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Herefordshire County Preface

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Preface to Herefordshire

 Herefordshire is a West Midlands county, having borders with the Welsh counties of Radnor, Brecknock and Monmouth to the west and south west, and with the English counties of Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east and Gloucestershire to the south.  In shape it is almost circular, measuring 38 miles from north to south and 35 miles from east to west with an area of 840 square miles; it is 25th of the 39 counties ranked by area.  The county had only 175,000 inhabitants in 2001; the population density being among the lowest in England at 0.8 people per hectare (207 per square mile).  Hereford, the county town, was then home to some 54,000 people, and no other town in the county is anything like so large; the most populous being Leominster (11,000), Ross-on-Wye (10,000) and Ledbury (9,000).

Ledbury, view up Church Lane.

A view up Church Lane, Ledbury

Administratively Herefordshire was merged with Worcestershire in 1974 to form the county of Hereford and Worcester.  This administrative unit survived only until 1988, when the Unitary Authority of Herefordshire was formed, with much the same borders as the traditional county.

 

Landscape, geology and building materials

Physically, the county is like a bowl, with a large central lowland area, surrounded by hills.  To the northwest are the rolling hills of the Shropshire border, including Hergest Ridge.

The north face of Hergest Ridge from Stanner

To the west, extending into Wales, rise the Black Mountains with the Golden Valley of the river Dore at their foot.Golden Valley at Abbey Dore

The Golden Valley at Abbey Dore

The south is dominated by the plateau of the Forest of Dean and the widening valley of the Wye.  Finally the Malvern Hills mark the border with Worcestershire in the east.  The county’s highest points are the Black Mountain (703m – 2306 feet) on the border with Brecknock, and the Herefordshire Beacon (338 m – 1109 feet) near Colwall in the Malverns, the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

The Herefordshire Beacon from the west.

The Herefordshire Beacon from the west

Through the centre of the county runs the river Wye, which rises on Plynlimon in west Wales, enters Herefordshire near Clifford, and runs east and south through Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.  Its main tributaries are the Lugg and the Frome.  The Lugg rises in the Black Mountains and flows east through Presteigne to Leominster, where it turns south and joins the Wye downstream of Hereford at Mordiford.  The Frome rises north of Bromyard and flows south and then west joining the Lugg near Hampton Bishop, just above the Lugg’s confluence with the Wye.  The Arrow is a tributary of the Lugg that rises in the Black Mountains and meanders eastwards through Kington and Pembridge to flow into the Lugg south of Leominster.

 

The Geology of Herefordshire and Monmouth

The geology is largely the Devonian Old Red Sandstone, and the red soil that overlies it is rich and fertile.  The Old Red Sandstone is pierced in places by older, harder rocks; igneous granites and dolerites in the west at Stanner Rock, near Kington, gneisses and schists and also Cambrian quartzites, sandstones and shales in the Malverns.  In the north-western hills the lowest strata of Devonian rocks appear, notably the Downton stone, which is a yellow-green freestone used for building throughout the county.  The Old Red sandstone itself is dense and compact in some areas, notably around Weobley and Ross-on-Wye, and has also been quarried.  Fossiliferous Silurian limestones outcrop near Woolhope and at Aymestrey.  Outside the county, but used for building in Herefordshire, occurs the Southstone Rock, a tufa found near Shelsey Walsh in Worcestershire.

Ploughed land south of Stanford Bishop church. 

Ploughed land south of Stanford Bishop church.

From this it should be clear that the county has plentiful supplies of stone suitable for building and sculpture.  Limestone and sandstone are still quarried, along with sand and gravel for aggregates.  Much quarrying has historically been small-scale and local, and there are still a few small quarries in operation, satisfying the demand for cut stone to repair historic and vernacular buildings.  Herefordshire remains one of very few counties that sustains such operations, and this admirable practice does much to ensure that the county retains its individuality.  In the past clay was extensively quarried for brickmaking, but this industry no longer survives in the county.  The red sandstone is everywhere apparent in the fabric of churches and secular buildings (29539), and the same stone was used for much of the Herefordshire School sculpture (see below).

Old Red sandstone at St John’s, Mathon.

