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St Mary, Cusop, Herefordshire

(52°4′3″N, 3°6′36″W)
SO 240 416
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Ron Baxter
05 September 2012

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Cusop is a village in W Herefordshire, immediately SE of Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh border, formed by the Dulas Brook at this point. The village is on the E side of the brook, under Cusop Hill, and consists mainly of farm buildings and cottages, although there are the sites of two castles within the parish. The church consists of a broad 13thc chancel, and a 12thc nave with a S porch, a N vestry and a timber bell-turret added over its E end in 1961. The church was restored by J. P. St Aubyn in 1856-57, and he rebuilt the W front, added the porch and the vestry and replaced the E window. Romanesque work is found on the 2 nave doorways, the chancel arch and the font.


In 1066 Cusop was part of the manor of Kingstone, held by King Edward, but in 1086 it was held by Roger de Lacy.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches




The two doorways share the same design, but the N is much more roughly executed, suggesting a degree of restoration to the S doorway. The chancel arch has a single carved impost at the SE angle; an unlikely position for such treatment and thus likely to be a late insertion. The confronted volutes are based on Hereforshire School work, e.g. on the chancel arch at Rowlstone. Trellis and chip-carved saltires are also forund on the font at Michaelchurch, but in that case the ornament is extremely irregular and other, more inventive decoration is found too.


A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 193.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 109.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 1: South-west, 1931, 46-47, pl.8.

M. Thurlby, The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture. Logaston 1999, 115.