Bishops Frome, St Mary the Virgin Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Norman beast carvings beside the priests door
Despite the heavy Victorian influence, St Mary's retains several interesting historical features. The most interesting by far is a pair of carved beasts terminating string courses on either side of the priest's door in the south wall of the chancel. These carvings are similar to other mid-12th century carvings by the 'Herefordshire school' of masons whose most famous work is at Kilpeck, Shobdon, and nearby Castle Frome. One one side is a figure of a beast, rather like a lion, its body intertwined with foliage. On the other side of the priest's door is a winged creature, its body twisted like a serpent. Strangely, the usually meticulous Pevsner seems to have missed these figures, as does the 1932 inventory performed by English Heritage, and I've yet to see another website mention them, yet I can assure you the carvings are indeed there, and deserve attention!
In the Lady Chapel is a painted memorial to Margery de la Downes (d. 1598) of Paunton Court. Like so many Elizabethan monuments, the Downes memorial depicts a pair of figures kneeling either side of a prayer desk. Among several interesting wall monuments is one to Ann Skynner, wife of Colonel Gilbert Nicholetts, who died in 1774. Of a similar date is a memorial to Ann Alcott (d. 1792) whose epitaph tells us that she 'was remarkable for her sobriety, dilligence, fidelity and humanity'. One recent addition to the church is the Munderfield Chapel, decorated with oak panelling from the redundant church of Avenbury, which was later used in the Munderfield chapel before being brought to Bishops Frome. The 18th century altar rail also comes from Munderfield chapel.
There is a also parish chest dating to the late 16th or early 17th century.
About Bishops Frome
Address: B4214, Bishops Frome, Herefordshire, England, WR6 5AP
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On the B4214 in the centre of Bishops Frome. Easy on street parking.
Website: Bishops Frome
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Castle Frome, St Michael's Church - 1.8 miles (Historic Church)
Whitbourne, St John the Baptist Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church)
Stoke Lacy, St Peter & St Paul Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church)
Much Cowarne, St Mary's Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Moreton Jeffries Church - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Bosbury, Holy Trinity Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Bromyard Local History Centre - 3.9 miles (Museum)
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