Old Red sandstone at St John’s, Mathon.

The Worcestershire tufa was commonly used in the Middle Ages, especially in the south e.g. at Moccas and Bredwardine.  It could be quarried in large blocks, and although it appears spongy it is hard and resilient.  For vernacular building, timber has always been plentiful in the county. 

Tufa masonry in the apse arch of St Michael’s, Moccas.

Tufa masonry in the apse arch of St Michael’s, Moccas.

Black-and-white villages like Weobley are characteristic, and timber framing is often combined with stone building in churches, e.g. at Holmer and Castle Frome (37416).

 Timber framing in the tower of St Bartholomew’s, Holmer.

Timber framing in the tower of St Bartholomew’s, Holmer

Agriculture and industry

Herefordshire is an agricultural county.  Eighty percent of it is under cultivation, and most of this is pasture land, grazed by Herefordshire cattle (poor milkers but an excellent beef breed), and sheep, mostly Shropshire Downs, Cotswolds and Radnors.

Sheep grazing in the grounds of Moccas Court.

Sheep grazing in the grounds of Moccas Court.

The soil produces exceptionally heavy crops of apples and pears, and Herefordshire is famous for its cider and perry.  The largest manufacturers are Bulmer’s of Hereford, the biggest cider producer in the world, and Weston’s of Much Marcle.  Hops have also been grown for brewing since the 16thc, and still are in the triangle enclosed by Hereford, Ledbury and Bromyard, and in the Teme Valley on the eastern border.  There is little industrial manufacture in the county.

Orchards in blossom at Monnington-on-Wye.

Orchards in blossom at Monnington-on-Wye.

Communications

The Roman road system in Herefordshire was fairly extensive, but the most important of the roads was Watling Street, linking Virconium (Wroxeter) and Isca Silurum (Caerleon).  Its course through Herefordshire is still traceable.  The modern A4110 follows its line in part, between Leintwardine and Mortimer’s Cross.  It branched at Magnis (Kentchester), and part of the eastern branch is followed by the A417, the A4172 and the B4215, passing through Stretton Grandison, Ashperton and Dymock.  The other branch from Kentchester went south-east, crossing the Wye near Canon Bridge and continuing through Wormhill to Abbey Dore and Ewyas Harold.  The Roman roads are no longer major routes through the county; indeed it is fair to say that there are no major routes through the county any longer.

Herefordshire can hardly be described as a remote county; Hereford is only forty miles from the centre of Birmingham, but the county’s physical geography, its position on the Welsh border, its lack of exploitable minerals and the small-scale, self-sufficient nature of much of its agriculture have not encouraged communication with the rest of the country. The M50 is the only motorway in the county, and even that only ventures as far as Ross-on-Wye before giving up its motorway status and heading south out of the Herefordshire as the A40 to Monmouth and Abergavenny.  Road travel within the county is on a mazy network of minor roads, often empty of other traffic except for the occasional farm vehicle.  The railway did not reach Herefordshire until 1853, but a fast rail link between Hereford and Paddington was in operation by 1855, carrying cattle to market in London, and the same service is now operated by Virgin trains for human cargo.  As in the rest of the country, a local network of lines grew from the late 1850s and remained healthy until the middle of the twentieth century. By the 1930s there were 45 railway stations or halts within the county, but all but two of the lines were closed in the 1960s, and today there are only four stations; at Hereford, Leominster, Ledbury and Colwall.

 

Settlement

Iron Age hill-forts such as those at Aconbury, Sutton Walls and, most impressively, Colwall testify to an influx of settlers along the Wye and the Lugg in the 1stc. B.C. From the Roman period there are the remains of a small town at Magnis (now Kentchester), and of settlements at Ariconium (Weston-under-Penyard), Branogenium (Leintwardine) and elsewhere.  Anglo-Saxon penetration into Herefordshire came late and was incomplete, apparently stopping at the Wye.  Two areas, Archenfield and Ewias, were still Welsh as late as the 11thc, and although Archenfield was included in the Domesday Survey, specifically Welsh customs were recorded there.  The Anglo-Saxon centres of settlement were not the Roman ones.  Hereford itself was an important Saxon site (see below), and defensive works have been excavated in the town that may be as early as the late 8thc.  As an ecclesiastical centre, Leominster may be even earlier, the church having been founded by the Northumbrian missionary, Edfrith, in the later 7thc. (see below).  The great military work of the Anglo-Saxon period was, of course, Offa’s Dyke, built by King Offa of Mercia (757-95) as a barrier to Welsh invasions.

