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St John the Baptist, Yarkhill, Herefordshire

(52°4′49″N, 2°34′24″W)
SO 608 426
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter
21 June 2006

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Yarkhill is 6 miles E of the centre of Hereford, and lies on the river Frome. The compact little village is on rising ground on the N bank of the river, among woodland and pasture. The church is on the eastern edge of the village centre, and to the S, by the river, is a moated site. St John’s is a stone church with nave, chancel and W tower. The S nave doorway is of c.1200, and the tower arch and the lower storey of the tower are of a similar date. The upper storey of the tower 15thc., probably of 1466, and has a battlemented parapet and a modern tiled pyramid roof. In a major restoration of 1862 by C. R. Ainslie and T. Blashill of London, the church was practically rebuilt except for the tower and the chancel walls, and a S porch and N chancel vestry added. The church possesses three fonts: a 12thc. one with a scalloped bowl; a 13thc. one, and a 17thc. one with a fluted bowl. It also contains two small mortars of uncertain date, probably post-Medieval. The S doorway, tower arch and the oldest font are described here.


Arnketil, a thegn of Earl Harold, held Yarkhill before the Conquest, and in 1086 it was held by Roger de Lacy. It contained two hides of ploughland and there was a mill. No church or priest was recorded at that time.

The church now belongs to the Ledbury Team Ministry, consisting of St Michael’s and St Katherine’s chapel Ledbury, Ashperton, Aylton, Bosbury, Canon Froome, Eastnor, Little Marcle, Much Marcle, Munsley, Pixley, Putley, Stoke Edith, Stretton Grandison, Tarrington, Wellington Heath, Yarkhill and Yatton.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches




The tower arch jambs, plain with simple chamfered imposts, and the font may belong to the first half of the 12thc., whereas the pointed, chamfered tower arch itself, and the S doorway with its tall, stiff-leaf capitals and pointed orders, are both of c.1200 or slightly later.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 687-88.

Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 6858. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php/p

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Harmondsworth 1963, 326.