Willersley is a village in the W of Herefordshire, 13 miles W of Hereford and 4 miles from the Welsh border. The village is on the N side of the Wye valley, and consists of a few houses built along the main A438 road that links Hereford and Brecon. Magdalene House, formerly the church of St Mary Magdalene, consisted originally of a nave and chancel in one constructed of sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings, with a timber S porch, and a W bell turret. The church was built in the later 12thc, modified in the 14thc, restored in 1877 and converted into a dwelling in 1981, when the W turret was removed. A description of the house as a church in 1934 is to be found in RCHME. The S doorway is the only Romanesque feature.
Willersley and Winforton were held by Earl Harold in 1066 and by Ralph de Tosny in 1086. They were together assessed at 4 hides, but was waste in 1066. Another holding in the same place belonged to Alweard in 1066 and to a Welshman from Ralph de Tosny in 1086. This was valued at 1 hide.
Single order with lintel. The doorway is protected by a low porch that effectively conceals its head. The jambs have quirked angle rolls without bases. The lintel is a rectangular block, chamfered on its upper edge and with the lower edge decorated with a row of chipcarved rosettes, partly obscured by a crossbeam of the porch. The face is carved with a series of chip-carved motives. Reading from L to R: a block of chip-carved sexfoils; then a set of four concentric squares; next a vertical herringbone design, 2½ rows wide; then a large octofoil rosette, and finally a block of chip-carved saltires. The lower edge of the face is obscured by a cross-beam of the porch. Above the lintel is an area of coursed sandstone rubble.
|Height of opening||2.05m|
|Width of opening||1.10m|
A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 677.
Historic England Listed Building 150672.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 322.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 211 (as St Mary Magdalene).