The dyke took the form of a ditch with a steep bank; the ditch always on the Welsh side, and the bank steepest towards the west.  The dyke is typically up to 30 feet wide and 13 feet deep from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the scarp.  It is not continuous, and the gaps may have been heavily wooded, or filled with palisades.  The dyke runs from Prestatyn in the north to Sedbury in the Severn estuary, and is visible at several sites in Herefordshire, e.g. at Rushock Hill near Kington.  

 Offa’s Dyke on Rushock Hill near Kington.

Offa’s Dyke on Rushock Hill near Kington

As far as surviving Anglo-Saxon architecture is concerned, there is none whatsoever.  At Acton Beauchamp a relief, possibly part of a 9thc cross-shaft, has been re-used as a lintel, and there are some crude inscribed crosses set into the walls of Llanveynoe church and a 9thc inscribed grave slab at Clodock, but no other stonework, even in the way of fragments, that is incontestably Anglo-Saxon.

Pre-Conquest relief used as a lintel at St Giles’s, Acton Beauchamp.

A pre-Conquest relief used as a lintel at St Giles, Acton Beauchamp

Domesday settlement patterns show significantly lower population densities in the west of the county (3 people per square mile) and especially in the NW around Kington (less than 1 person per square mile), than in the centre and the east (8 per square mile).  This distribution corresponds with the areas recorded as waste in 1066 and 1086.  In 1066 much of the western border was wasteland; by 1086 some recovery had taken place, but much of the NW strip was still waste.  The main causes of this may have been the instability of life on the borders, owing to the threat of Welsh raids, and the topography of the borderland with its poor soils.  Domesday indicates that there was less woodland than in the other border counties of Cheshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire, and what existed was widely distributed but concentrated more in the west than elsewhere.

Darby & Terrett estimated that 313 separate places in Herefordshire were named in Domesday, but what is striking is that 45% of them do not appear as settlements on the modern map of the county (although in some cases their names have survived, as in the case of the Domesday vill of Wilmestune, now surviving only as Wilmastone Farm in Peterchurch, or Bageberge, represented by Backbury Hill in Mordiford).  Similarly, many villages did not appear until after the compilation of Domesday.  This is true to some extent for any county, of course, but for Herefordshire the contrast between Domesday places and modern ones is extreme, and Darby & Terrett reasonably suggest that the cause relates to the county’s highly dispersed rural settlement pattern in hamlets and scattered farms rather than nucleated villages that are more likely to survive. 

The Domesday record for Herefordshire is not a reliable guide to the number of churches.  In only thirteen places are churches mentioned, and in all of these (except the city of Hereford) priests are mentioned in connection with the churches.  There are another 28 places where a priest is mentioned without a church, and it is normal to assume the presence of churches there too.  Even so the total number of places only comes to 41, which can only represent a fraction of the parish churches of 11thc Herefordshire.

 

Archenfield and Ewias

Archenfield and Ewias were border regions in the south and southwest of the county, essentially Welsh in their population and customs but included in the Herefordshire section of the Domesday Survey.  Ewias was the hilly country lying between the Golden Valley and the Black Mountains that marked the SW border; a region incised by the valleys of the river Monmow and the Escley and Dulas brooks. 

View down the Escley Brook valley from Mynydd Merddin.

