Herefordshire Places of Worship

St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (1) (32k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (2) (43k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (3) (19k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (4) (25k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (5) (27k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (6) (45k) St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore (7) (37k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie/Phil Draper/Mel Lockie
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St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey), Abbeydore
St Mary's Church (formerly Dore Abbey),
B4347, HR2 0AA,
Abbeydore, Herefordshire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1147, and we understand it is still open.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] This was formerly an Abbey Church, founded in 1147 near to the River Dore by a group of Cistercian Monks who arrived here from Morimond, in France.

It is difficult to convey the scale of the building in one photograph. The most striking aspect is its height. Looking up to the rafters inside gives the impression that it is at least twice as high as an average church, as can be appreciated by comparing the height of the entrance doorway on the left, and the roofed portion in the foreground with the rest of the building.

The extant portion is all that remains of the Cistercian Abbey which once occupied the site. The nave of the Abbey stood to the left of the part remaining: all that can be seen now is a roofline where it abutted the existing structure, which in the Abbey, was the ‘crossing’ underneath the tower in the original building.[1]

[Image 2] I think this was the fourth visit here for me, but one I was happy to repeat. The ruined cistercian church was partially re-roofed in the 17th century, and a tower added in the SE angle of the crossing. The nave, once ten bays long, has largely disppeared apart from the first bay of the arcades and a number of ornate roof bosses preserved inside in the ambulatory. Screen, pulpit, pews and stalls all date from the 17th century. We were welcomed by one of the two guides which Richard (in our ChurchCrawlers group) had arranged. Half the group had a brief guided tour whilst the others meandered through and around the building under their own steam.[2]

[Image 3] After the Act of Supremacy (1534) marking the end of papal power in England, the Sovereign's Arms were required to be displayed in churches, in order to demonstrate to the Congregation that the Monarch was now head of their church. Here in Abbeydore, the Royal Arms on the far wall of the North Transept belong to Queen Anne.[1]

[Image 4] There seems to be a spooky presence in this area of the church![1]

[Image 5] Looking through the vaulted area towards the altar of one of the chapels at the east end of the church - note the Hatchment just visible to the left of the archway. The motto is “Vincua da Linguae vel tibi Lingua dabit” - which apparently translates as “place restraint on your tongue, or your tongue will place it on you”, and is the motto of the Hoskins family. Serjeant John Hoskins (1566-1638) is buried in the Abbey.[1]


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO3871630393. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Abbeydore, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

2. Information provided by Phil Draper.

Information last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 12:55.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

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This Report was created 21 Nov 2020 - 07:15:53 GMT from information held in the Herefordshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 13:34.

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