King's Pyon

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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'King's Pyon', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West, (London, 1934) pp. 86-88. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section

37 KING'S PYON (C.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXV, N.E., (b)XXVI, N.W.)

King's Pyon is a parish 8½ m. N.W. of Hereford. The church and Butthouse with its gate-house are the principal monuments.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 124) stands on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material; there is also much calcareous tufa. The roofs are covered with tiles and slates. The western part of the N. wall of the Nave, built of mixed sandstone and tufa, is probably of late 11th or early 12th-century date. The nave was largely re-built and probably lengthened towards the W., and the Chancel also re-built at the end of the 12th century. The South Transept was added late in the 13th century, but may have been partly reconstructed early in the 14th century; two altars were dedicated in the church in 1329 (Reg. Orleton). The West Tower was added early in the 14th century, and the North Vestry was probably added late in the same century. The church was restored in 1872 when the North Transept and Organ Chamber were added. The South Porch also is modern.

The church is of some architectural importance, and has interesting 14th-century roofs. Among the fittings the 14th-century monument is noteworthy.

King's Pyon, the Parish Church of St Mary

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23¾ ft. by 14½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a 12th-century window of one round-headed light; further W. is a partly restored late 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, and at the W. end of the wall is a modern opening. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is modern and the western of late 13th-century date and of one trefoiled light; between them is a 13th-century doorway (Plate 44) with moulded jambs and cinque-foiled head. The late 12th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two orders, the inner plain and the outer roll-moulded and with a moulded label; the responds (Plate 16) also are of two orders, the outer having a single keeled shaft and the inner three grouped shafts of which the middle one is keeled; all have moulded bases, capitals either scalloped or carved with water-leaf foliage and moulded abaci.

The North Vestry is probably of late 14th-century date and has in both the E. and N. walls a window of one wide trefoiled ogee light. In the N. gable is re-set a small 12th-century window of one round-headed light. A similar window is re-set in the N. wall of the Organ Chamber.

The Nave (49 ft. by 19¾ ft.) has a modern N. arcade of two bays opening into the transept; further W. is a 12th-century window of one round-headed light; the blocked 12th-century N. doorway has roll-moulded jambs, round head and a moulded label with leaf-stops. In the S. wall is a late 13th-century arcade of two bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical column has a moulded capital and base, and the chamfered responds have each three grouped shafts, with moulded bases and capitals; the middle shaft is filleted; the shafts of the E. respond are modern; further W. is a 14th-century window of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the late 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 44) has a round arch of two moulded orders, the inner continuous and the outer resting on keeled shafts with moulded bases and scalloped capitals.

The South Transept (16¼ ft. by 17 ft.) has, in the E. wall, a late 14th-century window of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a square head. In the S. wall is a window all modern externally except the jambs. In the W. wall is a blocked square-headed window of which the jambs remain.

The West Tower (10¾ ft. square) is of early 14th-century date and of two stages with an embattled parapet. The ground stage has, in the E. wall, a rough square-headed doorway, now blocked; higher up is a second blocked doorway, presumably serving a former gallery. In the N. and S. walls are plain square-headed windows, and below the S. window is an 18th-century doorway. The middle storey of the tower has a square-headed window in the N., S. and W. walls. In the E. wall of this storey is a blocked late 12th-century doorway or window, central with the nave. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of one trefoiled ogee light with a label.

The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century date, formerly boarded in an elliptical form; it has moulded wall-plates and ribs dividing it into panels. The early 14th-century roof of the nave (Plate 123) is of four main bays with cambered tie-beams, foiled struts to the principals and trefoiled braces below the collar which is set close to the ridge; each bay is sub-divided by a collar with trefoiled braces, set at a lower level than those of the main trusses; the wind-braces form two ranges of trefoiled arches; the main timbers are moulded. The 14th-century roof of the S. transept is of similar type and has a truss against the N. wall and two intermediate collar-beam trusses similar to those of the main roof; the wind-braces are similar to those of the nave, and the wall-plates are moulded.

Fittings—Bells: five; 4th by Robert Oldfield, 1606; 5th by John Martin, 1657. Font (Plate 55): tapering cylindrical bowl with moulded base, 13th-century. Monument: In S. transept—in S. wall, canopied recess with altar-tomb and effigies (Plate 94), recess with shafted jambs and cinque-foiled and sub-cusped arch in a square head with quatre-foiled spandrels; altar-tomb with front of seven trefoil-headed panels; effigy of man in armour with camail, bascinet, etc. jupon bearing arms, probably of Mortimer, head on cushions, feet on lion; freestone effigy of lady, with nebuly head-dress, angels at head and feet on dog, mid to late 14th-century, figures much mutilated. Piscina: In S. transept—in S. wall, recess with trefoiled head and quatre-foiled drain, late 13th-century.

