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Hereford Public Library


Royal Commission on Historical Monuments: Herefordshire, Volume 1: H 936.244


Transcript of Original Publication


Parish Church of St Margaret: architecture, construction and history

Place name:

St Margarets


Up to 1700



(1). PARISH CHURCH OF ST. MARGARET (Plate 93) stands towards the S. end of the parish. The walls are of shaly rubble with local sandstone dressings; the roofs are covered with slates and stone slates. The church may date from the 12th century or earlier, but the only evidence of this is the chancel-arch. The earliest feature of the nave is the S. doorway which may be of the 13th century. The Chancel was perhaps rebuilt in the 14th century. The bell-turret appears to have been largely reconstructed. The South Porch has recently been rebuilt.

The rood-loft is an unusually complete survival and is richly carved.


Architectural Description—The Chancel (22 ½ ft. by 15 ft.) has an E. window, of uncertain date and of two square-headed lights. The N. wall has no openings, but in the N.E. internal angle is a projecting offset against the E. wall, 3 ½ ft. long and of uncertain significance. In the S. wall is an early 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights. The chancel-arch, probably of the 12th century or earlier, is semicircular and of one square order with rough chamfered imposts; the wall has been thickened on the W. face, probably in the 17th century; N. of the arch, on the E. face, is the lower entrance to the late 15th or early 16th-century rood-loft staircase; it has a square head.


The Nave (38 ½ ft. by 21 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows, the eastern of 15th or early 16th-century date and of two square-headed lights with casement-moulded jambs ; the western window is modern and replaces the former N. doorway, the straight joints of which are visible in the wall below the sill. In the S. wall is one late 16th-century window of two square-headed lights, with moulded jambs and mullion; the S. doorway, perhaps of the 13th century, has jambs and two-centred arch of one plain square order of undressed stones. Across the W. end of the nave is a wall supporting the square stone bell-turret; this wall has a doorway with a square head, and the outer W. wall has a small rectangular light set fairly high up. The stone turret has a timber super-structure, weather-boarded externally.


The Roof of the chancel is of braced collar-beam type and probably of the 14th century; it has rough wall-plates, a plain tie-beam against the W. wall, and a modern tie-beam in the middle of the chancel. The early 16th-century roof of the nave is of five bays with braced collar-beam trusses, the braces forming a segmental arch; under the fourth truss from the E. is a moulded tie-beam, and there are three modern tie-beams; the wall-plates are moulded and embattled; the roof has a modern boarded soffit with hollow-chamfered fillets planted on, some of which are original.


Fittings—Chairs : In chancel—two of similar character, with turned front legs, carved rails, shaped arms, panelled and carved backs with scrolled cresting, early to mid 17th-century. Chest: In tower—with panelled front and lid, moulded uprights, chest reconstructed and lid in two parts with three strap-hinges, mid 17th-century. Communion Rails: with moulded upper and lower rails, heavy turned balusters and square posts with turned tops, c. 1630. Door: In nave— in S. doorway, of battens with modern furniture, 17th-century; reset on back, large 14th or 15th- century trefoiled head. Font and Cover: octagonal bowl with moulded upper and lower edge, plain stem and chamfered base, 14th-century. Cover, of oak, pyramidal with panelled sides, moulded terminal and enriched band at base, 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—E. of chancel, (1) to Peter Prichard, 1694-5, slab with enrichment of lozenges, etc., S. of chancel, (2) to Margery, daughter of William Prosser, 1698, table- tomb with enriched slab; (3) to Isiah, son of William Prosser, 1699-1700, table-tomb, with re-cut inscription. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(i) to      , 1664. In nave—(2) to H.P., 1698. Paintings: In chancel—flanking E. window, painted texts in black on white ground, within a marbled border, 18th-century. In nave—over S. doorway, similar text in black border; on soffit of rear-arch of S. doorway, the words " Go and sin no more," 18th century. Panelling: In nave—reset as dado on E., N., and S. walls, some 17th-century panelling. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1618, with band of ornament round bowl of cup. Recess: In nave—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head, 13th or 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Screen: (Plate 195) At E. end of nave—consists of a panelled loft supported on two posts; the posts are semi-octagonal on the W. face, each of the sides having applied bands, carved with running ornament; at western angles are remains of small buttresses, and at top of each post the semi-octagonal face is cut back to form a niche with crocketted and pinnacled canopy; the loft-front is simply panelled, with moulded muntins and moulded upper and lower rails, both the latter enriched with running vine and other foliage and brattishing; the soffit of the loft is slightly coved and is divided into panels by moulded ribs with bosses at the intersections, carved with foliage, lion and human faces, interlaced knot, a cross on a shield, etc.; at the base of the cove is a cornice carved with running oak-foliage and finished   with   brattishing,   late   17th or early 16th-century, recently restored.




Plate 93

Plate 195



Description documented c 1930 by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments


Ordnance Survey Map Reference and Index of Parish Properties


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