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Magdalene House, Willersley, Herefordshire

(52°7′14″N, 3°0′22″W)
Magdalene House, Willersley
SO 312 474
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter
05 September 2012

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Feature Sets

Willersley is a village in the W of Herefordshire, 13 miles W of Hereford and 4 miles from the Welsh border. The village is on the N side of the Wye valley, and consists of a few houses built along the main A438 road that links Hereford and Brecon. Magdalene House, formerly the church of St Mary Magdalene, consisted originally of a nave and chancel in one constructed of sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings, with a timber S porch, and a W bell turret. The church was built in the later 12thc, modified in the 14thc, restored in 1877 and converted into a dwelling in 1981, when the W turret was removed. A description of the house as a church in 1934 is to be found in RCHME. The S doorway is the only Romanesque feature.


Willersley and Winforton were held by Earl Harold in 1066 and by Ralph de Tosny in 1086. They were together assessed at 4 hides, but was waste in 1066. Another holding in the same place belonged to Alweard in 1066 and to a Welshman from Ralph de Tosny in 1086. This was valued at 1 hide.


Exterior Features



RCHME dates the doorway to the mid-12thc. The decoration of the lintel is compared with Letton by Brooks and Pevsner (2012). Pevsner (1963) wonders what can have moved the carver to decorate the underside of the lintel - an odd question, oddly repeated in the 2012 edition.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 677.

Historic England Listed Building 150672.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 322.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 211 (as St Mary Magdalene).