlier, and an E. window with 13th-century splays and a modern head and rear-arch. In the N. wall is a 12th-century window of one round-headed light, all modern externally; further W. is a doorway, perhaps of the 17th century; it has a wooden frame and a square head and is now blocked. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 13th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights; the western window is a 'low-side' of late 15th or early 16th-century date, and of one square-headed light with a modern shutter. The 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two continuous chamfered orders.
The Nave (27 ft. by 15¼ ft.) has, in the N. wall, a 12th-century window of one round-headed light; the mid 12th-century N. doorway has plain jambs with chamfered imposts (Plate 16) carved with dragonesque forms or foliage, and a round arch with cheveronornament, enclosing a carved tympanum (Plate 85); this has a central circle enclosing an Agnus Dei and supported by a beast with an eagle's head and wings for St. John and the winged ox of St. Luke; an outer band has four beasts and a bird in foliage on the curved part and checker-ornament above the door-opening. In the S. wall are two modern windows; the 12th-century S. doorway, now blocked, has plain jambs and flat lintel with a round arch above enclosing a plain panel or tympanum. In the W. wall are two modern windows.
The Roof of the nave is of late 14th-century date and of four bays; the middle trusses have tie-beams and collars with curved braces between them forming segmental arches; the end trusses have tie-beams, collars and queen-posts; between the purlins are diagonal wind-braces cusped on the under side.
Fittings—Bell: one, by John Martin of Worcester, 1691. Brackets: In nave—over chancel-arch, two stone corbels. Chair: In chancel—with curved arms and panelled back with incised geometrical design, mid 17th-century. Coffin-lid: In chancel—against N. wall, fragment with incised stem on trefoiled base, early 14th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs, late 17th or early 18th-century. Plate: includes 17th-century cup with baluster-stem and a pewter plate of late 17th or early 18th-century date. Miscellanea: In nave—stone (Plate 16) in the form of a truncated cone hollowed out on the base, sides carved with a dragon, beast and scrolled foliage, 12th century, purpose uncertain.
(2). Mound (Plan, p. xxviii) and moat 120 yards N.E. of the church, probably a castle-mound or tump. The mound is roughly circular, and about 47 yards in diameter at the base, rising about 24 ft. above the bottom of the ditch. The moat is still wet on the N.W. side.
Condition—Planted with trees.
(3). The Farm, house about 150 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates and tiles. It was built early in the 17th century, on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S. end. There is a late 17th-century addition on the N.E. and an 18th-century extension on the W. On the N. side is an original window with moulded mullions. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling beams.
(4). Mound (Plan, p. xxviii), S. of the road and 350 yards N.N.E. of the church, is roughly circular in form, 50 yards in diameter at the base, and with a flat top rising at most about 9½ ft. above the surrounding ground. There are traces of a ditch on the S. and W. and of a small outer enclosure on the W.
(5). Lynchets, near the foot of Juniper Hill, 650 yards N.E. of the church, consist of five terraces of varying width from 45 to 25 ft. and extending to an average length of 115 yards.