Guest Contribution: Ruth Richardson
Guest Contribution: Guide to St Faith’s Church Bacton
2008 - 2019
This guide to Saint Faith’s Church, Bacton, is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author, Ruth E. Richardson, who retains the copyright. Please refer to our terms and conditions of use .
Ewyas Lacy Study Group
Bacton Church Guide: £1
please put in the wall box – thank you
St. Faith’s Church
In 2015 the BACTON ALTAR CLOTH was recognised as
unique, a valuable surviving Elizabethan, and indeed Tudor, textile.
It is white silk shot through with silver, and embroidered with gold.
Due to sumptuary laws for clothes, such material was worn by royalty.
It was a skirt front panel from one of the 1,900+ dresses worn
by Queen Elizabeth I herself.
Later made into a Ridley Altar Cloth & sent to Bacton Church
in memory of Blanche Parry: displayed here for 106 years.
Conserved by the Historic Royal Palaces Conservation Department
at Hampton Court Palace.
Our beautiful replica, printed on canvas, with a very high resolution,
was photographed with special equipment to reveal stunning detail.
Bacton Church owns three nationally important treasures:
- the pre-Reformation Chalice and Paten, see page 4
- the unique Bacton Altar Cloth, see page 2
- the rare depictions of coloured military ribbon decorations, see page 3
and also see www.blancheparry.com for further research details.
Guide to Bacton Church
See www.blancheparry.com for coloured photographs and more information
This lovely Church of Bacton, overlooking the Golden Valley, is dedicated to Saint Faith. The site is an old one. A Roman fort stood in the meadow below, by the River Dore. The earliest known Christian dedication of this Church was to Saint Foi (or Moi / Tyfoi), a disciple of Bishop Dubricius or Dyfrig, the greatest of Herefordshire’s early saints. Reputedly born in nearby Madley, his 6th century preaching circuit included Moccas and Hentland.
Bacton is Old English meaning ‘Bacca’s enclosed homestead’ and the nearby field named Cwm Sayce (tithe no. 22) means the Saxon/English valley. According to the 1086 Domesday Book, Edwy and Alfward were the last Englishmen to hold the area before the 1066 Norman Conquest. Then by 1086 Gilbert held the manor from Roger de Lacy. His motte-and-bailey castle was built ¾ mile north of the Church, which was then in the gift of a lay patron. In 1166 William de Bacton held a knight’s fee in the area. A later Gilbert, a knight, was said to have granted a ploughed field (perhaps Lower Monk homs , also called Bacton ham, tithe 58) to Dore Abbey while drunk! In 1240-1241 Robert de Strettun was the lay patron of Bacton Church. In 1452 the castle site was a part of the outbuildings for Newcourt built by Harri Ddu ap Gruffudd (Griffith) the Lord of Bacton, first Steward of (Cistercian) Dore Abbey, Steward of Ewyas Lacy, adherent of the Herberts and of the Duke of York. Newcourt is shown on Christopher Saxton’s 1577 map.
During the medieval period Saint Foi was equated with Saint Faith, the virgin martyr whose cult centre was in Conques, France. Saint Faith’s feast day was 6th October and this date was remembered as Bacton’s feast day as late as 1796. Her image would have been placed in the chancel where the organ now stands, with a candle, or light, before her for special Services. Most Churches were full of colourful statues of saints – nearby Vowchurch had 16 images.
At Bacton, these included the Rood (Christ on the Cross with the Virgin Mary and Saint John) which was placed in the rood loft, above the rood screen that divided the Church into chancel and nave. The steps to reach this rood loft can still be seen built into the north wall.
The oldest parts of the present Church, dating from the early 13th century, are the west wall and parts of the north and south walls. These are constructed of sandstone rubble, with dressings in sandstone and in the local sandy limestone. The stoup in the chancel is late 12th -early 13th century. A second recess is east of the main door. The doorway from the nave to the tower, the probable original entrance, is 13th century as is the window above it. This now contains modern stained-glass featuring Saint Faith. Alterations and repairs were undertaken in the 14th century. The two windows that survive from these alterations are the western windows in the nave north wall and in the chancel south wall respectively. The other windows, the small chancel doorway with moulded jambs, and the south doorway are all from the 15th century when the Church was lengthened.
