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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Herefordshire

by Peter Kessler, 27 February 2020

Herefordshire Part 1: Churches of Welsh Bicknor to Woolhope

Church of St Margaret, Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire

The Church of St Margaret, Welsh Bicknor, is on the eastern flank of the YHA Wye Valley buildings in this headland that is bounded on three sides by the River Wye. The nearby hostel is a grand range of stone buildings, erected for the wealthy rector and landowner, Stephen Allaway, who also paid for the demolition of the old Norman church on this site and its replacement in 1858 with this fine church in an expansive Victorian version of the same style, and much richer.

Church of St Margaret, Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire

The architect was T H Rushforth of London. It has a three-bay nave, a two-bay south aisle, two-bay chancel, north vestry, south-west tower, and west porch. The walls are built of local sandstone ashlar, aside from the rubble base of the tower which may be medieval material. The Bathstone dressings have polished Welsh slate shafts. The church was closed and sold in 2011 to the Vaughans of the neighbouring Courtfield Estate. Sympathetic restoration began in 2016.

All Saints Church, Brockhampton, Herefordshire

All Saints Church, Brockhampton, is on the northern side of the lane, at the bus stop, and directly north of Brockhampton Cricket Club and Brockhampton Court. The church was built in loving memory of Eben Dyer Jordan & Julia Clark, by their daughter, Alice Madeline Foster. Eben Dyer Jordan was the wealthy co-founder of the Jordan Marsh Co department stores of Boston USA - now Macys. The church was consecrated by the bishop of the diocese on 16 October 1902.

All Saints Church, Brockhampton, Herefordshire

Construction was in the Arts and Crafts style by William Lethaby, with a thatched roof. No expense was spared. The windows are by Christopher Whall, the carving by George Jack, teacher of woodcarving at the Royal College of Arts, and the tapestry panels are from Morris & Co, designed by Burne-Jones. The timber belfry holds two medieval bells from the old fifteenth century building with tower and south porch of the 1500s which, unused by 1902, is now a roofless ruin.

St George's Church, Woolhope, Herefordshire

St George's Church, Woolhope, stands at the northern head of a long footpath leading off the main street, running parallel with Martins Close to its west. The structure is largely Norman, built in the second half of the 1100s (during the reigns of William of Normandy and son, William Rufus). The tower of the 1200s commands the valley which is named after Wulviva who, with her more famous sister Godiva of Mercia, gave the land to the dean and chapter of Hereford.

St George's Church, Woolhope, Herefordshire

The Norman work is seen in the north arcade, a window in the sanctuary, and a carved head under the tower. The church underwent restoration work in 1848, but much of the present fabric, internal woodwork, and fittings date from a more major restoration in 1883 by Henry Woodyer under the benefaction of the Booker family of Wessington Court. The south porch was added at the same time. The organ by William Vincent of Liverpool (1862) is classed as being particularly fine.

Two photos each on this page kindly contributed by Douglas Law and JMC4 - Church Explorer, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and two originally published on Lynne's 'Echoes of the Past' blog and reproduced here with permission. Additional information from 'Echoes of the Past' and by JMC4 - Church Explorer.



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