Condition—Good, except for some cracks in W. wall of nave.


b(2). Butthouse (Plate 118), house, gate-house and outbuildings, over 1 m. S. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are partly timber-framed and partly of stone and brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century and is of modified T-shaped plan with the main or cross-wing at the E. end. The house has been partly refaced in the 18th century. The E. front is symmetrically arranged with two gables and two two-storeyed gabled bays of less height set in front of them. Each of the bays has two original windows of four transomed lights, with moulded frames and mullions; between the bays is a similar window of three lights, and below it a modern porch. The main part of the front has closely-spaced timber-framing, as has the N. end of the cross-wing. The S. side has been refaced. The N. side of the W. wing is of rubble with two projecting chimney-stacks and an original window of three lights with a moulded frame.

In the garden is the base of a stone cross, and this with two grotesque corbels built into the house may have come from Wormsley Priory, the site of which lies 750 yards S.W. of the house.

The Gate-house (Plate 119), N.W. of the house, is a square timber-framed building of two storeys, with a gable on each face. The upper storey projects on all sides, and the timber-framing is exposed. The outer or N. face has a square-headed doorway with a moulded frame and a battened door with strap-hinges; in the door is a wicket. The upper storey has a blocked window of two transomed lights, and below it are two enriched arcaded panels enclosing wooden cartouches with the initials and date G. and E.K., 1632, one cartouche being a modern copy; at the sides the framing forms ornamental lozenge-shaped panels; the bargeboards are carved with dragonesque forms, and there is a pendant at the apex. The inner or S. face is generally similar but has a projecting oriel-window resting on a shaped bracket and now fitted with a modern door or shutter; the sill is moulded. The overhang is covered by a fascia-board carved with dragons and scrolls. The angles of the building have shaped brackets. The ground floor has two diagonal beams and one cross-beam, all chamfered.

The Stables, S.W. of the house, are partly of rubble, with timber-framing above.


b(3). Black Hall, house and barn, 180 yards S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed, and with tiled roofs. A crutch-truss at the W. end of the main building indicates that it is of mediæval origin. The S. wing (Plate 19) was added probably late in the 16th century. The main block was partly refaced in brick and otherwise altered in the 18th century. The S. wing has exposed timber framing, close set in the lower storey, but mostly in squares in the upper storey. The upper storey projects on the free sides, but a modern addition covers the projection on the W. On the N. side of the main block is an early 17th-century doorway with a moulded frame. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams and timber-framing. The lower part of the original crutch-truss has been cut away on the S. side. In the main block is an early 17th-century doorway with a moulded frame, and the inscription "Non est mortale quod opto," also a re-used wall-post with a shaped head. In the S. wing is a moulded ceiling-beam. There are other moulded ceiling-beams and joists on the first floor and some 17th-century panelling.

The Barn (Plate 37), S.E. of the house, is of mediæval date and of four bays with crutch-trusses about 16 ft. apart. The trusses have collar-beams with curved braces below.


Monuments (4–13)

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

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

b(4). Cottage, on the S.E. side of the road, 120 yards N. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century. The roof has been subsequently raised.

b(5). Cottage, 10 yards N.W. of (4).

b(6). Dove-cote (Plate 41), at Brook House, 180 yards N.W. of the church, is perhaps of early 18th-century date and stands on a stone base. It is square, and finished with a pyramidal roof and a square timber lantern.

b(7). The Steps, cottage, on the W. side of the road, 620 yards N.N.W. of the church. One of the vertical timbers bears the date 1671. The cottage has perhaps been reconstructed.

b(8). The Hill, house, 700 yards N. of the church, is partly of rubble, and was built probably in the 16th century, but much altered in the 17th century. There is an added 18th-century wing at the E. end. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the W. end of the N. front; the gable has herring-bone framing. Most of the rest of the framing is in squares. The chimney-stack on this side has a stone tablet with shields-of-arms of Carpenter and another family. The S. side has been largely refronted in brick. Inside the building is a little early 17th-century panelling.

b(9). Cottage, 260 yards N.E. of (8), was built probably early in the 18th century.

b(10). Hyde Field, house, ¾ m. N. of the church, has an early 18th-century wing at the back, the main block being of later date. Inside the earlier wing is a staircase with moulded handrail, plain strings, square newels and shaped flat balusters.

a(11). Logpool, house, nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church, has a cross-wing at the N. end.

a(12). New Cottage, ¼ m. S.W. of (11), has been largely refaced in brick and the roofs re-built.

a(13). Wootton, house and barn, over 1¼ m. S.W. of the church. The House has a modern main block, but the back wing is old, considerably altered and extended towards the W.

The Barn, 150 yards E.S.E. of the house, is probably of mediæval date and is of four bays with crutch-trusses and collars. The main timbers are double-chamfered and have curved braces.


b(14). Mound, 150 yards N.N.E. of (2), is roughly circular, 30 yards in diameter at the base and 19 yards at the top. It is about 9 ft. high.

Condition—Planted with trees.