St Andrew, Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire

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Feature Sets (4)


Hampton Bishop is a fair-sized village that straggles along a network of minor roads three miles E of the centre of Hereford, overlooking the river Lugg.  It lies in the flat flood plains of the Lugg and the Wye, which form a loop around the village, meeting half a mile SE of the village centre.  The church is in the centre of the village.

St Andrew’s has a long nave and chancel, a N nave aisle with a three-bay arcade situated at the E end of the nave, a N tower and a N chancel chapel.  The earliest parts are 12thc.  Although the nave and chancel form a single block externally, they are separated within by a 12thc chancel arch.  A second 12thc arch links the chancel and its chapel.  The S doorway is 12thc, under a later porch, and on the N side of the nave towards the W end is a plain 12thc window.  The tower, set halfway along the nave on its N side, is 12thc in its stone rubble lower parts, which contain round-headed plain windows to N and W and entirely plain double bell-openings.  The upper stage is timber framed with a shingled pyramid roof, and is much later. The ground storey of the tower occupies the westernmost of the three aisle bays, and the W respond and W pier of the N arcade are both 12thc too, having originally supported the S tower arch.  The arch itself was rebuilt when the aisle was added in the late 13thc.  Around this time too, the chancel was enlarged eastwards – the double piscina is early 14thc.  The N chapel arch is said by RCHME to be reset, and indeed the chapel itself contains no fabric earlier than the 14thc E window and some 15thc tracery panelling.   Most of the nave and chancel windows were replaced between the 13thc and the 16thc.  On the N side of the nave, in the aisle bay E of the tower, a modern vestry has been added, entered from inside the church through the old N doorway.  There was a major restoration and 1866, and repairs to the church between 1969 and 1974, carried out by Scriven, Powell and James of Hereford.  Romanesque features described here are the S doorway and a carved springer set above it, the chancel and N chapel arches and a plain font.


The manor of Hampton Bishop was held by Earl Harold, unjustly according to the Domesday Survey.  King William restored it to the Bishop of Hereford, and in 1086 it was mostly in demesne, except for three virgates held by a knight and one virgate held by a radman (a retainer who performed services relating to riding).  The manor consisted of four hides of ploughland, 28 acres of meadow and two and a half mills.  No church was recorded in 1086.


Exterior Features


S nave doorway

Nave S doorway, round headed, single order with tympanum and lintel

The jambs are plain and square-sectioned; the top block on each jamb being a plain chamfered bracket to support the lintel.  The lintel itself is heavy and monolithic, being decorated on its front face with a band of fishscale at the top (four rows of scales) and two rows of chip-carved saltires in squares immediately below the fishscale, coming near the bottom of the block.  The lower edge has a plain flat fillet and the upper edge is chamfered back into the plane of the wall.  The lintel carries a plain tympanum made up of 12 blocks in two uneven courses; the lower of squarish blocks of similar sizes, the upper of irregular-sized blocks cut to fill the semicircular field.  This tympanum is surrounded by a chevron arch that springs from the ends of the lintel.  It is decorated with lateral centrifugal face chevron with a fat roll at the inner angle and a thin one outside it, with a cogwheel inner edge. The label is chamfered with a row of billet on the chamfer.  It has short returns at either end, the E return damaged.

Set above the apex of the label is a double springer, described below.

Height of opening 2.28m
Width of opening 1.14m
Height of lintel 0.47m
Width of lintel 1.27m

Exterior Decoration


Reset double springer

Set above the apex of the S nave doorway, a red sandstone double springer with heavy angle rolls to each side, and on the front face a human head in low relief, drawn with inscribed lines.  The eyes are oval and drilled and the nose unremarkable.  The mouth has a broad moustache above it, and below it is vertical reeding to indicate a long, straight beard.

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Arch to N chancel chapel

Round-headed, two orders to N and S.

1st order

Engaged half-columns on drum bases with upper angle rolls.  The W capital has a plain convex bell, round in plan.  The E is also round and convex, but multi-scalloped with conical wedges between the cones and recessed shields.  Both have plain roll neckings and flat fillet abaci but no imposts.  The 1st order arch is plain and chamfered to N and S.

2nd order

The N and S sides are identical, with chamfered jambs with simple triangular stop chamfers, supporting quirked chamfered imposts.  the arches to each side are plain and chamfered.

Chancel arch

Single order, round-headed. The jambs are plain and square-sectioned, carrying hollow-chamfered imposts with a triple-reed between face and chamfer.  The arch is plain on its E face, but the W face has a fat angle roll with a beaked half-roll outside it and a quadrant hollow at the extrados.  There is a quirked chamfered label on the W face only.




On the N side of the nave, against pier 2 of the N arcade. The bowl is plain, cup-shaped and heavily tooled.  It stands on a cylindrical shaft, and that on a tall chamfered base that sits on a modern octagonal double step.  The bowl is unlined and has rim repairs at E and W.

Height of bowl 0.34m
Height of stem 0.19m
Overall height (without steps) 0.85m
External diameter at rim 0.68m


The chapel arch may not be in its original position, and the S doorway has apparently been reset.  The heavy chip-carved lintel of the doorway dates from the very beginning of the 12thc, and the billet label may be contemporary.  The chancel arch has features of the 2nd half of the century, in its multiple mouldings and reeded imposts, and the capital forms of the chapel arch and its chamfered arch profiles must also belong to the later period.  The most interesting and enigmatic feature is the reset springer carved with a human head.  There is no obvious place from which it might have come: a double springer implies at least a pair of arches and possibly an arcade, and the scale of it points to wall arcading or something like a cloister arcade.  No more definite pronouncements can be made unless it is excavated from its present setting for a thorough examination. A date in the 1120s or ’30s is possible.


  • A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 257-58.

  • W. H. Cooke, Collections towards the history and antiquities of the county of Herefordshire in continuation of Duncumb's History, III (Greytree Hundred) 1882.

  • Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 6836.  

  • G. Marshall, Fonts in Herefordshire. Hereford (Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club), II (1950), 45-46.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 141.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: East, 1932, 86.

Exterior from SE
Exterior from S
Interior to E
Nave N arcade from SE
Tower from NW


Site Location
Hampton Bishop
National Grid Reference
SO 559 380 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Herefordshire
now: Herefordshire
medieval: Hereford
now: Hereford
now: St Andrew
medieval: St Andrew (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
George Zarnecki, Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
06 August 1989, 21 June 2006