Ewias: aview down the Escley Brook valley from Mynydd Merddin

Domesday says little about it other than that it rendered honey and swine “when the men were there”, and Darby (1986) assumed that it was largely in Welsh hands, or wasted or both.  The district of Archenfield (Ergyng to the Welsh), in the south of the county extended from the valley of the Monmow to the Forest of Dean (across the border in Gloucestershire), lying mostly to the west of the Wye valley.  Domesday has more to say about this area, but not much.  It lay waste in 1066, following the devastation by Gruffydd ap Llewellyn and Bleddyn, the priests of three churches there acted as the king’s envoys into Wales, and there were other men who accompanied the sheriff into Wales when ordered to do so.  There were men who paid no geld but served in the army at need, and there were Welshmen living there, and renders of honey and sheep.  Domesday also contains an account of Welsh customs in Archenfield at the time of the Conquest.  In all, the picture is of what has been called a double frontier.

Towns and villages

The dispersed settlement pattern recorded in Domesday is still apparent today.  There are a few nucleated villages of course, for example the so-called black-and-white villages of timber-framed cottages in the northwest of the county, including Pembridge and Eardisland on the river Arrow, but these are the exceptions to a general pattern of tiny settlements and isolated dwellings scattered across an agricultural landscape and served by a few market towns.

The river Arrow at Eardisland.

The River Arrow at Eardisland.

The chief of these, Hereford itself, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Bromyard and Ledbury, are spaced to cover the entire county between them.

Leominster: view along Corn Street from Corn Square

 Leominster: a view along Corn Street from Corn Square

Ecclesiastical history

The medieval diocese consisted of almost the whole of Herefordshire and southern Shropshire and a few parishes in Worcestershire, Monmouth (including the borough of Monmouth itself), Montgomery and Radnor.

The traditional story of the foundation of the diocese of Hereford is based on Bede’s account that Putta, the exiled bishop of Rochester, was given a church and land in Mercia by Seaxwulf, bishop of Lichfield, in 676, and became its first bishop.  As Hillaby has pointed out, however, Bede emphasized that Putta made no attempt to re-establish his bishopric, and stressed that Putta was more concerned with ecclesiastical than with worldly affairs.  The Putta story gained currency in three Old English episcopal lists, compiled in the reign of Offa (757-96), which placed Putta at the start of the series of Bishops of Hereford, and which Hillaby suggested were compiled as part of Offa’s campaign to persuade the pope to establish a third English archdiocese at Lichfield.  Hillaby presents evidence to suggest that the first bishop was Tyrhtil, traditionally Putta’s successor, whose episcopacy probably began in 688.  Tyrhtil was certainly the bishop by 693, when he attested a charter.  It is probable, but not certain, that the see of the westerners (Magonsaetan) was at Hereford at this time; cases have been argued for Leominster, Ledbury and Lydbury North (Shropshire).  In any case it seems certain that the earliest ecclesiastical centre in the county (if not the see) was at Leominster where, according to the 11thc Life of St Mildburga of Wenlock, Mildburga’s father Merewalh was converted from paganism by the Northumbrian missionary Edfrith, founding a minster that can be identified with St Peter’s at Leominster, probably c.660.  Little information has survived about the early bishops of the diocese.  Bede recorded the names of all the bishops in office in 731, describing Walhstod as the bishop of the peoples who dwell west of the river Severn, but failing to specify the location of the bishopric.  Cuthberht (736-40) was described as a bishop of Hereford, and he was elevated to Canterbury (740-60).

The major relic held by the cathedral was the body of St Ethelbert (d.794) king of the East Angles.  He at first devoted himself to a life of celibacy but was eventually persuaded to marry and unwisely selected Alfrida, daughter of Offa, king of Mercia for his bride and proceeded to meet Offa and his daughter at Villa Australis.  According to the account of Richard of Cirencester, Cynethryth the queen-mother so poisoned Offa’s mind against him that he employed an assassin to murder his guest and behead him.  The remains were buried (following the account of John Brompton) on the banks of the Lugg, and the dead saint attracted the attention of one Brithfrid to carry his relics to a more suitable spot.  On the journey his head fell off the cart, healing a passing blind man.  The body was taken to Hereford and the head to Westminster Abbey, and at some subsequent time the cathedral was dedicated to St Mary and St Ethelbert.  The church was rebuilt by Bishop Athelstan II (1012-56), who also presented a Gospel Book to the cathedral.

