Urishay Church

Urishay is the 12th century former chapel of Urishay Castle and is preserved as a part ruin.

About this church

It is a Grade II* listed building and scheduled ancient monument. In fact it is the earliest purpose built castle chapel in Herefordshire, and beyond it is the mound on which the motte and bailey castle was sited. The present castle dates from the 17th century and takes the form of a ruin simply because the someone took the roof off rather than repair it in 1921. We know that the chapel was built at around the same time as the castle by Urri de la Hay in the 12th century. In its early incarnation the chapel was even smaller, with a curved apse demolished barely a century later to enlarge the building.

A medieval altar table with five consecration crosses survives inside the chapel, together with evidence of later work, notably in the 16th century, but the use Urishay over the years as a blacksmith's forge, a carpenter's shop an a dog kennel have taken their toll. In the early 19th century the chapel was purchased by 'a small committee of churchmen' and the chapel was repaired by the same family that built it, as the wooden tablet on the north side of the nave records.

By 1949, as at so many ancient churches, Urishay was once again in a poor state of repair with gaping holes in the roof and leaning walls. Unfortunately when the Friends were able to take it into care finally, in 1978, we had no alternative but to rebuild much of the walling to prevent collapse. The building remains only partly roofed.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Wildlife haven
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

Other nearby churches

St Margaret

So often with Herefordshire churches setting plays a huge part in the impact of the building.

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