St Dubricius, Whitchurch, Herefordshire

Feature Sets (2)

Description

Whitchurch is a village on the River Wye in the extreme S of the county, 5 miles SW of Ross-on-Wye and a mile from the borders with Gloucestershire to the SE and Monmouthshire to the SW. The village neighbours Symonds Yat West; a tourist resort with a large caravan and camping site, and an amusemant park, handily placed for access to the A40 which also bisects Whitchurch village.  The village street remains, but it is overshadowed by these developments. The church stands at the end of a lane at the E end of Whitchurch, alongside the river. It consists of a chancel with a N vestry, nave with a S porch and a double bellcote over the W gable, and a 3-bay N aisle, separately roofed. The nave and chancel are 13thc and 14thc, and the vestry may be late-medieval in origin. A restoration by Benjamin Ferrey of 1860-61 added the N aisle, the porch, and the W bellcote. The only Romanesque feature here is the font.

History

Whitchurch is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The earliest presentation recorded was by William de Valence in 1289.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The font is at the W end of the nave and consists of a cylindrical bowl on an octagonal shft with a square base and a modern step. The bowl is decorated with an arcade of 12 round-headed bays of continuous arcading in shallow relief. The lower part of the bowl has been chamfered with 8 scallops to fit on the shaft. This chamfering cuts untidily into the arcading, and so is presumed to be secondary. The bowl is unlined and the rim is shaved.

Dimensions
Diameters
External diameter of bowl at rim 0.74 m
Internal diameter of bowl at rim 0.54 m
Heights
Height of bowl 0.42 m
Height of font (without step) 0.88 m

Comments/Opinions

The dedication to Dubricius (Welsh Dyfrig) is confined to a few churches in Herefordshire, Porlock in Somerset and a small number in Wales. RCHME dates the font shaft and the remodelling of the Norman bowl to fit to the 14th- 15thc, followed by Brooks (2012) who prefers a 15thc date. Neither Pevsner (1963) nor the List Description mention the remodelling, although the latter offers a late-12thc date for the bowl.

Bibliography

  • A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 668.

  • Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID 421123

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 319.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 1: South-west, 1931, 253-54.

Location

Site Location
Whitchurch
National Grid Reference
SO 556 175 
Boundaries
now: Herefordshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Herefordshire
Diocese
medieval: Hereford
now: Hereford
Dedication
now: St Dubricius
medieval: St Dubricius (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
01 November 2017