Turning to the situation in the middle of the 11thc, first it should be said that the cathedral was still served by canons rather than monks.  Gruffydd ap Llewellyn entered the county in 1055, laying waste to the border areas and sacking Hereford itself.  The cathedral was burned, but apparently not so badly as to require a major rebuilding.  Three of the canons were killed, and all the books except Bishop Athelstan’s Gospels were stolen or destroyed, and the relics of St Ethelbert lost.  Bishop Athelstan died early in the following year, and was replaced by Leofgar, who at once mounted a revenge attack on the Welsh and was killed with several of his canons at Glasbury.  In order to try to secure a peace with the Welsh, King Edward appointed Harold Godwinson to the earldom of Hereford and put Ealdred of Worcester in temporary charge of the see in addition to his own.  A new bishop, Walter, was not appointed until 1061, but little is known of him or his actions.  Robert of Losinga (1079-95) is best known for his two-storey bishop’s chapel, for replacing and updating the contents of the library and for reforms to the organisation of the cathedral community.  His successor Gerard (1096-1100) might have introduced the Use of Hereford, modelled on the liturgy of Rouen, and his successor Reinhelm (1107-15) began to build a new cathedral that was completed and consecrated by Bishop Robert de Bethune (1131-48) some time in the last six years of his episcopacy.

Other religious houses in the county were the Benedictine priory of Leominster, founded from Reading Abbey in 1123; Kilpeck priory, given to the Benedictines of Gloucester in 1134; the Benedictine cells at Monkland and Brockbury (Colwall); the Cluniac priory of Clifford; Titley priory, a small cell of the order of Tiron; the Cistercian house of Abbey Dore, founded in 1147; the priory of Augustinian canons of St Victor in Paris, first founded at Shobdon c.1140 by Oliver de Merlimond and moved to Aymestrey and back to Shobdon before settling at Wigmore abbey in a house founded by Hugh of Mortimer in 1179; the 14thc Augustinian priory of Flanesford  in Goodrich; the priories of Augustinian canonesses at Aconbury and Limebrook; a Grandmontine house at Craswall; houses of Knights Templar at Garway and at Upleden in Bosbury parish; Knights Hospitaller preceptories at Dinmore and Sutton St Michael; a house of Black friars in Hereford (Blackfriars priory, Widemarsh Street); and a Franciscan friary at Greyfriars, Hereford.  There was also a hospital dedicated to St Giles in Hereford.

 Leominster Priory church from the SW.

Leominster Priory church from the SW

Romanesque Buildings

The Romanesque cathedral of Hereford was begun by Bishop Reinhelm (1107-15) and completed and consecrated by Bishop Robert de Bethune (1131-48).  There were gothic additions at the east end (including the construction of a Lady Chapel and an eastern transept) although the original choir remains in its lower storeys.  In 1786 the central western tower collapsed, destroying the Romanesque façade, and the upper levels of the nave were rebuilt by Wyatt (1788-95).  The cathedral was again restored by Cottingham (1843-47), when much of the Romanesque stonework was renewed, and much of the sculpture replaced with copies.  Despite all this, Hereford Cathedral remains an important Romanesque building.  Leominster Priory church survives, with important carved capitals of the Herefordshire School on the W doorway.  There is nothing of the first (1147) build at Abbey Dore, but the crossing, transepts and chancel, dating from c.1175-1220, are high-quality work of the late Romanesque period.  There is no doubt, however, that the best of the county’s Romanesque work is to be found in its parish churches.  Ledbury is the most impressive in scale.

The interior of St Michael’s, Ledbury

The interior of St Michael’s, Ledbury.

Madley was substantially rebuilt in the later Middle Ages, but enough survives to indicate a cruciform Norman church of some size.

Madley church from the NE

Madley church from the NE

Moccas, Kilpeck and Tarrington are much smaller, but survive practically intact in their Romanesque forms.

St Michael’s, Moccas from the SE

St Michael’s, Moccas from the SE

Romanesque Sculpture

Turning to the sculpture, there are relief carvings on lintels characterised by large chip-carved rosettes and monstrous figures under arcading at Bredwardine in the Wye valley, and the same workshop was active at Letton, Willersley and Eardisley (chip-carved lintel re-used as a window sill), all within 3 miles of Bredwardine.   

