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St John the Baptist, Mathon, Herefordshire

(52°6′35″N, 2°23′23″W)
SO 734 458
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • George Zarnecki
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

St John's is an aisleless church of c.1100 or slightly earlier, originally with an apse but now with a square-ended chancel, nave and W tower. There is herringbone masonry in the fabric, and N and S nave doorways of c.1100, the latter under a medieval timber porch. There is a blocked 12thc. window in the S nave wall at the W end. The S chancel doorway is plain but later 12thc., and there is a contemporary composition of two round-headed lancets with an oculus above in the chancel E wall. The W tower is late 14thc.


The manor of five hides was held by St Mary's, Pershore in 1086, and a priest was recorded, though not, specifically, a church. A further half-hide in Mathon was held by Odo from Roger de Lacy in 1086, and another half-hide by Drogo fitzPons.

Benefice of Cradley with Mathon and Storridge.


Exterior Features



The church represented by the two nave doorways and the herringbone masonry must date from the end of the 11thc. It was a possession of Pershore and not an important village church, and can be taken as a representative of a church of modest pretensions of that date in Herefordshire. The S doorway tympanum is a plain, earlier precursor of the type seen at Kilpeck, and is important evidence for the local antecedents of the Herefordshire School sculptors.

Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 15597. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php/p
E. Gethyn-Jones. The Dymock School of Sculpture, London and Chichester 1979, 71, pls. 12a, 12b.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 250-51.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: E, 1932, 141-43.