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St Andrew, Leysters, Herefordshire

(52°15′54″N, 2°46′51″W)
SO 468 633
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
medieval St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Ron Baxter
09 July 2012

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Leysters, or Laysters, is a village in NE Herefordshire, 5 miles NE of Leominster, dispersed along the A4112 Leominster to Tenbury Wells road, and minor roads on the S side of it. The church stands alongside a moated site 0.5 mile SE of the present village but in the centre of the parish. It has a nave and chancel in one, with a timber chancel arch and no aisles, although the nave dates from the 12thc while the chancel was rebuilt in the 13thc. On the N side of the chancel is an organ room, and the nave has a S porch and there is a 13thc W tower with a stilted, plain, round tower arch. The church was restored, and the S chancel wall rebuilt, in the second half of the 19thc. Construction is of local sandstone rubble. Romanesque features recorded here are the S nave doorway, a N nave window and the font.


In 1086 Durand of Gloucester and his nephew Walter held a manor of 2 hides in Laysters, and Bernard held it from them This land was held by Godric in 1066. Two further manors in Leysters totalling I hide were held in 1066 by Arnketil and Arngrim, and in 1086 by Roger de Mussegros. Finally a holding of 1½ hides was held by Eadric both before and after the Conquest. All of these holdings were reported to be waste in 1086.


Exterior Features






The treatment of the doorway and the window with a continuous groove is unusual (although something similar appears at Dilwyn), as is the shouldered lintel, which effectively resembles a Caernarvon arch similar to that on the N nave doorway of Upton Bishop. The general form of the doorway, whith a deep lintel and a high arch surrounding a tympanum is a common type found at Upton Bishop, Letton, Edvin Loach and many other sites in the county. This certainly begins in the 11thc, but continues well into the 12thc, and Leysters appears to be a rather late example.


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

Historic England Listed Building 150521

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

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 103-04.