Rowlstone, St Peter's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Superb 12th century Romanesque tympanum and carved chancel arch are among the finest Norman works in England
The best features of the church are the beautifully carved south door and the chancel arch. The south door was created about 1130. The outer moulding is in three layers, and only mildly adorned. However, the tympanum is another story; here you will find a superbly crafted figure of Christ in Majesty, a familiar theme found all across Europe in 12th century carving. Christ is represented seated inside a mandorla, or oval, supported by angels. The quality of the carving places it among the finest Romanesque works in Britain.
The Chancel Arch
The chancel arch is likewise adorned with carvings by the Herefordshire School. The column capitals are richly ornamented, and extend in a frieze to two carved panels depicting St Peter, to whom the church is dedicated. On the left (north side) of the arch he is shown in prison, accompanied by an angel, while on the right (south) he is shown upside down, again with an angel, as tradition holds that he was crucified in that position. Again, like the tympanum on the south door, the carving is of superb quality, and seems ready to leap right out of the stone. There are bird carvings amid foliage facing the corner of each capital.
The church may have orginally had a semi-circular apse at the east end, but this no longer exists. In the churchyard stands a medieval cross upon a stepped plinth. The base is original but the shaft was rebuilt in 1905 as a memorial to a priest named George Atlay, who was murdered in Africa.
For more examples of work by the Herefordshire School, see our articles on Kilpeck, Shobdon, Eardisley, and Leominster churches.
About Rowlstone, St Peter's Church
Address: Rowlstone, Herefordshire, England, HR2 0DP
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Located just off the A465 12 miles south west of Hereford
Website: Rowlstone, St Peter's Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Longtown Castle - 3.6 miles (Castle)
St Margaret's Church - 4.3 miles (Historic Church)
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