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. All rights reserved.


, 'Kinnersley', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West, (London, 1934) pp. 96-100. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "Kinnersley", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West, (London, 1934) 96-100. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

. "Kinnersley", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West, (London, 1934). 96-100. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,

In this section


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

Kinnersley is a parish 5 m. S.E. of Kington. The church, with a gabled tower and interesting 17th-century monument, and the late Elizabethan Kinnersley Castle are the principal monuments.


Kinnersley, the Parish Church of St James

b(1). Parish Church of St. James (Plate 125) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The Nave dates from about the middle of the 12th century. The Chancel was re-built late in the 13th century. The N. arcade was built and the North and South Aisles added c. 1320–40 and probably soon after the North West Tower was built; the South Porch was added in the 14th century. The S. arcade was re-built late in the 15th century; it was intended to extend the nave further W. but this scheme was not proceeded with. The church was restored in 1868, when the chancel-arch was re-built. The North Vestry is modern but is perhaps on the site of an earlier N. Porch.

The church is of some architectural interest, the saddle-back roof of the tower being unusual. Among the fittings the Smalman monument is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 18½ ft.) is of late 13th-century date and has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with a large trefoil in a two-centred head; the rear-arch is shouldered at the springing-level. The gable cross is ancient. The side walls have each two windows, the eastern of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head and the western a single lancet-light; all have shouldered rear-arches. A patch in the S. wall probably represents a former doorway. The chancel-arch is modern.

The Nave (50¼ ft. by 18½ ft.) has a 14th-century N. arcade of four bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases; on the N. face of the wall is a chamfered string-course, broken by the heads of the arches, and perhaps of 12th-century date. The late 15th-century S. arcade is of four bays with moulded two-centred arches continued down the columns and responds, but with the roll-mouldings or shafts interrupted by moulded bands and finished with moulded bases; the W. respond is a partly engaged column indicating the intention to carry the arcade further W.; the E. respond stands on a square moulded sub-base which may belong to an earlier arcade or arch. E. of the arcade is a late 15th-century stair-turret to the rood-loft; the doorways are blocked, but there is a loop-light in the outer wall. In the W. wall is a late 14th or early 15th-century window of three trefoiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; below the window is the round arch of a destroyed 12th-century doorway; it is of one plain order with an enriched label and plain chamfered imposts; higher up the wall are remains of a 12th-century moulded string-course with cableornament.

The North Aisle (7¼ ft. wide) has a 14th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are three windows, the two easternmost of the 14th century and of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head, and the westernmost a modern imitation; the 14th-century N. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head.

The South Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) has, in the S. wall, three windows uniform with the corresponding windows in the N. aisle; the early 14th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch.

The North-West Tower (about 12½ ft. square) is of 14th-century date and of four storeys, undivided externally; it has a high battered plinth and is finished with a gabled roof running E. and W. In the E. wall of the ground stage is a plain pointed archway of uncertain date; above it the wall-face on the E. is set back. The N., S. and W. walls have each a window of a single trefoiled ogee light; below the S. window is a doorway made up of moulded stonework like that of the S. arcade. The second storey has a window in the W. wall similar to those in the storey below. The third storey has a loop-light in the S. and W. walls. The bell-chamber has in each wall a single-light window; those on the E. and S. with trefoiled heads and the others with modern square heads. The gables have each a small loop-light.

The South Porch is mainly of the 14th century, and has, at the S. end, moulded posts with curved braces and a cambered tie-beam. The sides have each four trefoiled heads cut in the same beam and with modern supports forming four lights.

The Roof of the chancel is ceiled with modern boarding. The trussed-rafter roof of the nave has two tie-beams, and is perhaps of the 15th century. The 14th-century pent-roof of the N. aisle continues the slope of the nave roof; it has six trusses formed by struts which, together with the principals, are foiled. The pent-roof of the S. aisle is divided by trusses with plain curved struts carried on wood brackets; these brackets and the feet of the principals have applied 17th-century carvings, heads, roses, a cherub-head, etc., but the roof itself may be older. The gabled roof of the tower has two old trusses and curved wind-braces. The modern S. porch may incorporate some old timbers.