As a substantial, stone building Bacton Church was used for regular Services and for all parish business including signing of contracts and payment of debts. Like all medieval Churches it was lime-washed outside and completely painted with colourful pictures on the inside. Traces of colour survive on roof timbers at the east end of the nave. Although the main roof timbers are late 15th century, several of the small carved angels may be even older.
The late 15th century choir stalls , or reading desks – have a carving of the Parry coat-of-arms of argent a fess between three lozenges azure on the corner of the widest panel of these stalls, signifying the seat for the most important cleric. Commissioned by Miles ap Harry, or his father Harri Ddu ap Gruffudd, for Bacton Church, it is possible, but less likely, they were reused from Dore Abbey after its 1537 Dissolution. The front panels' design, similar to domestic passage screens, has moulded frames and stop-chamfers on the uprights, while the tracery heads include spandrels of flowers and acorns, with four-petalled flowers. These stalls very probably matched the decoration of the vanished Bacton rood screen.
(see: www.blancheparry.com - Paper on Harri Ddu ap Gruffudd's Newcourt cupboard-panel & Welsh Furniture 1250-1950 , vol. I by Richard Bebb, 2007 Saer Books)
Church Tower – altered late 16th century. In his 1573 Will, Symond Parry, great-grandson of Harri Ddu ap Gruffudd, grandson of Miles ap Harry, and a brother of Blanche Parry, bequeathed:
To build the steeple at Backton, £5 (about £800 today), so that the parishioners
within 3 years of my decease do get a cunning and good workman to build the same .
Symond (or Simon) was buried here, near his brother. Many Parry ancestors, including Harri Ddu and Miles ap Harry, lie in the family vault. The tower was restored in 1907 and the clock was re-gilded in 1982 using donations given, instead of flowers, from the funerals of three parishioners.
Blanche ap Harry (or Parry)
(see: Mistress Blanche, Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante by Ruth E. Richardson, 2018 Logaston Press.)
Blanche was Chief Gentlewoman of Queen Elizabeth’s most honourable Privy Chamber and Keeper of Her Majesty’s Jewels (from her epitaph in Saint Margaret’s, Westminster where she was buried). Blanche was Queen Elizabeth’s confidante - in charge of the Queen’s jewels, books, furs, and for two years the Great Seal of England. She accepted money for the Queen, acted on the Queen’s behalf as a personal assistant, passed information to the Queen and was a channel for parliamentary bills. Everyone at the royal court recognised her pre-eminent position. She intended to be buried in Bacton, where I have prepared a tomb – according to her First Will written at her dictation by Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley , Blanche's cousin and friend, when she was seriously ill. This dates the Bacton monument to before November 1578 (probably to 1576/1577). It must have been glorious when coloured. Its original position was where the organ stands - so Blanche, kneeling, faced the altar with Queen Elizabeth in the pose of Saint Faith. One of Saint Faith’s functions was to aid the blind and at the end of her life Blanche was herself blind. This now dated, but unused, Bacton tomb is nevertheless nationally important for it is the earliest known depiction of Queen Elizabeth I as an icon, as Gloriana.
The beautiful, unique, silk Altar Cloth, fashioned from the frontispiece (skirt front panel) of a court dress belonging to the Queen, is recognised as the largest, provenanced, Elizabethan textile to survive. It was an honour to receive parts of dresses from her. This piece was professionally embroidered with flowers including sprigs of columbine and vine, daffodils, roses, honeysuckle, oak-leaves, mistletoe, acorns and two squirrels. Blanche's great-niece, Katherine Knollys, may have worked the tiny additional motifs of birds, butterflies, caterpillars, fish, dogs, stags, frogs, dragonflies, sea monsters, a bear, an island and tiny rowing boats with minuscule occupants. Framed late 1909, the original cloth has been conserved at Hampton Court Palace.
The Bequest Board in the porch records her bequest to the local people. Converted to money, it is still paid, as £14 each year to the parishioners of Newton (now Newton Saint Margaret’s) and £14 to the parishioners of Bacton Church. Blanche Parry was a fascinating, meticulous, elegant lady and is deservedly remembered. Interestingly, the other four bequests on the Board, dating 1660, 1667, 1716 and 1725, all name the residences of the donors.
The tablet with two kneeling figures facing each other shows Alexander Stantar esq., died 5th July 1620, holding a skull and his widow, Rachel, clasping a book. Traces of colour survive. Alexander Stantar’s inscription was evidently arranged by Rachel, daughter of Sir Arthur Hopton who inherited the lordship of Ewyas Lacy. The second inscription to Rachel herself, died aged 83 years, 11th November 1663, was apparently added by her second husband Lewis Thomas esq. She was probably the owner of Bacton Manor and the Hopton family were patrons of the Church.
