PIPE ASTON CHURCH Herefordshire
See also the article on Aston Castles

Pipe Aston is on the unclassified road between Wigmore and Ludlow in North Herefordshire. Aston is called Pipe Aston because of its historical links with the manufacture of clay pipes.
(grid reference SO 461718  -  nearby postcode SY8 2HG)

Aston1
Photo: ¬© Hugh Wood

Aston Church was built as a small nave and chancel structure, probably in the early Norman period and still retains its original north and south doorways, although the building's windows have all been removed. The tympanum* over the south doorway is an excellent example of the Herefordshire School of stone carving. It depicts a lamb with a cross within a halo, held jointly by the Bull of St Luke and the Eagle of St John, themselves surrounded by other animals and Celtic and Chevron patterning. The Chancel appears to have been rebuilt in the thirteenth century, while original twelfth century wall paintings showing masonry and flowers adorn the nave walls. The font is early and shows a dragon and another beast.

The vill was probably given to Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore (d<1137) in 1075. Before 1252 the vill with church was sub-infeudated to the Bramptons of Brampton Bryan, the major tenurial barons of Wigmore lordship. Quite possibly this grant had taken place as early as the 1140's so it is impossible to state with certainty who was responsible for building this beautiful church, other than it was most likely done under Mortimer patronage.

*tympanum - the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch


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Photo: ¬©Lionel Wall  www.greatenglishchurches.co.uk

Article by Paul Remfry
For more information about Pipe Aston church click here
For more information on the Herefordshire School of Sculpture  click here