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Churches of Herefordshire

Much Marcle
St. Bartholomew's Church

As village churches go, Much Marcle is one of Herefordshire's star attractions. A large 13th & 14th century building with a chunky central tower, it is well sign-posted from the village and a popular place for visitors. In the churchyard stands one of the most ancient yew trees in the country, said to be 1,500 years old. The trunk is so huge that you can actually sit several people within it! There is also a preaching cross of the 15th century.

The church interior is chiefly known for its monuments, especially the rare and beautifully carved oak one to Walter de Helyon. This country gentleman lived at Hellens in the parish in the 1350s and is notable for his civilian dress. He was coloured by the Museum of London in 1972. Next comes one of the few remaining monuments to the great Mortimer family. Blanche, daughter of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, and wife of Sir Peter Grandison lies serenely beneath a superb heraldic canopy of c.1365. The Kyrle Chapel, to the north of the chancel, is late 13th century but its central feature is the mid 17th century double effigial monument to the Parliamentarian, Sir John Kyrle of Homme House, and his wife. Pushed into the corner is a similar mysterious monument of two hundred and fifty years earlier. It is thought to be to Hugh, Lord Audley, but must have been erected quite a while after his death in 1325.

There is a 12th century tub font imitating previous wooden versions, a fine array of grotesques and, particularly, "Green Men" on the capitals of the nave arcading and some good stained glass by Kempe. The windows of the south aisle are interesting for being all of different dates.

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