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Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Much Birch
National Grid Reference:
SO 50429 30522


MUCH BIRCH CP - SO 53 SW 5/64 Church of SS Mary and Thomas a Becket GV II Parish church. 1837 with later vestry. By Thomas Foster. Early Gothic Revival style. Squared sandstone and sandstone ashlar with Welsh slate roofs. West tower, four-bay nave, one-bay chancel and south vestry. Tower has four stages with advanced embattled parapets on corbel table. Full-height clasping buttresses and steeply gabled angle buttresses to north-west and south-west corners. Each face of top stage has three deeply recessed chamfered lancets with continuous label and stops. Shallow third stage has clock face in moulded roundel to north side. Second stage has a tall central lancet with label and stops to north, west and south sides. West side of ground stage has lancet with label and foliated stops. South side has similar feature blocked by memorial plaque. North doorway has continuously chamfered arch with two-centred head, label and foliated stops. Door has vertical fillets, strap hinges and a second set of central hinges. Nave has four tall chamfered lancets with moulded labels and foliated stops to both side walls. Gabled angle buttresses and corbelled eaves cornice. Kneelers to verges. Chancel is lower but with similar buttresses and eaves details. Its north side has a deeply moulded niche with trefoiled head and continuous roll moulding ending in pendants to each jamb below projecting part- octagonal cill. Roll moulded label is stopped by imposts. East elevation has three stepped chamfered lancets, the central one wider than the pair. Contin- uous label and two foliated stops. Low gable runs into horizontal coping above very large kneelers. To left is two-centred arch of vestry doorway which has label and head stops. South elevation of vestry has one small chamfered lancet with label and head stops. Interior of tower has cantilevered stone two-flight stairs with rectangular-section spindles and hand rail in wrought iron. Cylin- drical newel post. On east wall of tower are two small stone tablets for Titus and Thomas Neve, died 1733 and 1736 respectively. Opposite is a donations board to the poor of Much Birch. Doorway into nave has two-centred head and is continuously and deeply chamfered. Two-leaved door has semi-circualr head and fillets continuing into pointed typanum formed by soffit of arch. Chancel has painted pointed barrel ceiling. Each side of the ceiling has a large painted quatrefoil containing four cherubs floating amid clouds in a blue sky. Foliated designs to outsides of main quatrefoils. East window has stained glass in roundels with The Last Supper, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and The Crucifixion. Inscription reads: BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD/ THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME. Mensa with consecration crosses and five supporting trefoiled ogee- headed panels in oak. Early C19 seat with straight recessed mouchettes and gabled back with rosettes. A second chair has scissor legs, twisted stretcher, arm rests each with three drilled holes and back with nailheads to margins. Chamfered two-centred chancel arch with continuous chamfers. Nave has plain plaster ceiling. Fluted corbels with ball-pendants carry will-posts and arch braces which disappear into the ceiling. Font is sandstone and octagonal. Moulded base, stem with straight incised mouchettes to each side. Bowl with curved undersize and rosettes. Frieze of bowl has inscription: MDCCCXXXVII: DEO et eccles: Birchenis DD: et D John Dec;ber et anno sac Oak cover in form of crocketted corona with ogeed heads and cross. Several small wall monuments, mainly C19. In the centre of the north wall, one in grey and white marble for Sarah Elliott, died 1825, has draped urn, cornice and apron. Brass plaque on south wall. Also marble plaque on west wall for the seven who fell in the First World War. On north wall plaque for William Dyke and Dennis Creed, aged 20 and 17, drowned in the River Wye in 1911. Pews and choir stalls in oak are largely C19. Quatre- foil decoration. Benches have open cinquefoil motif. Communion table is C17 with large turned legs and moulded rails, the side ones with characteristic frieze of small round-headed niches. Organ, probably late C19, has exposed pipes and pine ogeed panelling. Early C20 traceried oak pulpit. Chancel painting is said to be the work, executed in 1942, of Italian prisoners of war. (BoE, p 257; RCHM, Vol I, p 23).

Listing NGR: SO5042930522


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Inventory of Herefordshire I South West, (1931), 23
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, (1963), 257


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 08 Aug 2001
Reference: IOE01/04636/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Jeff Andrews. Source Historic England Archive
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