"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 27 May 2022

Herefordshire - Part 5: Leigh Court Barn


We came home on the Saturday but to prolong the trip I suggested we stop off at Leigh Court Barn on the way home.  It meant a bit of a detour off the A44 through prettyWorcestershire villages. B was getting a bit irate as I thought we had missed the barn but we eventually arrived. Phew!

We parked by the church of St Edburga's and what a lovely church it was.  There are records of a church on the site since Anglo Saxon times but the present church dates from 1100 and was built on the site of a former monastery.  The oldest part of the church is the Norman nave and the rest of the building dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.

I would have loved to have gone inside and looked round the churchyard but I didn't dare push my luck. Now, of course, I regret it!

Rather gorgeous hop kilns converted to become part of a house. Imagine living there!!!

The 14th century Leigh Court Barn  is the largest cruck framed building in Britain.  It is a superb example of English Medieval carpentry.  Crucks are curved timbers that support the structure.  Radio carbon dating has revealed that the timber used to construct the barn was felled in the Spring of 1344.

The barn was built for Pershore Abbey in 1345 and is the only surviving building from the manor of Leigh Court which in the Middle Ages belonged to the monks of the Abbey.

The barn is 42 metres long with 18 cruck blades each of which was made from a single tree.  The trusses are nearly 10 metres high and span 10.4 metres.

Tithe barns had doors on opposite sides with the area between them used for threshing.  If the doors were opened during threshing the wind would blow through the building to winnow the grain and all the dust and chaff  would blow away.

On the exterior the barn is weather boarded and the steep angle of the tiled roof suggests it may once have been thatched.

Just look at the roof. I was completely overawed! 

Farm cider making equipment

There was an interesting sign by this wheel explaining it was repaired and donated to the village of Leigh by John and Brian Roberts, village wheelwrights and carpenters.  The wheel  would originally have been used on a portable steam engine used to drive farm machinery.  

Side, view over fields and rear of the tithe barn.

Entrance to Leigh Court

Least said about the journey home the better.  The Worcester by pass where the road works are was closed and the diversion took you through Worcester City Centre. It took about an hour!!!!  

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.


Leigh Court Barn Info on English Heritage Website

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Trip to Herefordshire - Part 4 - The Church of St James, Wigmore and Wigmore Village


Last time we visited Wigmore Castle I omitted to visit the church of St James which has herringbone masonry inside and out.  I explained to B and D that I just wanted to have a quick walk round the exterior of the church and churchyard and as, no doubt, the church was closed, I'd only be 10 minutes Doh! should never have said that the church was open. Could I resist going inside? No I couldn't. But it was a quick 10/15 minute whizz round snapping everything in sight only stopping to change the iso as parts of the church were really dark even though the nave was light and full of space. So please forgive poor quality of photos. As it happened I needn't have rushed as on the way back to the car B and D had had a drink in a pub garden and when I got back to the car they were buying icecreams!  So yet again its another church I need to return to especially as I didn't look round the exterior or churchyard.

The Parish Church of St James was built, maintained and enlarged by the Mortimer Family and was probably built in the 11th Century on the site of an earlier church.

The nave probably dates to c1100 and the chancel was rebuilt in the early 14th century when a wide South Aisle was also added.  The West Tower is mid 14th century.

The almost circular shape of the churchyard and its position on a ridge line surrounded by a wall suggests that the earlier Saxon church had been built on an earlier, perhaps Celtic, site.

The timber South Porch by G F Bodley who restored the nave and aisles in 1864/65 and the chancel in 1868.

The church door looks a lot older.


Victorian encaustic tiles in the nave.

Here it is! The herringbone masonry on the north wall dates back to the 11th century and is constructed of local Silurian limestone.

15th century nave roof.

The North Chapel was added 1415 and has many memorial tables including one with weeping willows by EH Kevill Davies.

The pulpit is early 16th century and is polygonal with linen fold panels.

The Chancel

Victorian encaustic tiles by Chamberlain and Co of Worcester.

The four side windows in the chancel are by David Evans of Shrewsbury 1849.

The East Window c1879 probably by Clayton and Bell.

Kneelers which include a shell motif. The scallop shell of St James is believed to symbolise courage, strength and hope. For centuries it has been the symbol of pilgrims who journey to Santiago. In medieval times pilgrims would often wear a shell pilgrim badge as they travelled to shrines. They also carried a scallop shell and would be given food or water to fill it as they journeyed.

A plain 14th century octagonal font 

The churchyard cross has a 14th century base with a 19th century shaft and head.

Wigmore Village -lots of timber framed cottages again :)

On Saturday we came home but called at Leigh Court Tithe Barn on the way which I'll write about in the next post.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.  Please note if you wish to use any of these photos I would be grateful if you could email me at the address under the profile. Thanks.

Reference:  Information Boards around the Church

Pevsner "The Buildings of England Herefordshire" by A Brooke and N Pevsner. Published 2017 Yale University Press.