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Kilpeck, St Mary and St David, Herefordshire

Historical Description

Kilpeck, St Mary and St David, a village and a parish in Herefordshire, on a branch of the river Monnow, 1 mile E of St Devereux station on the Hereford, Abergavenny, and Newport branch of the G.W.R., and 8½ miles SW by W of Hereford. Post town, Tram Inn (R.S.O.) Acreage, 2169; population, 213. A castle was founded on an eminence here About 1134, by Hugh Fitzwilliam, son of the Conqueror and ancestor of the Kilpecs, and is now represented by only scanty remains. A small Benedictine priory, a cell to Gloucester Abbey, was founded about the same time by the same person, and the church of it still stands, was restored in 1848, and is a remarkably pure and interesting specimen of Norman architecture. The doorway is decorated with zigzag, nailhead, and star mouldings; the corbel table goes all round the building, and has upwards of seventy-four sculptures of heads, men, and beasts; at the W end three gargoyles, in shape of dragons' or crocodiles' heads, project at equal intervals from the west wall. In the interior the chancel arch is beautifully ornamented, the columns being filled up with three ecclesiastical figures, representing apostles or confessors of the church, each of them with some characteristic emblem in his hand. Lovely mouldings of the same type as over the doorway are here to be seen. On the capital of one column is the fruit of the tree of life, on the other the crown of glory. The whole building is supposed to be full of allegorical design, and is unique of its kind in England. The church is in three divisions-nave, chancel, and apse. The interior walls, with the above exception, are plain enough and plastered and coated with a colouring highly discoloured by the ravages of time. There is a Jacobean gallery at the west end. A remarkably large font of Early Norman date stands in the chancel. Within the apse is the oldest vessel in the church, a holy water stoup, rudely carved, and evidently dating from the earliest foundation, probably from the 9th or early 10th century. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Hereford; net value, £117 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Worcester.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHerefordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishKillpeck St. David 
Poor Law unionDore 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kilpeck, St Mary and St David from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Herefordshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Kilpeck, St Mary and St David are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Herefordshire newspapers online: