|Churches in Clifford and Hardwicke
History of St Mary's church, Clifford
History of Holy Trinity church, Hardwicke
The Link - parish magazine
Mary's church in Clifford and Holy Trinity church in Hardwicke are
members of the Borderlink group of churches. Other parishes
included in this group are Blakemere, Bredwardine with Brobury, Cusop,
Dorstone, Moccas and Preston-on-Wye. Revd. Roger James is the
Rector for all of the parishes. He can be contacted on 01497 820 634.
St Mary's, Clifford
1st Sunday of the month - Holy Communion BCP - 8-00 a.m.
2nd Sunday of the month - Mattins BCP - 9-30 a.m.
3rd Sunday of the month - Holy Communion CW - 11-00 a.m.
4th Sunday of the month - Mattins BCP - 9-30 a.m.
Holy Trinity, Hardwicke
1st Sunday of the month - Holy Communion CW - 11-00 a.m.
2nd Sunday of the month Mattins - BCP - 11-00 a.m.
3rd Sunday of the month - Holy Communion BCP - 9-30 a.m.
4th Sunday of the month - Evensong BCP - 6-00 a.m.
BCP - Book of Common Prayer
CW - Common Worship
History of St Mary's Church
is an ancient church, probably built by the monks of Clifford Priory for the village in the 13th century. It was
significantly changed by two 19th century alterations.
north porch is Victorian. During the first restoration of 1839
the church was enlarged. The north wall was taken down and a
baptistery and vestry built on either side of a central porch.
Ina second restoration of 1888 these were pulled down and the present
north aisle, porch, vestry and organ chamber erected.
nave stonework dates mainly from the 13th century, though the window
above the blocked-up south porch doorway is part of the 1839
restoration. The pews, lectern, pulpit and rood screen are of the
1888 restoration, whose guiding light was the Squire, Benjamin Haigh
Allen (1821-1902). The fontbowl is possibly 14th century
west tower is entered through a door in the oak screen given in memory
of Thomas William Walwyn Trumper (Vicar, 1874-1924). The Walwyns
and their successors, the Trumpers, have held the advowson of the
Clifford since 1536.
the roof of the belfry are the shields of four local families, the
Penoyres, Cliffords, de Whitneys and Walwyns. The Penoyres lived
at The Moor, now demolished, between Clifford and Hay on Wye.
belfry (not normally open to visitors) houses a peal of eight
bell. Four are the originals cast by William Evans of Chepstow in
1736. The fifth bell of this peal was recast in 1897 and the same
year three more bells were given to commemorate Queen Victoria’s
chancel windows in the north and east walls are from the 1839
restoration, the reredos and choir stalls from the 188 one. On
the south wall are four memorials to the Penoyre family, two of elegant
effigy in the recess on the north side of the chancel of St Mary's
church is one of the earliest in the country, and may date from the
late 1200s. It is of a priest in Eucharistic vestments, and may
be of a vicar in the parish, or (more likely) one of the Cluniac monks
from Clifford Priory.
There are only
about a hundred of these medieval wooden monuments in the country, and
only one other in Herefordshire, at Much Marcle.
There is a
legend that it represents the founder of the Priory and was brought to
the church for preservation at the Dissolution: another states that it
was carried in procession round the chuch on the founder's day, and a
third that it was always carried into the church before funeral
processions. These legends have alos been told of the Much Marcle
It was mounted in its present position in 1992
after restoration. The whole monument measures 6ft. 4ins. in
length; it is 19ins. wide at the shoulders and 18 ins. at the feet.
It must have been carved from a fine oak tree and well-seasoned.
The effigy is still in a good state of preservation, only one
side of the cushion and part of the slab being missing. At some
time it was exposed to damp, probably from lying on a wet floor.
When the effigy was constructed, the Priory was often raided by the Welsh in times of famine. The priest may well
have lost his life defending it.
History of Holy Trinity Church
is an agricultural parish of 4,000 acres, surrounded by Merbach, Little
Mountain and Cusop Hill. The 230-strong population is served by
the church of the Holy Trinity.
The parish was formed in 1853,
having formerly been part of Clifford, with the impetus coming from the
recent construction of the church.
The foundation stone had been
laid on June 12th 1849 by Rev. John Webb of Tretire, Monmouth, and the
church was consecrated on 3rd September 1853 by the bishop of Hereford.
oak roof in the nave, and the pews, are reputed to have been built with
oak from The Moor Estate, home of the Penoyre family. The
colourful stained glass windows depict: the cardinal virtues of faith,
hope and charity; the twelve apostles; the angel announcing the birth
of Jesus to the shepherds; a ship (possibly an offering of thanks for
the safe return of the Penoyre family members from...); the baptism of
the Lord; his crucifiction and the last supper.
The Rev. W. T.
Napleton Stallard Penoyre became the first vicar of Hardwicke. On
his death in 1856, the renowned Thomas William Webb took the
ministry of the parish.
The gravestone inscriptions and church
records contain a great deal of local history, and families researching
their history can e-mail Julie Jones for further information.
Thomas William Webb (1807 - 1885)
Reverend Thomas William Webb, born in 1806, was only son of Revd John
Webb. Educated by his father before going to Magdalen Hall,
Oxford, he was ordained in Hereford Cathedral in 1830. Thomas married
Henrietta Montague Wyatt of Mitcheltroy, Monmouth in 1843. They had no
served in a number of parishes in the south of Herefordshire, sometimes
as curate to his father, as well as at Gloucester Cathedral.
In 1856 he became vicar of Hardwicke. He remained there until his death in 1885.
Webb is most remembered for his interest in astronomy and the
meticulous observations that he made from a small observatory in the
garden of Hardwicke Vicarage. He took a great interest in encouraging
the younger generation to take up astronomy and published many articles
in popular scientific magazines as well as writing books. Most
notable of these was Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, which became a standard resource for astronomers across the world until well into the 20th century.
(Thanks to Mark and Janet Robinson for their contribution to this entry)
Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography
Mark and Janet Robinson, The Stargazer of Hardwicke: a biography of his life and works (Gracewing Publishing, 2006)
T.W. Webb, Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, 1917, Longmans, Green and Co., London
The Link magazine
over twenty years The Link has provided parishioners with news and
events from across Borderlink group. It is produced monthly and
available from any church within the eight parishes.
Deadline for copy should go to the editor Julie Jones
by the 15th of each month, the magazine is on sale by the 30th of each
month (current price is 35p). Companies or individuals wishing to
advertise in The Link should e-mail Linda Rees.