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St Leonard, Hatfield, Herefordshire

(52°13′52″N, 2°36′27″W)
SO 586 594
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter
09 July 2012

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Hatfield is a village in the NE of the county, 6 miles E of Leominster and less than a mile from the Worcestershire border. It is a long village, extending for a mile along a minor road to the N of the main A44 Leominster to Worcester road, with the church just beyond its western end. St Leonard's has a chancel with a plain tufa chancel arch, and aisless nave with blocked N and S doorways, a timber W bell turret with a pyramid roof, and a W gallery. The main W doorway to the church is protected by a timber porch. The nave may be 11thc, and was extended westwards by a bay in the 14thc. At this time the chancel was rebuilt. The S nave wall collapsed and was rebuilt in 1723. There were restorations in 1878 (chancel) and 1903 (the rest of the church, including the bell turret). The Norman font was replaced by an octagonal one oin the 19thc, but remains in the church, under the bell turret. The only other feature recorded here is the blocked N doorway.


The Domesday Survey records two manors in Hatfield. The larger, listed under lands belonging to Leominster before the Conquest, was held by Leodfaed in 1066 and to Hugh l'Aisne in 1086. It was assessed at 5 hides of which 2 hides and 1 virgate paid geld. The second was also held by Leominster priory before it was dissolved on account of the scandal of Abbess Eadgifu and Earl Swein Godwinson, and was in the hands of Almaer by 1066. In 1086 Ralph held it from William d'Ecouis.


Exterior Features





Pevsner (1963) suggests a Norman date for the N nave wall including the doorway. Brooks (2012) accepts the early Norman date for the doorway but dates the nave to the pre-Conquest period, which suggests that the doorway was a later insertion (which seems unlikely to the present author). The old font is effectively undateable. Pevsner ignored it and Brooks calls it Norman.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 263.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 143.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 63-65