West of the Stantar memorial are two stained-glass windows of Joshua and Longinus with inscriptions (respectively Deut. 31:32 and Mark 15:39, noted by Mrs. Angela Goedicke, NADFAS 2012) to members of the Bellers family, later owners of Bacton Manor . Colonel Robert Bridges Bellers (later Lieutenant-Colonel, 1824-1903) inherited the Bacton estate and became patron. He contributed to the erection of the present village hall and the restoration of the Churches of Bacton and Saint Margaret's.
All the four windows in the north wall commemorate relations of the Partridge family of The Green , Bacton, in whose stables Sprig, the winner of the 1927 Grand National steeplechase, was bred. This new house was built on the site of a farmhouse by William Bailey Partridge of Llanddewi Court, Monmouthshire and Mrs Mary Frances Elizabeth Partridge (née Hamp). William Bailey Partridge (High Sheriff of Breconshire in 1904) was from the family of iron masters in South Wales (which included Richard Crawshay of Cyfarthfa and Crawshay Bailey). Mrs. Partridge served for many years as a churchwarden at Bacton and was patron.
The two stained-glass angel windows are in memory of Reginald Gardiner Partridge, third son of Mr. and Mrs. Partridge, who died in 1900, in South Africa, aged 20 years. The shield gives his name and regimental badge and shows the Queen’s (Victoria) South African medal of 1900. The stained-glass windows of Saint Anne with the Virgin and Saint Elizabeth with John the Baptist are to the memory of Eliza Ann Hamp of The Grange , Bacton. Opposite, the stained-glass windows depict Saint Lawrence and Saint Stephen.
Rare depictions of Military Decorations
The wall tablets for the eldest and second sons of Mr. and Mrs. Partridge are of particular interest for, almost uniquely, coloured military ribbon decorations are carved on them.
William Hamp Partridge was awarded the Sovereign’s South African campaign medal. His younger brother, Captain Richard Crawshay Bailey Partridge, won the Military Cross, the King’s South African medal, the British War medal of 1914-1918, the Allied Victory medal of 1918 and the Croix de Guerre, the French decoration for bravery. He was killed in action, during the final advance on 28th September 1918, near Havrincourt Wood on the Western Front. The ribbons are shown on his 1918 shield with his name and regimental badge.
Following these deaths much of the Partridge estate was sold in May 1919. The other Partridge wall tablets are for relatives and connections of the family.
A tablet east of the door commemorates Arthur John Wheeler killed in the Dardanelles in 1915 (the Gallipoli Campaign). The six local men killed in the two World Wars are named on the War Memorial with, nearby, the tablet for Percy Richard Davies, 1944. Elizabeth Morgan's tablet includes the Hopton coat-of-arms. The sculptor R.Parry of Kilpeck has signed the Thomas and Elizabeth Davies' memorial. The Revd. Charles Thomas Brothers' tablet commemorates the last rector of the single parish of Bacton, who died in 1953 aged 90 years. It was Revd. Brothers who, in late 1909, arranged for The Bacton Altar Cloth to be hung in the Church so that every one could see it . From 2015 it was conserved at Hampton Court Palace.
Further Benefactions and Donations
The organ was donated by Mrs. Partridge in 1894, in memory of her father William Henry Hamp, died 1883, one of the founders of the Dore Union workhouse. The memorial of Blanche Parry was moved one bay east to accommodate this organ.
The Four Bells
- bell number three, with the inscription MORGAN on it, cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester in 1710, the same year Rudhalls cast six bells for Dore Abbey; this famous firm cast hundreds of bells between 1684-1835.
- bell number two, cast in 1858 by the Whitechapel Foundry, who described it as 400lb weight, is probably the bell recast and donated by Mrs. Partridge in 1907.
- bell number one and bell number four were donated by Mrs. Eliza Hamp in 1907.
Bacton’s version of ‘Oranges and Lemons’:
Be as good as you can - Say the bells of Bacton .
The bell ropes were mysteriously replaced one night during the incumbency of Revd. D.P. Richards, who was thought to be the donor.
The new oak bell frame in the restored tower was donated by Mrs. Partridge in 1907.
