Held at:

Hereford Public Library


Local Collection


Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club, 1916


Guest Contribution: Extract from article by George Marshall on Turnastone Church

Place name:

Turnastone, St Margarets




George Marshall when writing about Turnastone Church in the Golden Valley gives the following detail:

“One incident in connection with this church deserves mention. On March the 9th 1299, Bishop Swinfield [of Hereford] appealed to the King to instruct the Sheriff to remove armed laymen, who had occupied the church or chapel of Turnastone and the chapel of St. Leonard and the rectory houses of the same, at the instance of Roger Devereux and his sons and Richard Dansey, and who would not permit the Bishop nor the rector of the same chapels to discharge their duties to the prejudice of the rights of his diocese and the liberties of the Church. The Bishop had appointed as rector two days previously, probably by lapse, Hamo de Sandwich priest. This appointment was evidently resented by Richard Dansey, the Lord of Turnastone, who seems to have been patron of the living, and by Roger Devereux, who apparently desired the living for one of his own relations. How the dispute ended does not transpire, but some arrangement was evidently come to, for a year and nine months later on the 24th of November, 1300, John Devereux, who seems to have been only an acolyte, was inducted to the living on the presentation of Richard Dansey. If the Coram Rege rolls for these years were consulted, it might throw further light on the subject. It would be interesting to know where the chapel of St. Leonard was situated. lt is mentioned again in 1301, when Adam de Orltone was appointed to the living, after which period no trace of it in connection with Turnastone occurs.”



Click here for a follow up item in the Transactions of 1939 and some speculation on the possible location of the lost Chapel of St Leonard.


If as is most likely, the Chapel of St Leonard was at Whitehouse in St Margarets, then we have a possible explanation for the dispute and the Bishop’s appeal to a higher authority.


About 250 yards north of the house of Whitehouse three parishes i.e. Turnastone, Vowchurch and St Margarets meet at a point on the Slough Brook. Turnastone and Vowchurch were in England and within the Diocese of Hereford. St Margarets was at that time in Wales and in the Diocese of St David. The Church of Turnastone and the Chapel of St Leonard would therefore be subject to different ecclesiastical authorities. The difference could have been made worse. by the major land owner of the Turnastone properties being the occupier of Whitehouse. He probably controlled the collection of tithes and may have favoured his own Chapel rather than the Church of Turnastone.

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