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Listed Building
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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)
National Grid Reference:
SO 41998 38720


SO 43 NW; 4/42


Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Formerly listed as the Parish Church of St Mary)




Parish church. C12, C13 and C14, restored 1870, 1878 and 1883. Sandstone rubble, sandstone ashlar, tile and stone slate roofs. Aisled three-plus- three-bay nave, chancel and crypt with polygonal east end, west tower, south chapel and north porch, the last formed from the north transept of earlier cruciform C12 church.

Tower has three and a half stages separated by string courses, embattled parapet with raised embattled corner over newel, clasping buttresses to north-west and south-west, outshuts to north and south, battered plinth to west; first stage is fenestrated only to west having three slightly stepped lancets with chamfers and hood mouldings, shafts and plain capitals in two and three orders; second stage has pairs of 2-light chamfered lancets with labels, one pair to north and south and two pairs to west; top stage has three chamfered lancets of equal height with labels to each of the four faces; west doorway has deeply moulded 2- centred head with fillets, attached shafts and plain capitals, label extends into string, also with fillet, C13 strap hinges to door; outshuts forming west ends of aisles each have a small chamfered lancet; clock on north face: "VICTORIA/ 1901". North aisle has four small chamfered lancets with a central weathered-buttress to the west of the north porch which has a central trefoil-headed gable light, one small round-headed chamfered light to each flank and outer 2-centred arch with double roll moulding and label; to the east of the porch are four windows each of three lights with ogeed and trefoiled heads, quatrefoil tracery and labels, the east window has one chamfered 2-centred light also with a label. Nave clerestorey has seven single-light 2-centred windows, the third from the west obscured by the porch gable above which is visible the roof line of the former transept. Crypt and chancel over falling ground have moulded plinth, 2-centred windows each of one trefoiled light with label to the crypt, and apse; north wall of chancel has three trefoiled tracery windows, the west one of three lights, the other two of two lights; east end has angle buttresses, east window reported in RCHM as having three trefoiled and ogeed lights with two quatrefoils in tracery above (undergoing restoration at time of survey, July 1985). The north-east-and south-east windows have two cinquefoiled lights with cinquefoil and quatrefoil tracery, beneath the south-east window is a doorway into the crypt with a 2-centred head; the four south windows are of two lights and similar to those on the north side; four eastern buttresses have pinnacles, pyramidical tops with ball-flower decoration running up to angles to crockets; crocketted turrets, one to each side at junction of nave and chancel; continuous large ballflower cornice below eaves. South (Chilstone) Chapel has large 2-centred 5-light east window with four rows of restored quatrefoil tracery to the south of the 2-light trefoil-headed and traceried window of the east end of the south aisle; south wall has five restored 3-light windows with quatrefoil tracery set between regular buttresses, above is a moulded cornice in two bands; west window has restored trefoil tracery. Next to the south door is a segmentally-headed 3-light C15 window, each light having a cinquefoiled head, under a label with two restored head-stops; in the south wall of the tower outshut are two small chamfered lancets. South doorway is similar to that in the west side of the tower with fillet mouldings; elaborate, probably C19, strap hinges.

INTERIOR of porch has restored wagon roof, triangular-headed doorway above floor level to right of north doorway which has a 2-centred head, fillet mouldings and head stops. Main roofs have restored collar trusses, some with arch braces to collars, that over the south chapel, probably C14, is the least restored; beneath the upper stages of the tower are heavy horizontal baulks. Nave arcade has 2-centred C13 double-chamfered arches, circular piers with octagonal abaci and water- holding bases. South chapel arcade of five bays, 2-centred double chamfered arches, four clustered shafts to each pier, ball-flower frieze on abaci. Chancel arch is 2-centred, double chamfered, the inner order supported by fillet moulded shafts with moulded capitals and water-holding bases; above the arch is a small central 2-centred arch with two continuous roll mouldings presenting a plain segmental head to chancel side; over the chancel arch RCHM reported signs of large figure painting, probably a Doom. Chancel has piscina with 2-centred head, recessed trefoil and quatrefoil drain linked to similarly headed three-bay sedilia with quatrefoil shafts and ball-flower enrichment, fragments of C13 stained glass to angled windows at east end and relatively complete east window, reported by RCHM, with St John and Christ at the Last Supper and The Adoration. Crypt has central octagonal pier, without an abacus, supporting ten ribs and is reached from east ends of nave aisles. Tower arch is 2-centred with three chamfers; entry to newel of tower has chamfered semi- circular head and elaborate C13 strap hinges on ledged plank door. On north side of the chancel is an early C17 aedicule framed by two composite columns enclosing two figures at a prie-dieu for Peter Farnons and family; seven stalls with misericords and desks to each side of chancel; on the south side two brass plaques for John Gough, died 1618, and his wife, Marie, died 1620. In south chapel another Gough brass wall plaque, for Thomas Gough Jnr, died 1741, aged 25, with incised encomium and following conclusion:

Reader be wary how you catch at Time, he has a lock before but bald behind Mourn for the mourners not for the dead, For he's at rest they in tears. Bene Vixit, qui bene Latuit.

Two piscinae in south wall, both C13, one with trefoiled ogee head. Chest tomb for Richard and Anne Willison by John Gildo, possibly an Italian, of Hereford, of 1574, mutilated effigies, 2-panelled sides with pointed heads separated by tapered Ionic pilasters, each north panel containing a stylised weeper; nearby on west wall "CATALOGUE OF BENEFACTION/ LEFT TO THE POOR OF MADLEY/ 1821/ J YATES Heref "; several wall slabs of C18 to early C19 date; beneath east window an elaborate C17 panelled screen in three panels with carved vine leaves and twisted columns, probably Iberian, in front of which is C17 communion table. Font under tower has massive undecorated circular bowl on large cyclindrical steps, possibly C13. South aisle has late medieval chest with strap hinges, richly embroidered 3-panel altar frontal with a chalice in the centre and "INI". North aisle has doorway with 2-centred head leading down to crypt and formerly up to rood loft; above is a doorway with a 3-centred chamfered head and chamfered jambs at rood loft level; brattished C15 beam probably part of rood screen; C15 and C17 parclose screen encloses the Lulham Pew, balustered columns, acanthus carving and acorn finials, seven-bay cinquefoiled C15 panelling to north and south, brattished top; bell next to north door inscribed "IDHN"; square-headed piscina with semi-octagonal drain on north side of north pier of chancel arch.

Listing NGR: SO4199838721


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), 191-7


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: 06 Apr 2002
Reference: IOE01/06296/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Jeff Andrews. Source Historic England Archive
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