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St Michael, Kenchester, Herefordshire

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Feature Sets (3)

Description

Kenchester is a village in central Herefordshire, some 5 miles WNW of Hereford. The village is clustered along a minor road to the N of the A438 Hereford to Brecon road, and at its S end is the site of the Roman town of Magnis, with the church alongside. St Michael’s is a simple, 2 cell building of roughly-coursed sandstone rubble, sited alongside outbuildings of Court Farm. There is a 15thc S porch, but the 12thc origins of the church are revealed by the plain lancets in the chancel and the S nave doorway, described here. There is also a font that might well be a 12thc remodelling of a Roman column from Magnis. The church was restored by Nicholson and Hartree, 1901-02 and 1909.

History

A manor of 2 hides was held by the canons of St Peter’s, Hereford, in 1066 and 1086. A further holding of 2 hides was held by Thorkil in 1066 and Hugo l’Aisne in 1086.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

S nave doorway

Round headed, single order. Continuous with an angle roll.

Dimensions
Height of opening 2.20m
Width of opening 1.15m

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The font is at the W end of the nave, alongside the S doorway. It consists of a tall cylindrical bowl, chamfered at the upper rim and tapering at the bottom to sit on a cylindrical stem, and this on a drum base with an upper angle roll. There is no step. The basin is unlined, hemispherical in form and very shallow, suggesting that it was not originally a font.

Dimensions
1
Height of base 0.19m
Height of bowl 0.54m
Height of font 1.03m
Height of stem 0.30m
2
Depth of basin 0.13m
External diameter of bowl at rim 0.46m
Internal diameter of bowl at rim 0.28m

Comments/Opinions

For the doorway, similar treatment of a continuous order is very common throughout the county. The font was not noted by Pevsner (1963), but RCHME (1932), followed by Brooks (2012) convincingly suggested that it might be a re-used and remodelled Roman column from Magnis, on a 12thc base.

Bibliography

  • A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 187

  • Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 7230.

  • Historic England Listed Building 154240

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 107-08.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: East, 1932, 93-96.

Exterior from N
Interior to E

Location

Site Location
Kenchester
National Grid Reference
SO 438 428 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Herefordshire
now: Herefordshire
Diocese
medieval: Hereford
now: Hereford
Dedication
now: St Michael
medieval: St Michael (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
04 September 2012