The reredos , erected in memory of Daisy Elizabeth Hamp Partridge, died in 1906 aged 21 years and of her brother Reginald Gardener Partridge, was donated by their parents.
The vestry door, donated in memory of William Arthur Reginald Ivor Manley (1912-1973), a regular worshipper and grandson of Mrs. Partridge.
Chalice and Paten
The parish also owns a beautiful silver-gilt chalice and paten, dated c.1490 to 1500, used by the priest for Mass and a photograph of these is displayed. These are a rare pre-Reformation survival; a second set in the county belongs to Leominster Priory. Medieval parishioners received the consecrated bread at Mass and usually only at Easter. The priest would elevate the chalice for the people to see and then he alone would sip the consecrated wine. As a result chalices were small. Bacton’s has JOHN and CAPUTT (or CAPULL) inscribed on the engraved hexagonal foot below a knop with leopards’, or lions’, heads. The paten has the engraved face of Christ in the centre. Both are unmarked and may be older than the c.1479 Nettlecombe (Somerset) chalice, though similarities of design suggest the same silversmith.
It is possible that the donor was Alderman John Capel, died 1505 and Mayor of Gloucester in 1484. If so, the recipients were probably the Augustinian Canons of Lanthony (Llanthony) Secunda in Gloucester. When dissolved in 1539 the canons’ Herefordshire property included Fawley later held by Blanche Parry. In 1548, during the reign of the protestant King Edward VI (1547-1553), the form of the Mass was replaced by a new Order of Communion which required all parishioners to regularly, and often, receive both the consecrated bread and wine. At the same time ornate Church plate, including chalices and patens, with other furnishings had to be surrendered. This meant that larger, plainer chalices were now required and presumably Bacton had to obtain a set. However, when King Edward died his successor was his half-sister, the catholic Queen Mary (1553-1558). She attempted to return the Church to the previous form of the Mass. It is possible that it was then that the parish hastily acquired this beautifully decorated chalice and paten, perhaps with the help of Blanche’s family, then the wealthiest landowners in Bacton parish. They would have replaced the larger, plainer set until Church Services changed yet again in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603).
Miles ap Harry Windows
For over 300 years these 15th century stained-glass windows were displayed in Bacton’s east end chancel window. They depict Miles ap Harry, died 1488, and his wife Joan (née Stradling), Blanche Parry’s grandparents. Miles and Joan are shown, kneeling, either side of an altar tomb flanked, left, by their 12 sons and, right, their 7 daughters (many named in Miles ap Harry’s 1488 Will). The Parry coat-of-arms of argent a fess between three lozenges azure has a central place and Miles has an open book turned towards him. He and his sons are bareheaded and wear long gowns, except for one son in armour. The foremost son is Henry Myles, Blanche’s father, Steward of Dore Abbey and three times Sheriff of Herefordshire. Joan wears a tight-fitting cap, while her daughters each have a more fashionable head-dress, the hair being drawn from the face into a hood at the back of the head which was then covered by a thin veil.
In 1811, Mrs. Mary Burton, a Parry descendant, removed the windows to Atcham Church (Shropshire) where her husband was the incumbent. This was possible because the Revd. J. Higgins had acquired the additional living of Llanwarne in 1810 and so was not resident in Bacton parish. Claiming the windows were being vandalised, she is said to have gained permission by making the churchwardens drunk! She gave Bacton Church a cotton velvet pulpit cloth embroidered with her arms as recompense. Later, Revd. J.G. Monro unsuccessfully negotiated for the windows’ return by offering replacement cathedral glass. A second window in Atcham Church has coats-of-arms and a representation of Blanche Parry’s Bacton memorial.
(For photographs of these windows see www.blancheparry.com and Blanche Parry's biography)
Apart from the books still in use, the surviving records are in Herefordshire Record Office, in Hereford. The earliest are two 1614 glebe terriers and two leather-bound books, with coarse paper, of churchwardens’ accounts, vestry minutes, overseers’ accounts and charity payment notes. Dating from 1715, they are fascinating as parishioners are linked to their farm names. The parish general register, on vellum, has a few entries from 1710 on the flyleaf but the main entries are 1724 to 1812. After this, separate registers were used for births, marriages and deaths. In addition, there are documents relating to the sale of the Bacton estate.
