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Churches of Herefordshire


Pembridge
St. Mary the Virgin's Church


Pembridge is well-known as a 'Black & White' village of ancient half-timbered buildings. The church is, however, by no means, eclipsed by these and its detached clock-tower is much photographed by tourists. This pagoda-esque timber building of the 14th century was clearly not built as protection from Welsh raiders, as elsewhere in the county. It is merely an elaborate belfry.

The church itself is high and open and of similar date. Below the sanctuary knocker of the main door a leathery substance is said to be a 'Daneskin': the skin of a Viking flayed alive for daring to raid this small Herefordshire town, presumably at some time in the 10th century. It has been scientifically tested and is indeed human skin. Inside the church, note the Jacobean pulpit, lectern and reading desk with dragon carvings. Also the nameless medieval effigies in the chancel. The distinctive bearded gentleman may have been carved from life, a rarity in those days.

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