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St Bartholomew, Westhide, Herefordshire

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Feature Sets (3)

Description

Westhide is a village in E central Herefordshire, 5 miles NE of the centre of Hereford. It lies in hilly farmland on a minor road that snakes from Withington to Ocle Pychard, and has the wooded Shucknall Hill to the S. The village centre is compact, with dwellings grouped around the church. St Bartholomew’s is a stone church with nave, S aisle, N vestry, chancel and W tower. The 12thc. tower is unbuttressed with small lancets having pointed or roughly segmental chamfered heads. It has a modern slate pyramid roof. The N wall of the nave was rebuilt in the 19thc., when a N vestry was added at its E end. At that time it was given plate-tracery two-light windows in a style of the mid-13thc. The S porch is also a 19thc. addition. The S aisle, with a two-bay arcade, was added in the 14thc., and an early 14thc. date also fits the reticulated aisle windows and the chancel with its arch. The major restoration was in 1865-67, by Thomas Blashill of London, and included repairs to roof and walls, the rebuilding of the N nave wall and the chancel, and reseating. Romanesque features described below are the tower arch and a plain font.

History

Osgod held Westhide before the Conquest, and in 1086 it was held by Tezelin from Roger de Lacy. It consisted of one hide of ploughland, and no church or priest was recorded in 1086.

Features

Interior Features

Arches

Tower/Transept arches

W tower arch.

Pointed, of two orders to E and W.

First order (shared).Chamfered square responds without bases but with simple stop chamfers at the foot of each jamb. They carry multi-trumpet scallop capitals with conical wedges between the trumpets and shields with raised half-discs. The neckings are plain rolls. Both capitals have short, flat abaci above the shields, and the N capital only has a roll-chamfered impost. The arch is pointed with chamfers to each face.

Second order. The E face has chamfered jambs and arch with a chamfered impost between. The W is similar but there is no chamfer to the arch.

Furnishings

Fonts

At NW corner of S aisle.

The bowl is cup-shaped with a roll moulded upper rim. It stands on a tall cylindrical shaft and this on a chamfered drum base and a modern step. The bowl is unlined and has slight rim damage at the SE.

Dimensions
ext. diam. of bowl at rim 0.60 m
h. of base 0.16 m
h. of bowl 0.35 m
h. of shaft 0.49 m
int. diam. of bowl at rim 0.425 m

Comments/Opinions

The tower arch shows signs of remodelling in the double-chamfered pointed arch and the want of an impost on the S side. The trumpet scallop capitals imply a later 12thc. date, and this must be the date of the tower. The plain font could be contemporary, or date from any time in the 12thc. The relatively small bowl and tall shaft suggest the second half of the century rather than the first.

(benefice of Withington with Westhide since 1928)

Bibliography

  • B. Butcher, The Church of Saint Bartholomew, Westhide, Herefordshire, Undated (post-1984) church guide.
  • Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 6854. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php/p
  • G. Marshall, Fonts in Herefordshire. Hereford, Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club. Published in 3 parts: I (1949); II (1950); III (1951).
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Harmondsworth 1963, 314-15.
St Bartholomew, Westhide. Groundplan created by T. Blashill, 1867. Image courtesy of Church Plans Online (Published by the NOF Digitise Architecture England Consortium).
Exterior from NW.
Exterior from SW.
Interior to E.

Location

Site Location
Westhide
National Grid Reference
SO 586 442 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Herefordshire
now: Herefordshire
Diocese
medieval: Hereford
now: Hereford
Dedication
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Bartholomew
Type of building/monument
Parish church, formerly chapel  
Report authors
Ron Baxter