Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:


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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)
Abbey Dore
National Grid Reference:
SO 38717 30401


SO 33 SE; 5/1


Church of St Mary (formerly listed as Parish Church of St Mary formerly Abbey Dore)




Remains of Dore Abbey, now parish church. Late C12 to early C13, restored 1633 for John, Viscount Scudamore with woodwork by John Abel; restored again 1895 - 1904 by R W Paul. Red sandstone rubble and ashlar with grey lime- stone dressings, timber-framed porch, stone slate roofs. Transept with eastern chapels, three by three bay chancel, north and south chancel aisles of three bays and two by five bay ambulatory and former eastern chapels in Romanesque style, C17 south-east tower, transeptal south porch, upstanding roofless remains include eastern bay of nave, part of north wall of nave aisle, sacristry and adjacent fragment of a western corner of duodecagonal chapter house; alignment is north-west/south-east.

Transept has west elevation with blocked 2-centred arch to crossing and single aisle arches, the former containing a central 2-centred single-light C17 window, a small lancet above scar of each nave aisle roof, outside each of which is a tall lancet, C17 corbel table; trumpet capital supported by decorative corbel on north nave pier, waterleaf capital to western respond; south elevation has a pair of very tall shafted lancets with waterleaf capitals surmounted by a vesica window, all surrounded by deep roll mouldings and flanked by large buttresses with off-sets, the right-hand one containing a newel with loop lights, two lancets, probably C17 in gable-top; north elevation has high blocked doorway of former night stair and C17 doorway at ground level in front of which are remains of barrel vaulted sacristry and bases of shafts to corner of chapter house. North and south aisles have 2:2 bays of chamfered lancets divided by weathered buttresses with deeply moulded plinths and linked by billet-moulded string which rises to gables truncated by C17 roof alterations. North doorway set beneath diminished lancet in the third bay from the east has C13 plank door with ornate strap hinges; east wall of ambulatory and former eastern chapel is of similar design to the aisles with keel-moulded strings. Chancel has single-light lancets to north and south, east wall has three stepped chamfered lancets and two more lancets, probably C17, above lighting the roof space, C17 corbel table. Tower is embattled and of four stages, one central chamfered lancet to first stage of south and east faces with similarly positioned round- headed single-light windows to third and fourth stages, string course beneath parapet, angle buttresses to south-east corner. South porch to left side of south transept has quadrant braces to front tie-beam above which are V-struts, suggesting a C17 date; rear tie has its underside carved away to clear door- way and quadrant braces missing; the south-west post has an incised key-hole pattern on its west side; side panels are roughly square and two panels high to wall plate. South doorway has 2-centred deeply moulded arch, one keel- moulding, dog-tooth hood mould and single attached shafts with stiff leaf capitals; the door is battened and studded with two decorative wrought iron strap hinges.

INTERIOR has roof with oak ceilings by Abel, incorporating some re-used timbers from the pre-Dissolution roof; consoles on oak wall shafts rising from C12 wall shafts which formerly supported vaulting to cross wing and transepts, carry angle struts to moulded and chamfered ceiling beams; wall plates are also moulded and chamfered; chancel roof, restored in 1902, is similar but more elaborate with grotesque female consoles, carved angle struts and acorn pendants; aisles, ambulatory and former five eastern chapels have exquisite quadripartite vaults, the last two separated by four groups of clustered shafts rising from dividing walls. Chancel has deeply moulded 2- centred arches and 14 clustered shafts to piers dividing the east end into three bays; the two eastern bays are in a similar style, whilst the western bay has narrower and higher double chamfered 2-centred arches resulting from the conversion of former inner transeptal eastern chapels into aisles; magnificent water-holding bases, keel-moulded shafts and capitals with trumpet, water-leaf and acanthus motifs; screen separating chancel from transept is from C17 campaign and has four bays divided by Ionic columns, central entry, deep cornice, strapwork decoration, and the Royal Arms of Charles I between those of Scudamore and Archbishop Laud, dado has posts-with curved run-out chamfer stops; stall and benches have early C17 panelling with arabesque designs; contemporary hexagonal pulpit has two arcade devices to each face, strapwork decoration and a tester; east windows have stained glass for Lord Scudamore, dated 1634, the large central one depicting the Ascension; mensa with consecration crosses is positioned on two sets of re-used clusters of shafts, C13 with heraldic tiles to each side; early C17 communion rails with matching balustered rails dividing chancel from north and south aisles and another rail of similar design in front of C17 communion table and fragments of late medieval stained glass in south-east chapel of ambulatory which contains a large trefoiled aumbry in the north wall and numerous fragments from the nave including several C14 roof bosses, one depicting the Coronation of the Virgin. North and south aisles each have a C13 recumbent effigy of a knight; the south aisle has a large dug- out sarcophagus, two hatchments and two aumbries in the south wall each with a 2-centred head. Chapel to south of tower has trefoil-headed piscina with two circular drains and to its right a trefoiled aumbry; between the two is a small niche with a 2-centred head and fragments of medieval glass. Transept has C17. doorway with 2-centred head and C17 door to newel of tower, dog-tooth surround to rectangular cupboard with C17 panelled doors in south wall, C17 poor-box and C17 chest, against the west wall is gallery, supported on four columns, similar to those of the screen with panelled superstructure and balustered stairs at south end, Royal Arms of Queen Anne painted on north wall to right of doorway to former night stairs, several other wall paintings and wall and floor monuments mainly C18; font has octagonal bowl with moulded underside running down to plain octagonal stem, around its base are medieval floor tiles. Scheduled Ancient Monument County number 185.

Listing NGR: SO3871630402


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Inventory of Herefordshire I South West, (1931), 1-9
Hewett, C A , English Historic Carpentry, (1980), 240


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: 05 Feb 2003
Reference: IOE01/06529/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Jeff Andrews. Source Historic England Archive
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