Kentchurch Court

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameKentchurch Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishKentchurch

Castle, now country house. Part of tower and a gateway survive of C14 structure, remainder largely rebuilt by Nash between 1795 and 1807 for the Scudamore family; further C20 alterations. Sandstone rubble with sandstone ashlar to central part of front, stone slate and Welsh slate roofs, mainly hidden by crenellated parapets. Irregular plan, generally aligned north- east/south-west with early tower at north-east angle; part of front projects to south-east; main entrance to south-east front; various rectangular and grouped polygonal chimneys. Irregular two and three storeys. South-east front: salient features of the front are, to the left, a two-bay, two-storey hipped roofed block with glazing bar sash windows; next, to the right, a seven-bay two-storey block with similar glazing bar sash windows and with the central three bays breaking forward slightly with a crenellated parapet rising to the centre. The front is made assymetrical by the two-storey porch; crenellated parapet carried over corbel table, tall Tudor arched entrance surround with secondary arch and paired glazed doors behind. Single- bay recessed further to the right with triple rounded arches on three floors; projecting wing to right with three square-headed mullioned windows with decorative glazing bars on ground floor and one similar 2-light window to first floor. South-east end of projecting wing with Perpendicular style oriel window to first floor and Tudor arched door surround with fanlight and glazed double doors. North-east side: probably originally free-standing tower projecting slightly to far right end, three stages with chimney breast rising from second stage to right of garderobe on corbels. Very tall circa 1800 window of Gothick Perpendicular design with crenellated parapet slightly gabled over. Block to left with two windows on first floor and doorway below, all of similar "Perpendicular" style design

Interior: the room on the second stage of the tower has mid-C17 panelling and a C16 fireplace with moulded jambs and square head. The interior of the main house contains several fine pieces of late C17 woodwork transferred from Holme Lacy and attributed to Grinling Gibbons, including garlands with birds, fruit, vegetables and fish etc, from the overmantels and also a section from the external pediment. Re-set in the c1800 so-called "chapel" window (which in fact lights at landing at the top of the first flight of stairs), is a series of Swiss stained glass dating from 1521 and a further four roundels of C16 glass with shields of arms. Other rooms have late C18 or early C19 fireplaces, mahogany doors, dado rails etc. (RCHM, Vol I, p 153-154; BoE, p 200). (Listed Building Report)

House, 3 storeys, tower 5. The form of the earliest buildings on site are not now recoverable, but in the middle of the C14 there appears to have been a fortified enclosure to the SE of the house, of which a large gateway survives on the S side. The tower at the NW angle of the building was built perhaps late in the C14. Other rubble walls & the 1 storeyed outbuildings may be of the same date. Additions in c1500, C16 & C17. remodelled by Nash 1824. The top storey of the tower is modern. (Herefordshire SMR ref. RCHME)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO423259
Latitude51.9286117553711
Longitude-2.84052991867065
Eastings342300
Northings225900
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Peter Presford All Rights Reserved
Photo by Peter Presford All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 173
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 42
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 553
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 99
  • Hodges, G., 1995, Owain Glyn Dwr and the war of independence in the Welsh Borders (Logaston Press)
  • Whitehead, D.A. and Shoesmith, R., 1994, James Wathen's Herefordshire, 1770-1820 (Logaston Press)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 214
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 75
  • Pevsner, N., 1963, Buildings of England: Herefordshire p. 200-1
  • RCHME, 1931, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 1: south-west p. 153-4 (plan) online transcription
  • Robinson, C.J., 1872, A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire (Logaston Press, 2001 reprint)

Journals

  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Cornforth, 1966, Country Life Vol. 140 p. 1632-5, 1688-91, 1734-7
  • Godfrey, W.H., 1952, 'Kentchurch Court and Hampton Court' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 109 p. 148-9 online copy