St Andrew’s, Bredwardine. South doorway, chip-carved lintel.

St Andrew’s, Bredwardine. South doorway, chip-carved lintel

Another group of carvings includes a doorway at Yatton and the font at Bromyard, both decorated with a Tree of Life with horizontal cross-terminals, and Bromyard having a characteristic branching scroll ornament.  This branching scroll also occurs on a catastrophically damaged tympanum at Moccas, but the Tree of Life is a defining feature of a workshop apparently centred around Dymock, 15 miles to the south of Bromyard and just over the Gloucestershire border.  Zarnecki (1950) labelled this workshop the Bromyard School, but since the work of Gethyn-Jones (1979) it has become known as the Dymock School.

Tree of Life on the font at St Peter’s, Bromyard. 

The Tree of Life on the font at St Peter’s, Bromyard

The Herefordshire School of Sculpture

By far the most celebrated work in the county (and perhaps the best known of all English Romanesque sculpture) is the so-called Herefordshire School.  The first detailed analysis of the group was by Zarnecki (1950), still the key work for the Herefordshire School, and still unpublished.  He identified the work of these sculptors at Shobdon, Kilpeck, Castle Frome, Eardisley, Brinsop, Stretton Sugwas, Fownhope, St Giles’s Hereford, Rowlstone, Orleton and Leominster within Herefordshire itself, and outside its borders at Ruardean (Gloucs), Chaddesley Corbett (Worcs) and Stottesdon (Salop).

St Michael’s, Castle Frome.  Font from the north

St Michael’s, Castle Frome.  Font from the north

St George’s, Brinsop. Reset St George tympanum and voussoirs

St George’s, Brinsop. Reset St George tympanum and voussoirs

St Mary’s, Fownhope. Virgin and Child tympanum

St Mary’s, Fownhope. Virgin and Child tympanum

Leominster priory church. West doorway capital.

Leominster priory church. West doorway capital

Earlier work by members of the school was identified at Aston, Ribbesford (Worcs) and Rock (Worcs).  Since 1950, further work by the Herefordshire sculptors has surfaced at Billesley (Warwicks), Monmouth and Alveley (Salop) reported in Morris (1983).  To these, Thurlby (1999) has added works at Pedmore (Worcs) and Llanbadarn Fawr (Radnor) that show some similarities but are clearly not by the main sculptors of the Herefordshire School.  The sculpture dates from the period between the 1130s and the 1150s, and is executed in the local Old Red Sandstone.  The earliest works of the group are at Shobdon and Kilpeck.  Shobdon priory was founded by Oliver de Merlimond, who went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, probably completing the church on his return.  It was dedicated by Robert de Bethune, Bishop of Hereford, in the early 1130s, and by c.1135 was in use as a priory of Augustinian canons.  Of this church we have the chancel arch and two doorways, removed from the church when it was demolished in 1752 and set up as a folly on a neighbouring hill.

Shobdon Arches from the SSW

Two hundred and fifity years since this was done the sculpture has become so worn and weathered as to be almost undecipherable, but it is clear that the arches were richly encrusted with relief carving of a type characteristic of Aquitaine, through which the patron must have passed on his pilgrimage, notably including the radiating voussoirs that are common in that region.The two surviving tympana show the Harrowing of Hell and the Ascension, with Christ seated in a mandorla carried by angels.  The figures are carved in bold relief, but are so worn as to prevent a meaningful analysis of their style.

Shobdon Arches, central bay, left capitals

Kilpeck is much better preserved and astonishes by the sheer wealth of its carving; on the S doorway, the windows, the chancel arch, the apse vault and the corbel table.

Kilpeck apse corbel: musician and lovers

A sculptor who had previously worked at Aston and Ribbesford (Worcs) has been identified here, working alongside a more flamboyant carver who was previously at Shobdon, but the range of suggested parallels for the work here is bewilderingly large, including the Dymock school, Hereford and Gloucester cathedrals and the Scandinavian Urnes school. Work of the Herefordshire School is characterised by bold figural and foliage forms carved in high relief.  Human figures, whether religious or secular, are large-featured with big, almond-shaped eyes and drapery indicated by parallel incised grooves, like stripes in the fabric.

