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St Mary, Little Birch, Herefordshire

(51°58′37″N, 2°42′47″W)
Little Birch
SO 511 312
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Ron Baxter
08 Jun 2011

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Feature Sets

Little Birch is a village in central Herefordshire, 5 mile S of Hereford. It is a dispersed settlement, occupying minor roads to the E of the A49, and it runs almost seamlessly into the neighbouring village of King’s Thorn. St Mary’s is S of the village, alongside a farm. The present building dates from 1868, and was built by W. Chick in Ham Hill and Bath stone, giving it a chequered appearance. It has a nave with a N aisle, a N doorway under a porch and a transeptal S organ room, and a polygonal apsed chancel with a N vestry. There is no tower but a bellcote over the W gable of the nave. This is the third church known to have occupied the site: the first a chapelry of Aconbury, the second a neo-Norman of Henry Adams of Hereford, built 1840-41. The only Romanesque feature is the font.


Much and Little Birch were held by Costelin in 1066 and his son held it from Roger de Lacy in 1086. The Domesday Survey makes no mention of geld units, although there were four ploughs, and a Welsh tenant, clearly a beekeeper as he paid 5 shillings and a sester of honey.





The bowl was discovered in a cottage or farm in the parish in 1869, where it had reportedly been used as a pump trough, and replaced in the rebuilt church (see Marshall (1949).


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 51.

A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 472-73.

Herefordshire Sites and Monuments record 6849.

Historic England Listed Building 155643.

G. Marshall, “Fonts in Herefordshire”, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club, I (1949), 10.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 235.