Fittings—Bells: four; 1st by T. Clibury, 1671; 2nd by H. Farmer of Gloucester, inscribed "Frances Smalman ES. C.G.S., 1618"; 4th by John Greene, 1634. Brass: In chancel—on N. wall, of William Leviot, bachelor of canon law and rector, 1421, half figure of priest in mass-vestments and inscription-plate. Chairs (Plate 48): In chancel—two, with turned front legs, curved arms and enriched and panelled backs with bands of leaf-ornament and scrolled cresting with crown, 17th-century. Communion Table: with heavy bulbous legs carved with conventional ornament, panelled and enriched rails, late 16th-century. Communion Rails: modern, but incorporating 17th-century turned balusters. Door: In S. doorway—of broad battens with modern backing, two strap-hinges, probably 17th-century. Glass: In N. aisle—in tracery of middle N. window, grisaille glass, etc., 14th-century. Lectern: with turned baluster-stem of wood, 17th-century. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, with rebated reveals and trefoiled head, grooves for shelf, late 13th-century. Monument and Floor-slabs: Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, of Francis Smalman, 1633, and Susan his second wife, 1632, monument erected by William Smalman, their son, 1635, alabaster and black marble wall-monument (Plate 126), with kneeling figures of man in corselet, cloak, etc., and wife, under a draped canopy in the form of an ermine-lined tent, held back by flying cherubs with trumpets, deep projecting base on carved stone brackets and having kneeling figures of Francis, Jane, Jone, William and Alose Smalman, children of the two marriages, and of John, William and Susan Clarke, children of the first wife by a former husband, John Clarke, achievement and seven shields-of-arms, monument regilt and repainted. Floor-slabs: In S. aisle—(1) to Ann (Wight), wife of Richard King, 1714; (2) to Joseph Good . . ., 16 . .; (3) defaced slab with date 168.. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, octofoiled drain, late 13th-century. In N. aisle—in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, quatre-foiled drain, early 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and four-centred head, round drain, broken away, late 15th-century. Pulpit: modern but incorporating four panels with carved figures of virtues and one with the Virgin and Child, panels of carved work, and standing on four long scrolled and carved feet; stairs incorporate two sections of carved frieze with posts at the base carved with half female figures, 17th-century, and panels probably Flemish. Recesses: In chancel—in N. wall, with square jambs and hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed arch, late 13th-century, probably tomb-recess. In N. aisle—in N. wall, with square jambs and moulded segmental arch, early 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Reredos: probably a secular overmantel, with an added cresting; in three main bays, middle bay with central panel with a Crucifixion and subsidiary panels around it, side bays each with an enriched arcaded panel, bays separated and flanked by carved terminal figures, enriched base and frieze, carved and scrolled cresting, probably modern, rest late 16th or early 17th-century. Flanking reredos, re-used, panelling of same period with some enriched and arcaded panels and others with incised and carved designs and with enriched bands between the panels. Scratchings: On N. arcade of nave and on E. window of N. aisle, various masons' marks. On steps of roodstair consecutive Roman numerals. Screen: Between chancel and nave—lower part only with moulded posts and rails and of two bays on each side of opening, each bay in two ranges, lower close-panelled and upper with a band of pierced quatrefoils, early 16th-century. Stalls: modern but incorporating 17th-century carved panels. Also in chancel, a foot stool made up of early 17th-century material.



Kinnersley Castle

b(2). Kinnersley Castle, house (Plate 128) and remains of moat, immediately E. of the church. The House is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of rubble and brick and the roofs are tiled. There was a mediæval building on the site, but the existing house seems to have been erected at the end of the 16th century judging from the decoration of the drawing-room ceiling, which includes roses and fleurs-de-lis but no thistle or other Scottish emblem. The property passed about this time to Francis Smalman (d. 1633), who may have re-built the house. A fireplace in the drawing-room bears the Vaughan crest and a John Vaughan seems to have been living here in 1616. The brick gables of the house may possibly be an addition to the stone building below. The E. end of the E. wing is modern and may indicate that the house formerly projected further in this direction. There is a lower 18th-century addition, containing the offices, on the W. side. The plan is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the E. and S.

The house is an interesting example of its period, and the plaster ceiling of the drawing-room is noteworthy.

The N. Front is mainly of stone with moulded stringcourses between the storeys and is finished with three brick crow-stepped gables with black brick diapering. The windows are all of four lights, with moulded mullions and two transoms in the lower storeys and a single transom in the top storey. The entrance doorway has a round arch with an enriched archivolt and moulded bases to the jambs. The porch is modern but incorporates an old oak frame, carved lintel, enriched cornice and carved brackets. The chimney-stack, behind this front has five attached diagonal shafts. The E. end of the N. wing is modern, and the S. front of the same wing has modern windows. The staircase-wing, in the angle of the building, is divided into five stages by moulded string-courses; the windows are of three transomed lights, but the ground-floor window on the S. is modern. The E. side of the S. wing is generally similar to the N. front, with two brick gables. The S. end of the S. wing has a re-built gable and two modern turrets. The ground-floor window is modern but the windows above, of six and four transomed lights respectively, are old but partly restored. The W. elevation is generally similar to the N. front, but partly covered by a lower added wing; it has four brick gables and windows similar to those on the other fronts.