Castle Frome font, symbol of St Matthew

There is a repertoire of animals, commonly small birds, lions and dragons, and foliage is usually loosely scrolling, often descending into a chaotic tangle which is employed iconographically to represent sin or hell, as on the font at Eardisley where Christ pulls Adam from tangled foliage in a graphic representation of the Harrowing of Hell.

Eardisley font, the Harrowing of Hell

The same sculptors were effective in producing very simple and monumental compositions, notably on the majestic tympanum of Samson and the Lion at Stretton Sugwas, one of the masterworks of the school, probably based on a similar composition at Parthenay-le-Vieux (Deux-Sevres) on the road to Santiago, but here interpreted much more dynamically, on a grander scale and in extremely high relief.

Stretton Sugwas, detail of the Samson and the Lion tympanum

 

A note on fieldwork and photography

Fieldwork for Herefordshire was initially undertaken by George Zarnecki and Neil Stratford; Mr Stratford taking responsibility for the City of Hereford, in particular the Cathedral, and Professor Zarnecki for sites in the county outside Hereford.  In 2004, Professor Zarnecki retired from active fieldwork, handing over his site notes and photographs to the CRSBI editors.  Ron Baxter undertook the completion of his part of the work.  In some cases site reports were in the form of complete drafts and only editing was required.  These reports appear on the website under Professor Zarnecki’s name.  In cases where further site visits were needed to amplify Prof. Zarnecki’s notes, reports are credited to Zarnecki and Baxter jointly.  In a very few cases, fieldwork and reporting was by Dr Baxter alone, and these are duly identified.  A good deal of new digital photography has been undertaken, which supplements Zarnecki’s black and white photography.  Photographic coverage for a site might thus include work spanning the period from the 1940s to the 2000s, and where it is significant the date is included in the captions.  The digital photography was done using a Nikon Coolpix 8700 camera. The images were edited and prepared for web delivery by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel and the web pages were produced by Sophie Church and Anna Bentkowska-Kafel. The authors would like to thank the clergy and churchwardens of Herefordshire for their generous help in arranging access to the churches in their care. 

 

Bibliography

Pevsner, as ever, provides the handiest brief guide to the architecture of the county.  The Royal Commission volumes for Herefordshire cover the county in three volumes (RCHME 1931-34).  The Victoria County History has published only an introductory volume to the county. The local society is the Woolhope Club (founded in 1851 as the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club), which has interests ranging over the fields of history, archaeology, architecture, geology and natural history.  Its Transactions, published since 1852, are an eclectic mixture well worth exploring, and contain much material of value to the architectural historian.

The selection below includes only general works; for specific bibliographies, see the individual site entries.

A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, New Haven and London 2012.

H. C. Darby, “The Marches of Wales in 1086”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, new series Vol. 11, No. 3. (1986), 259-278.

H. C. Darby and I. B. Terrett, The Domesday Geography of Midland England. Cambridge 1954, 2nd ed. 1971, 57-114.

E. Gethyn-Jones. The Dymock School of Sculpture, London and Chichester 1979.

R. Halsey, “Eight Herefordshire Marble Fonts”, Romanesque and Gothic: Essays for George Zarnecki. Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1987, 107-09.

J. Hillaby, “Leominster and Hereford: The Origins of the Diocese”, in D. Whitehead (ed), Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Hereford (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions XV), Leeds 1995, 1-14.

J. F. King, "The Parish Church at Kilpeck Reassessed",  in D. Whitehead (ed), Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Hereford (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions XV), Leeds 1995, 82-93..

G. Marshall, "Fonts in Herefordshire", Hereford (Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club). Published in 3 parts: I (1949); II (1950); III (1951).

R. K. Morris, “The Herefordshire School: Recent Discoveries”, in F. H. Thompson (ed), Studies in Medieval Sculpture, London 1983, 198-201.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3 vols. (1931-34)

M. Thurlby, The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture. Logaston 1999.

Victoria County History: Herefordshire. I, 1908.

 

 

Ron Baxter

15 May 2007 revised 25 February 2019