Bosbury in Pevsner, 1963

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-83) was a noted art historian who began work on The Buildings of England in 1945 aiming to provide a pocket architectural guide to all the most significant English buildings. As a University professor, he only had the Easter and summer vacations in which to tour the counties so the whole project extended from Cornwall published in 1951 to Staffordshire in 1974, 46 volumes in total published by Penguin, with Herefordshire completed in 1963. He records that his wife drove him round the county in the very wet autumn of 1960. In the text, the reference TK is to Sir Thomas Kendrick’s list of Victorian stained glass.

HOLY TRINITY. A large and consistent church of the transition between Norman and E.E. The W window of the nave and the doorways still have round arches; otherwise lancet windows dominate all round, and there is little of later date except for the spectacular Morton Chapel of the late C15 to early C16 with its large Perp windows and battlements and its plain - a little coarse - fan-vault and panelled arch to the N. The date may be deducible from the initials of Thomas Morton, which appear on the vault. He died in 1511 and, with a brother, took a lease of the bishop’s Bosbury house in 1503. The church has a splendid unbuttressed, detached tower, and this has lancet openings throughout. The entrance is double-chamfered in continuous mouldings. That is C13 without doubt. But the S doorway and the impressive six-bay arcades inside still use trumpet-scallop capitals, i.e. capitals of before 1200. The arcades, however, have double-chamfered pointed arches too. Above the arcades lancet clerestory windows. Their heads seem to be interfered with. But the corbel table outside is again typical E.E. and no longer Norman. Again, if one looks at the chancel arch, it has chamfers and a roll with a fillet, yet trumpet capitals. Of later elements the S porch must be added (timber with curved wind-braces) and the single-framed nave roof. — FONT. Of c.1200, i.e. of the time of the church. On five columns, with a moulded top developing from circular to square, like late C12 capitals and abaci. — SCREEN. A large piece with three-light divisions. Big tracery. Ribbed coving. — PULPIT and READER’S DESK. With bits of the C16 or C17. — LECTERN. Jacobean. A turned stem and three volutes supporting it. — STAINED GLASS. In the chancel lancets by Wailes (TK), of no value. — MONUMENTS. Coffin-lid with a foliated cross, and two subsidiary crosses and a sword; early C14 (nave s arcade). — John Harford, 1573 by John Guldo of Hereford. Large standing monument of stone. Sarcophagus on two lions. Recumbent effigy under a coffered arch. Tudor roses in the coffers. Pilasters support the arch. Taller Corinthian columns on high bases outside, supporting a pediment. Large leaves and a roundel in the pediment. Vases with branches, shields, and a shell against the back wall above the effigy. Flowers and large leaves in the spandrels above the arch. The whole is quite a metropolitan composition, even if executed with some homely touches. The vases and branches are strongly reminiscent of embroidery. — The monument opposite to Richard Harford and his wife is dated five years later and has been attributed to the same sculptor. Nothing is more improbable. Here is a home-spun version of what Guldo had done in an elegant way. Many motifs are the same, but the treatment is wholly different. Instead of the column two uncouth caryatids, like Adam and Eve. The piers for the arch filled with branches and leaves. The effigies stiff, and hers a little above his. The back wall again with coarse branches and leaves. In the spandrels the big leaves spout out of the mouths of heads far too big in relation to the rest. Finally the pediment is segmental and again has oversized leaves and is flanked by oversized leaves. The monument may be attractive in its naivety. Nobody can say that it is great art. — John Brydges † 1742, by Thomas White of Worcester (chancel N). Inscription under opened drapery. Flanking pilasters. Attic with a segmental top. Tablet without figures.
Nice black and white houses round the church, notably a complete C15 hall-house s of the church with the two gabled cross-wings. To the N OLD COURT FARM, on the site of the manor of the Bishops of Hereford which was leased by the Mortons (see above). The GATEHOUSE survives, stone, with a tall archway and a blocked pedestrian entrance. The archway has a continuous double chamfer. Buttresses l. and r.
To the SW, on the main road, the CROWN INN, and attached to it the Oak Room, with a big six-light transomed window and panelling dated 1571. This includes an overmantel with the characteristic blank arches so popular right into the mid C17, and shields.
BOSBURY HOUSE, ¾m. NE. Georgian, with additions of 1873 in the Italian style. Brick and stone dressings. Seven by five bays with a big balustrade and a porch on pairs of Tuscan columns.
HILLHOUSE FARM, 1 m. NE. An uncommonly pretty black and white house on a slight eminence. Mostly of c.1600. With plenty of concave-sided lozenges.
NASHEND FARMHOUSE, just NE of the former. Late Georgian. Of brick. Three widely spaced bays, two storeys, one-bay pediment with blank lunette, arched window below.
TEMPLE COURT, 5 m. WSW. Early C18 front of five bays and two storeys, Brick. Segment-headed windows. Unfortunately the centre is spoiled. There was a preceptory of the Templars at Bosbury.
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