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Holy Rood, Mordiford, Herefordshire

(52°2′3″N, 2°37′36″W)
SO 571 375
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Mordiford is a village 4 miles SE of the centre of Hereford, built around a crossing of the river Lugg at a point less than half a mile before it joins the Wye. The land is flat to the W, in the floodplains of the two rivers, but to the E is a series of wooded hills, partly cleared for arable or rough pasture, or replanted as orchards. The church stands at a crossroads in the village centre, alongside the bridge, which dates from the 14thc. in part, and the Old Rectory, an imposing red brick building of the 1750s. The church of the Holy Rood was greatly modified in the 19thc.; first after a flood in 1811 and then in a restoration of 1868-70 by F. R. Kempson of Cardiff. The medieval church had a nave and a chancel with a central tower. After the flood the tower was taken down and a replacement built at the SW angle of the nave, but the late-13thc. E and W tower arches remain. From the S side of the nave at the E end projects the Hereford pew, of uncertain date. A N aisle with a four-bay arcade was added to the nave in 1868-70, and a polygonal N vestry was added to the chancel at the same time. The latter has a plain late 12thc. doorway re-set in its NW face. The only other Romanesque sculpture here is the S nave doorway, now squeezed between the tower and the Hereford pew and protected by a lean-to porch.


Mordiford is not recorded in the Domesday Survey, and the name first appears c.1230. Ekwall suggests a derivation from the Welsh mor-dy a great house, plus ford.


Exterior Features



The S nave doorway must be dated c.1110-30, but the vestry doorway is surely no earlier than 1180 (Pevsner suggests c1200), indicating two 12thc. campaigns.

Benefice of Fownhope with Mordiford, Brockhampton and Fawley and Woolhope.


W. H. Cooke, Collections towards the history and antiquities of the county of Herefordshire in continuation of Duncumb's History, III (Greytree Hundred) 1882.

E. Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, 4th ed. Oxford, 1960, 331.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Harmondsworth 1963, 255-56.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: East, 1932, 144.

C. J. Robinson, A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire, London 1873.

Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 6837. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php