Interior—The Entrance Hall is lined with original panelling with a fluted frieze, partly modern, and cresting above the window, probably re-set; in the W. wall is a blocked doorway with an original moulded frame. The Lobby, next the staircase, has some re-used panelling. The Lower Drawing-room is lined with original panelling with a gadrooned frieze and restored cornice. In the 18th-century addition is some re-used original panelling. On the first floor, the Upper Drawing-room (Plate 127) has a fireplace (Plate 52) with a flat enriched band round the opening, two round panels and one enriched rectangular panel above, bearing the Vaughan crest; the flanking Ionic columns support an entablature above which the chimneybreast is covered by an elaborate oak-tree design in modelled plaster, with a Tudor rose on the front of the trunk; the feature is finished with an entablature, the frieze enriched with running foliage and fruit. The walls of the room are finished with a wide plaster frieze, enriched with strapwork or scrolls, Tudor roses, oak-leaves, etc.; at intervals are shields or cartouches with various devices including fleurs-de-lis, Tudor rose, harp, etc.; the window-recesses have tendril designs with roses. The ceiling (Plate 72) is divided by moulded ribs into a series of geometrical panels enriched with rosettes, tendrils, cornucopia-motif, scrolled snakes or monsters, etc.; it is partly painted and gilt and is finished against the walls, with a moulded cornice. A bedroom in the E. wing is partly lined with original panelling. On the second floor is a considerable amount of original panelling, mostly re-set. A bedroom in the E. wing has an overmantel of three enriched arcaded bays, divided and flanked by terminal figures; in the middle panel is a conventional rosetree, and the date 1618; the side panels have foliagesprigs and a fleur-de-lis; the upper part of the walls has original plaster decoration of sprigs and tendrils with rosettes, etc. A bedroom in the S. wing has an overmantel partly made up of original panelling with three arched panels, enriched pilasters and a carved figure of a woman; the fireplace is flanked by terminal figures. The staircase is of well-type with an enclosed well; leading to it are two archways on the ground floor made up with old oak; two doorways on the second floor have old doors with original moulded oak frames; at this level is fixed a table on ten balusters which form a balustrade to the staircase; above this point is a newel-staircase enclosed in framing with a chamfered post and shaped bracket at the angle; there is a similar post on the next floor; the newel-staircase is entered by an original door with a moulded frame.

The Moat has been almost entirely filled in, but there are remains to the N. and E. of the house.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (3–26)

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. Many of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

b(3). Cottage, on the N. side of the road at Sallys, nearly ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, has been heightened in the 18th century.

b(4). Cottage, 120 yards N.E. of (3), was built probably early in the 18th century.

b(5). Cottage, on the edge of the parish, 200 yards E.N.E. of (4), has been refaced in brick and altered in the 18th century.

b(6). Barn, at the Parks, 1,650 yards E. of the church, is of one storey, with a range of wattle-filled panels under the eaves.

b(7). Cottage, two tenements, ¾ m. N.E. of the church, was perhaps reconstructed with older materials early in the 18th century; it has a half-hipped gable on the S. side.

b(8). Newchurch Farm, house, 100 yards N.W. of (7), is of H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. It has been partly refaced in brick and stone in the 18th century.

a(9). Cottage, on the N. edge of the parish at Logaston, nearly 1¼ m. N. of the church. The S. wall has been raised in the 18th century.

b(10). Cottage, 200 yards S.W. of (9), has been much altered and extended towards the N. About 15 yards S.W. of the cottage is a partly weather-boarded barn.

b(11). Gate Farm, house (Plate 32), on the N.W. side of the road, ¼ m. S.W. of the church, has later additions at both ends and two modern porches and gables on the S. side.

b(12). Cottage (Plate 26), 50 yards S.W. of (11), is of mediæval date and has two original crutch-trusses, one in the W. wall and one in the middle of the building.

c(13). House, at Ailey, 1,230 yards S.S.W. of the church, has been largely re-built except for the much altered S. wing.

c(14). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 100 yards S. of (13), has been much altered.

c(15). Ailey Farm, house, 80 yards W.S.W. of (14), was built probably late in the 16th century. In the 17th century it was extended towards the E. and a wing added on the S. The N. wall has been heightened. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.

c(16). Upper Ailey Farm, house, 1,600 yards S.S.W. of the church and 170 yards W. of (15), is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end. The N. part of the cross-wing is perhaps of slightly later date than the main block. The upper storey projects at both ends of the cross-wing on shaped brackets partly modern; the northern projection has a moulded bressummer and below it is an original window of four lights.

c(17). House, now Post Office, and Mason's Arms Inn, 100 yards W. of (16), was built probably late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S. There are various modern additions. On the N. front is a moulded eaves-beam with shaped brackets below it. Adjoining the E. wing is a weather-boarded outbuilding.

c(18). Old Castle Farm, house, 100 yards W. of (17), has been re-built except the back wall. To the N.W. is a cottage, now used as a dairy, and adjoining it is an outbuilding.

c(19). Cottage, 140 yards S. of (18), has a large projecting chimney-stack on the N. side.

c(20). Lower Ailey Farm, house, 1,480 yards S. of the church, is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S. end. There are various modern additions.

a(21). Little Parton, house, 1½ m. S.W. of the church, incorporates an old cottage.

b(22). Upper Newton Farm, house and outbuilding, 1,100 yards W. of the church. The House was built c. 1600 on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the N. end. There are 18th-century and modern additions. The E. end of the cross-wing has a moulded beam at the first-floor level and the gable projects on a moulded beam and shaped brackets. Inside the building are some moulded ceiling-beams.

The Outbuilding, N. of the house, is now a garage.

b(23). Lower Newton Farm, house, 400 yards E.N.E. of (22), has diagonal framing in the S.E. gable.

b(24). Cottage, 30 yards S.W. of (23).

b(25). Lower Newton Cottages, 90 yards N.W. of (23). The northern portion is of the 18th century.

b(26). Cottage, 40 yards N.W. of (25), has later additions.