Much to see at St Bartholomew’s, Much Marcle

Much to see at St Bartholomew’s, Much Marcle

“One of the most rewarding of Herefordshire’s parish churches.” So begins the Pevsner entry for St Battholomew’s, and it is indeed a striking building presenting a well-balanced structure, basically thirteenth-century as we see it, all maintained to a beauitfully high standard.

The fabric is impressive and the stained glass among Kempe’s best, but it is the statuary that steals the show, with a succession of beautifully-carved recumbent effigies running from Blanche Mortimer (d.1347) to “a franklin”, perhaps Walter de Helyon, of c.1360 in oak (repainted in 1972), who could have stepped straight out of the Canterbury Tales, to the monuments in the Kyrle Chapel, which leave us in no doubt where the local power lay. (They went on to literally married Money, specifically William Money d.1843, becoming Kyrle Money and Money Kyrles, all of Homme House next door.)

Beware the security system though. Lean over some of the monuments to get a closer look and a stern ethereal voice will boom out, warning you to step back immediately…