Making an accidental visit to St Mary’s Tyberton (Herefordshire)

Our second stop was at St Mary, Tyberton – a church that wasn’t on our itinerary (it’s not correctly positoned on the otherwise very good map on the excellent deanery website at https://www.abbeydoredeanery.org/how-to-find-us/). The church is actually situated on the B4352 on the Tyberton Court estate. If Blakemere reveals its historic past, Tyberton does so much more cautiously. A 12th-century south doorway shows that it shares Blakemere’s antiquity, but just about everything else dates from a comprehensive rebuild in 1720 by the Brydges family of the Court, restored in 1880 by the Lee Warners who had by then taken the estate on.

So it is a very unusual sort of rural church for these parts, but the external massing and proportions sit very well in the churchyard, and the interior speaks of the fashionability to which the patrons will have aspired as well as having a little of the feel of the family mausoleum which they also required.

The churchyard cross is medieval and reminiscent of that at Blakemere, but I think the head may have come from elsewhere: the Lee Warners owned Walsingham Abbey and supplied parsons there too. But I am speculating… The resident priest (see photo) is not one of them but does have a touch of lace on his cotta.

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