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St Philip and St James, Tarrington, Herefordshire

(52°3′48″N, 2°33′25″W)
SO 619 407
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter
01 November 2017

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Tarrington is a village 6 miles E of Hereford and a silar distance W of Ledbury on the A438. The church is in the centre of the village, and consists of 12thc nave and chancel, originally with an apsidal E end, a N aisle by Edward Pritchard of 1835-36, a S porch by C Ford Witcombe of 1901, and a 16thc W tower. There was a major restoration by F. R.Kempson in 1871-72. Romanesque work is found in the N chancel windows, the enormous chancel arch, the tower arch and the N and S nave doorways


Tarrington was held as 2 manors by Alweald and Earnwig in 1066, and by Ansfrid de Cormeilles in 1086. It was assessed at 3 hides. The manor passed with the Honour of Cormeilles until the death of Walter of that name without a male heir in the early 13thc, and thereafter the holdings were divided between his daughters.


Exterior Features



Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches

This elaborately carved late-Norman church provides important evidence for the state of carving in the generation after the Herefordshire School. Some distinctive features survive, notably the use of the dart foliage motif, inherited from such earlier sites as Leominster, and seen in contemporary work at Pudleston. Given that this work probably dates from the third quarter of the 12thc or even later, it is surprising to find that chip-carving remains in vogue. RCHME notes the 'crudely carved man and horse' on the S doorway, but Brooks (2012) following Pevsner (1963) does not trust them.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 619-20.

Historic England Listed Building EH Legacy ID 152895

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 298.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: East, 1932, 182-85.