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St John the Baptist, Eastnor, Herefordshire

(52°1′57″N, 2°23′36″W)
SO 731 372
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter
06 June 2011

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The church of Eastnor stands in the wooded parkland of the Eastnor Castle estate, just outside the eastern edge of Ledbury in the Malvern Hills. The church is of local sandstone rubble, and consists of a nave and chancel, both with north aisles and a west tower. On the north side of the north chancel aisle is the Somers-Cocks mortuary chapel. The oldest parts of the church are 12thc – the south nave doorway (under a 19thc porch) and the east respond of the 3-bay north nave arcade. The badly damaged plain font is also a 12thc piece. The rest of the nave arcade is 13thc, as are the lower parts of the west tower, while the upper part is 14thc. The tower is the only part of the church not to have been affected by the drastic restoration of Sir G G Scott in 1851. Scott took down the rest of the church, numbering the stones, and re-erected it with the stones in their original positions, except for the damaged ones which he replaced. A large proportion of them must have been damaged. He also built the Somers-Cocks chapel in an Early English style.


In 1086 Eastnor was held by the canons of Hereford Cathedral, and consisted of 4 hides and 6 acres of meadow and woodland 4 furlongs long and 2 broad. Of this, half a hide was held from the canons by a knight and half a hide and half a virgate by a mason. The land is presumed to have remained with the canons throughout the Middle Ages.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The trumpet scallop capitals inside and out are similar and suggest a date after c.1170. The font must surely be older than this.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 218-19.

EH, English Heritage Listed Building 152465.

Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 3766.

G. Marshall, Fonts in Herefordshire., Hereford (Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club), II, 1950, 37-38.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Harmondsworth 1963, 122.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: East, 1932, 73.