Clergy who served Bacton Church
Possibly the earliest mention of Bacton Church was in 1254 when Dore Abbey was recorded as paying 10 shillings tax for Bacton. The abbey was famous for the quality of the wool clip from the sheep run in their valley, and mid-Wales, granges. On the 2nd August 1284 Bishop Richard Swinfield of Hereford recorded that the abbot and monks of Dore held the Church of Bacton to their own uses by collation of the Bishop’s predecessors. He stated that the foundation deed, royal licences and agreements in the royal court all proved this. This meant Dore, as rector, held the greater tithes and could present vicars to the Bacton living. Dore also held Avenbury and Duntisbourne. (see: A Definitive History of Dore Abbey edited R.Shoesmith & R.E.Richardson, 1997)
The pre-Reformation clergy were accorded the title of ‘Sir’ and here, at Bacton Church, were usually monks of Dore. The vicar had to know enough Latin for the Church services, had to keep proper accounts and he often held a school for local children. He was helped in his parochial duties by a paid parish clerk, a sexton and a number of wardens.
When there was a dispute over who should be Abbot of Dore, the Bishop of Hereford presented vicars to Bacton Church by lapse, as in 1388, 1434 and 1453 (see Bishops' Transcripts).
Sir Richard, vicar from before 1334-died 1348.
In 1334 he applied to King Edward III for a licence to grant a messuage in Wyebridge Street, Hereford to Dore Abbey. He probably inherited it from his father, William de Wellington. It seems his mother, Isabel, lived in the adjoining house until her death. Both houses remained with the abbey until the 1537 Dissolution. Sir Richard also gave land in Bredwardine to the abbey.
Sir John de Porta, vicar 5th February 1349 - died shortly after, probably from the Black Death which reached Britain in 1348. In Herefordshire the disease seems to have halved the population. So many clergy died in Hereford itself that special arrangements were made to minister to the parishioners. This vividly demonstrates how involved the parish clergy were in the daily lives of those in their charge and that most were living and working within the local communities. Among their duties was the giving of last rites to the dying, and therefore highly infectious, people.
Sir Lewis ap Hykk, vicar 22nd August 1349-died on 19th December 1386.
In 1353 Brother Thomas of Baketone (Bacton) a pupil of Sir Lewis, was presented as sub-deacon. When the tenth (a tax payable to the king) was collected in 1357 Bacton’s estimate was one of the lowest showing it was not wealthy. On 26th November 1367 Sir Lewis inducted Walter son of John de Ewyas to Turnastone Church. Sir Lewis was vicar for 37 years, dying when he was at least 61 years old. He would have known at least three generations in some of the parish families.
Sir Walter Bounde (Bunde), chaplain, became vicar on 27th October 1388.
The 1397 Diocesan Visitation noted he was a good administrator, that the Church had suitable vestments and equipment, and he celebrated Mass twice a day on Sundays and festivals. It was noted that the roof and walls of the chancel were defective, with a ruined front window which was the abbey’s responsibility. Sir Walter denied relations with Alice Torre and agreed to prove his innocence, with witnesses in his support at the next court. Meanwhile he was excommunicated. Two other couples were similarly admonished but it may be that this was a form of Welsh common-law marriage not recognised by the Church but usual in the area at that time.
In May 1406 Bacton Church was one of 14 churches in Weobley deanery destroyed by Owain Glyndŵr’s forces.
In 1419 the un-named vicar was taxed at 60 shillings (£1,400 today) so the Church must have been repaired and there was further taxation in 1432, 1435, and 1453.
Sir Richard ap Owen, chaplain, vicar from 16th August 1434.
Dom. William London , a monk at Dore, celebrated High Mass in Bacton Church in 1435 using a chalice, worth £2-13s-4d (over £1,000 today), which he had lent to Harri Ddu ap Gruffudd, the Lord of Bacton and presumably the lay patron of the Church. The Abbot of Dore also lent Harri Ddu a pair of vestments, and a great brazen pot worth £3 (now over £1,000 today) probably for use in the adjacent Church ale house; ale was brewed on a grand scale for parish functions!
Sir John Snell, chaplain, vicar from 4th July 1453, the year that marked the end of the Hundred Years War between England and France. Two years later the first battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought between the claimants of York and Lancaster.
Sir John ap Harry was mentioned in 1499 with Henry Myles, Steward of Dore Abbey (Blanche Parry’s father). Henry Myles is known to have had a chaplain and it is probable that Sir John was not only this chaplain but also the vicar of Bacton. He was the clergyman Blanche knew as a child.
