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St Michael, Breinton, St Michael, Herefordshire

(52°3′4″N, 2°46′11″W)
Breinton, St Michael
SO 473 395
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • George Zarnecki
22 June 2006

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Feature Sets

The villages of Upper and Lower Breinton are loosely scattered along minor roads two to three miles W of the centre of Hereford on the rising land on the N bank of the river Wye. The land here is hilly and wooded and used for rough pasture and orchards. Lower Breinton, where the church is situated, is the eastern of the two settlements and lies along the river bank. In the orchard immediately to the W of the church are earthwork remains of Deserted Medieval Village (DMV), or manorial type.

St Michael’s has a nave with a N aisle and S porch, and a chancel with a N vestry. There is no tower, but a slate-hung belfry over the W gable of the nave, with a slate broach spire. The church was rebuilt by F. R. Kempson in 1866-70, when the N aisle was added. He reused the 12thc W doorway and the window above it, and reset a pair of plain 12thc window heads in the gable above. Little is known of the old church, but a W gallery was added to the nave in 1833-34 by L. Johnson, a builder of Hereford. Only the W doorway can be considered sculpture, and it is described below.


Breinton has not been identified in the Domesday Survey. Land at Breinton was in the hands of Hereford cathedral chapter by 1201, and by the time of Dean John of Aquablanca (c.1269-79) was held specifically by the deanery.


Exterior Features



The plain doorway, thoroughly restored, and the chamfered window and reset window heads offer little scope for diagnostic dating. Brooks and Pevsner suggest Late-Norman for the W front.


J. S. Barrow, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Vol. 8 Hereford. London 2002, 7-13.

A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 126-27.

Herefordshire Sites & Monuments Records 7228, 8288

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 84.