Moccas, St Michael Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The south doorway features Romanesque carving detail on the side capitals and arch. There is also a carved tympanum, depicting a Tree of Life, but this is badly worn. Among the carvings is one that has been identified as a Green Man, or foliate face. The north doorway also has carved capitals, though these also are much worn. In the interior is a simple chalice shaped Norman font on a modern base, and a striking organ, inserted in 1872, with a case designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott II and painted by Thomas Kempe (not CE Kemp the stained glass artist!).
This striking table tomb is set in the centre of the chancel, and the effigy shows a knight in armour, his legs crossed, his feet resting on a small dog. Despite what the otherwise excellent church guide says, crossed legs did not indicate that a knight had been on Crusades!
The church stands in the parkland of Moccas Court, built by Sir George Cornewall in 1775. Cornewall served as rector of St Michael's for over 50 years and his elegant Georgian house is now a luxury hotel, though it occasionally opens to visitors on specific days in the summer months. Less than a mile away is the ruin of Moccas Castle. Though of a similar age to the church, it seems likely that the church and castle were not related in any way.
Stand in the tiny churchyard and look out across Moccas Park and recall the words written by Kilvert in 1876 ...
... I fear those grey old men of Moccas, those grey, gnarled, low-browed, knock-kneed, bowed, bent, huge, strange, long-armed, deformed, misshapen oak men that stand waiting and watching century after century biding God's time with both feet in the grave and yet tiring down and seeing out generation after generation ...
About Moccas, St Michael Church
Address: Moccas, Herefordshire, England, HR2 9LH
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Off the B4352. The church is on a private road to a hotel, but visitors to the church can use the road
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Bredwardine, St Andrew's Church - 1.6 miles (Historic Church)
Arthur's Stone - 2.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Dorstone, St Faith Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Peterchurch, St Peter's Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Yazor, St Mary the Virgin Church - 3.7 miles (Historic Church)
Kinnersley Castle - 4 miles (Castle)
Kinnersley, St James Church - 4 miles (Historic Church)
Mansell Lacy, St Michael's Church - 4.4 miles (Historic Church)
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