Sir Robert, rector, was mentioned in 1546 and 1553.
The 1546 Diocesan Visitation noted his house, termed a rectory , was in the hands of the Bishop. The churchyard was not enclosed, books were lacking but otherwise all is well . By the 1553 Visitation the rectory was in the hands of the King .
Subsequently Blanche Parry noted, in her November 1578 First Will, that the vicar of Bacton no longer had a house to live in because my nephew (actually great-nephew) Roland Vaughan and his wife (Elizabeth) did grant away the house wherein the vicar was accustomed to dwell. She requested that Lord Burghley should ensure that her great-nephew William Vaughan (who would have inherited Newcourt but died before his father) provided a suitable house for the 'vicar', the term she knew as a child in Bacton.
Revd. William Prosser, rector/vicar, 11th Feb. 1569 but living outside the diocese - died 1605.
His curates included Thomas Phelippes (1584), Charles Price (1586), Thomas Price (1589) and Thomas Barnesley (1601). The 1575 Visitation noted the church lacked some books.
In the 1582 Diocesan Visitation the churchwardens, Lewis Griffith and Walter ap Howell, complained against their parson for not keeping of hospitality, saying they had no monthly sermons, nor had they had any quarter sermons for the last year, though they did have homilies read every Sunday and on Holy days. The 1584 Diocesan Visitation noted all well at Bacton, and so suggests William Vaughan had granted a house for the vicar’s use before his death in 1584. As The Bacton Altar Cloth must have been sent to Bacton in the 1590s, possibly by Queen Elizabeth I herself, to commemorate her life-long friend Blanche Parry, Revd. Prosser was the first to use it.
These later clergy were termed Reverend (Revd.). Their patrons included:
Robert Hopton, armiger, and Elizabeth his wife in 1569; Sir Bennett Hoskins bart. in 1680 and 1705; different Bishops of Hereford in 1691 and 1773; successive generations all named Sir Hungerford Hoskyns of Harewood bart. in 1723, 1778, 1802 and 1818; Francis Hamp esq. in 1835; Colonel Robert Bridges Bellers in 1884 and 1891; and also Mrs. M.F.E. Partridge.
Curates were employed when the incumbent was resident outside the parish or had another living.
The 1614 terrier described this vicar's house at Bacton, adjacent to the church, as the great house which stands within the church yard on the north side of the church…which… should be the Parsonage House (probably 118 Public House and Orchard on the 1839/1842 tithe map). The vicar required a garden, later called orchard , as his own-grown fruit and vegetables augmented his stipend and resources he obtained from the lesser tithes. Roland Vaughan's 1610 claim, In His Booke , that he had had to build a chapel for his workmen may have been here for, in 1614 a little house called the Chapel within the Churchyard (tithe117 House and Garden ) was described. However, it may have been an ossuary, or charnel house. There was also a barn standing on the south side of the church yard of three bays belonging to the vicarage (tithe114 ). The 1614 one little house adjoining to the highway (tithe115 ) was very probably the site of the medieval Church ale-house and, appropriately, is the location of the present parish / village hall.
Revd. Nicholas Corne (alias Cowper), vicar, from 21st March 1605 - 1639 or later.
Ordained in Llandaff Cathedral in June 1603; his first parish was Goldcliff, Monmouthshire. He lived at Bacton and it is possible that he was deprived of this living for Royalist sympathies.
The clergy during the Commonwealth have not yet been traced.
Diocesan records continue after the 1660 Restoration.
Revd. William Peyton, by 1665 - died 1680. As vicar of Saint John Baptist, the parish of Hereford Cathedral, he employed curates at Bacton: Walter Hurdman (1671) and Lewis Price (from 1671).
In 1671 it was noted that though Revd. W. Peyton was resident in Hereford, he does duty without complaint . He chose the parish clerk who does the best he can . The Church was in sufficient repair with a decent Communion table and large surplice . The pre-Reformation chalice was noted. Everyone went to Communion. The parchment register was kept and returns sent to the diocese on time. There were no recusants in the parish and no-one suspected of adultery. The churchyard fence was noted as part pales and part hedge. There was a terrier of glebelands. The parish had a physician, a surgeon and a midwife, though no hospital.
Revd. John Willim, rector, 4th February 1680-deprived 1691. He was also inducted as rector of Dore on 27th March 1680. His curate was Charles Manfield.
