Holy Trinity & St Mary 

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1   The classic photograph of the Abbey church taken through the lych gate at the roadside.

2    A closer view of the south side, partly obscured by the tree growing close to the south porch.

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3   The tower, dating from the early 17th century, set in the corner of the south wall and porch.

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4 & 5   The oak gallery constructed in the 17th century, and which stands against the west wall of the crossing.

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6    The choir stalls constructed by John Abel at about the same time as the gallery.

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7  This wall painting depicts King David with his harp, looking down into the transept from the west wall.

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"Death where is thy sting? 
O grave where is thy victory?"

Numerous such texts are to be found on the walls of the transepts and crossing.

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9   The screen by John Abel with the Stuart 's Royal Coat of Arms surmounting the entrance to the Choir.

History of the early church

Constructed of dark Herefordshire sandstone speckled with white lime, the old Abbey at Abbey Dore is in fact the chancel, crossing and transepts of an old Cistercian Abbey. It was founded in 1147 although most of what remains dates from a rebuilding of the original structure which commenced in 1180 - right on the transitional date between Norman and Early English styles of architecture. The change between the two is clearly marked in the building of the ambulatory and the details of the carving of the capitals and arches.

Interior contrasts with exterior, in that inside the walls and columns are of limestone and there are splendid 17th century fittings. After the dissolution of the monasteries Abbey Dore fell into ruin, but in the 1630s the Scudamore family rescued it for the parish under the influence of the high church Archbishop Laud. They raised the present battlemented tower, inserted stained glass into the eastern lancet windows, and employed a talented carpenter - one John Abel (1577-1664), whose job it was to raise the new timbered roof, and to construct and carve the choir stalls and screens.

The whole is a splendid example of 17th century classicism, a "squirearchy Baroque" in celebration of the Manor, the church and the Stuart crown. [Jenkins - England's 1000 Best Curches]

The Gallery

The old oak gallery standing against the west wall of the crossing is his work also.

Dove's reference for the bells

Abbey Dore, Herefordshire, Holy Trinity & S Mary, 6, 9cwt in A flat. Anti-clockwise. 


Map reference : SO387303

Open at the time of our visit, the church appears to be open for visitors most of the time.

Photographs: © Edwin Macadam 2002

Please see our  Home Page  for important copyright notice

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -