All Saints, Kinsham, Herefordshire

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Feature Sets (2)


Upper and Lower Kinsham are a pair of villages in the NW corner of the county, 9 miles WNW of Leominster, on the N side of the River Lugg, which runs in a deep and spectacular gorge at this point. All Saints' church is in the grounds of Kinsham Court, an 18thc house built for the Hartleys, Earls of Oxford in Upper Kinsham. The church is a plain gabled box, probably of the late-13thc, with a bell mounted in the W gable.  This replaces an 18thc circular bell turret that was removed by Henry Curzon who resotored the church in 1885-86. Curzon was also responsible for replacing the windows with plain, trefoil headed lancets. The exterior is roughcast rendered. Entrance is through a N doorway into a screened passage with access to the W nave gallery. The interior has no chancel arch or screen. The gallery, pulpit and communion rails are of the early 18thc, and the nave is fitted with benches, presumably by Curzon. Towards the S end of the entrance passage is the font, of uncertain datye but possibly 12thc in origin (see Comments).


Upper and Lower Kinsham were held by Osbern, son of Richard from King Edward in 1066, and by the same Osbern as tenant-in-chief in 1086. They were assessed at 5 hides. Richard FitzScrope was a Norman kinght granted lands by King Edward before the Conquest. He built Richard's Castle before 1051, and died after 1067, being succeeded by his son Osbern, who married Nesta, daughter of  King Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Wales. At his death c.1137 he was succeeded by his grandson Osbert FitzHugh, and at his death in 1187 the estate passed out of the direct line, to the Say family and subsequently the Mortimers.





Towards the S end of the entrance passage under the W gallery, a monolithic bowl and stem, both octagonal, the bowl straight-sided with an unlined circular basin, the stem with a concave taper. This stands on a stepped brick base. The rim of the bowl has staple marks at the NE and SW.

Height of bowl 0.54 m
External diameter of bowl at rim (across angles) 0.60 m
External diameter of bowl at rim (across flats) 0.54 m
Internal diameter of bowl at rim 0.43 m


Opinions vary on the date of the font. Brooks (2012) suggests late-12thc, later cut down to a plain octagon; RCHME and the List Description have 'probably 15th-century'. The present author sees no evidence of a 12thc date but the site is included on the basis of Brooks (2012).


  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 212-13.

  • A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 410-11.

  • Historic England Listed Building,¬†English Heritage Legacy ID:¬†149149

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 100-01.

Exterior from SW
Interior to W
Interior to E


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SO 364 649 
now: Herefordshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Herefordshire
now: Hereford
medieval: Hereford
now: All Saints
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
02 November 2017