Revd. William Evans, M.A., 21st January 1691-died 1705. His curate was John Chelmick.
Revd. Isaiah Jones, 16th October 1705-resigned 1723.
Revd. John Price, 19th July 1723-died 1773.
Revd. William Parry, 5th June 1773-resigned 1778.
Revd. Thomas Higgins B.A., 8th April 1778-died 1802.
Revd. John Higgins, 13th January 1802-died 1818. He also held Llanwarne from 23rd April 1810 where he lived saying there was no parsonage house at Bacton.
(He was the incumbent when the windows were removed to Atcham Church, Shropshire in 1811.)
Revd. Bennett Hoskyns M.A., 5th December 1818-resigned 1835.
Revd. Charles Proberts (or Roberts) rector of Bacton 26th Feb.1835 (& Clodock)-died 1884.
Revd. Collinson, the curate, lived in Bacton Rectory. In 1860 when he was chaplain to the Dore Union workhouse, he persuaded the Board to allocate £1 for a small library for the inmates. When he retired in 1887 the Board recorded their thanks to him in the minute-book for the uniform assiduity and kindness with which he discharged the important duties in performing services of the Church of England and administrating spiritual consolation to the inmates of the workhouse .
Revd. William Graydon Harrison, vicar of Bacton, 29th June 1884-resigned 1891.
Revd. John Grosvenor Monro M.A., rector of Bacton, 13th August 1891-1904.
The church was in a deplorable condition so Revd. Monro organised fund-raising. He tried to restore the windows from Atcham Church. During the restoration work Church Services were held in the newly constructed parish/village hall. The church re-opened on the 7th May 1894, the total cost including the tower (1907) being £11,000.
Revd. Charles Thomas Brothers, rector of Bacton, 1904-1952.
He refused all offers of preferment (promotion) from several Bishops of Hereford. He donated three stained-glass windows to the Church: that depicting Saint Faith in 1905, and Saint Lawrence and Saint Stephen in 1921. He was also chaplain to the Dore Union workhouse. His sister kept house for him and his time at Bacton was chronicled in the monthly magazines, an invaluable record of parish life. When he died, after a tenure of 49 years, the parishioners placed the tablet to his memory in the Church.
For more than 1,000 years this site has been a focus for Christian worship.
Worship still continues - you are most welcome to join the congregation if you wish.
Bacton joined with Abbey Dore:
Revd. Herbert G. Pickard 1952-1963
Revd. David Powell Richards 1963-1976
Ewyas Harold Team Ministry officially constituted from 1979:
Revd. John D. Johnson 1979-1982 Churches are expensive
Revd. Michael M. Edge 1982-1994 to maintain so may we
Revd. Arthur L. Moore 1994-1998 please ask for a
Revd. Preb. James F. Butterworth 1998-2006 DONATION
Revd. Ashley F. Evans 2007-2017
Revd. Mark Godson 2018-
Manuscript: Ruth E. Richardson. Research: R.E. Richardson & Sue Hubbard. Photographs: T.G. Richardson
Acknowledgements to authors of the previous Bacton Church notes.
©Ruth E.Richardson 2008/2018/2019
Blanche Parry’s Monument
Find out more in these two books with superb, magnificent, pictures:
'Blanche Parry & Queen Elizabeth I '
(in calendar-format as a souvenir of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee)
sold to help Bacton Church ... available in Bacton Church ... no reprint
... also available on amazon.uk ...
'Mistress Blanche, Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante '
by Ruth Elizabeth Richardson.
2018 revised edition with the BACTON ALTAR CLOTH
biography of Blanche and Lady Troy who brought up the Tudor children
Published: Logaston Press, The Holme, Church Road, Eardisley, HR3 6NJ, UK
or phone: 01544 327182 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bacton Churchyard’s Yew Tree
Bacton Church 's yew tree is male. Its girth measures 6.40 metres . Therefore its age is c. 1,350 years old.
Churchyard yews can be older than the present Church building, suggesting re-use of an existing sacred site. Growing very slowly, with girth increase of about 0.2 inches per year, they become hollow, though new growth can occur within the hollow. So dendrochronology, tree-ring counting, is not easily done and yew trees are usually dated by girth size…Girth of 2.50 metres indicates a yew of c.200 years old. Girth of 5.50 metres indicates a yew of c.1,000 years old.