The church has a nave with N and S aisles; the N arcade dating from the 13thc., but the S from the late 12thc. There is a 16thc. clerestorey on the S side only. Both arcades are unusual in having an E bay that is lower than the others, and on the south the first pier from the east is actually a section of wall containing a 14thc. niche towards the main vessel. Pevsner has argued that the eastern bay was originally the arch to a chapel, and thus that pier 1 marked the division between the nave and the chancel in the 12thc. Sculptural interest in the S arcade centres on the chamfer stops of the piers, carved with foliage motifs and heads. The present chancel has no masonry arch to it, but a timber arch supported on 19thc corbels. There is a N chapel, now housing the organ, and its arch and the chancel windows are of the early 14thc. The tower stands at the NW of the nave, and was rebuilt in 1707. It seems clear, therefore, that a 12thc aisleless church of nave and chancel was given a S aisle and chancel chapel at the end of the 12thc, and a N aisle and chapel in the 13thc. Early in the following century a new chancel was added, with N chapels, and the former chancel incorporated into the nave. The church was 'thoroughly' restored in 1862 (Duncumb (1897), 47).
The church contains a well-known font, carved by sculptors of the Herefordshire School, and three unpublished carved fragments, one reused as a window sill and two loose. A very short distance to the W of the church stood a castle (see VII).
Eardisley (Herdeslege in DS, 10, 46) is listed in 1086 as the property of Roger de Lacy, held from him by Robert, whom Wightman (154) identified as Robert de Baskerville. He suggests that Eardisley, with its fortified house, was the caput of the Baskervilles (147). Robert was succeeded by Roger (fl.1127), then Ralph I (d.1148/9) who married a daughter of Drew fitz Pons of Clifford Castle, It is said that Ralph killed his father-in law in a challenge (before 1127) and thereafter made numerous benefactions to the church (Coplestone-Crow, 20). It was probably he who rebuilt Eardisley church, using sculptors of the Herefordshire School.
Benefice of Eardisley with Bollingham, Willersley, Brilley, Michaelchurch, Whitney, Winforton, Almeley and Kinnersley.
|circ. at bottom of base||1.92m|
|circ. at top of bowl||2.47m|
|dia.||0.17 - 0.20 m|
English Romanesque Art 1066-1200 (exh. cat.). London 1984, 137.
Anon. Archaeologia Cambrensis, IX (1863), 376
B. Coplestone-Crow, 'The Baskervilles of Herefordshire 1086-1300', Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 43, 18-39.
F. Bond, Fonts and Font Covers. Oxford 1908, 50, 153, 181, 183, pl.52a-b.
A. W. Clapham, English Romanesque Architecture, II, After the Conquest. Oxford 1934, 155.
C. S. Drake, The Romanesque Fonts of Northern Europe and Scandinavia. London, 2002, 19.
J. Duncumb, Collections towards the history and antiquities of Hereford. V. Hundred of Huntington. By the Rev. Morgan G. Watkins. Hereford, 1897, 34-53.
E. S. Prior and A. Gardner, An Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture in England. Cambridge 1912, 159, 167.
Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 7367. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php/p
L. Musset, Angleterre Romane I, Le Sud de l'Angleterre. La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1983.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 120-22.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west,1934, 50-52.
R. E. Kaske, 'Piers Plowman and Local Iconography. The Font at Eardisley, Herefordshire', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 51 (1988), 184-186, pl.l20a-c.
R. K. Morris, 'The Herefordshire School: Recent Discoveries', in F. H. Thompson (ed), Studies in Medieval Sculpture, London 1983, 201, pl.LXXXIb.
L. Stone, Sculpture in Britain: The Middle Ages. Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth 1955, 70.
M. Thurlby, The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture. Logaston 1999, 123-27.
W. E. Wightman, The Lacy Family in England and Normandy 1066-1194. Oxford 1966.
S. Wood, The Eardisley Font Herefordshire, Eardisley History Group, 2012.
G. Zarnecki, Later English Romanesque Sculpture 1140-1210. London 1953, 14, pl.25.
G. Zarnecki, Regional Schools of English Sculpture in the Twelfth Century: the Southern School and the Herefordshire School. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London, 1951, 316-318.[Available from CRSBI,
G. Zarnecki, Romanesque Lincoln, the Sculpture of the Cathedral, Lincoln 1988.