Herefordshire Places of Worship

St Michael's Church, Croft (1) (26k) St Michael's Church, Croft (2) (31k) St Michael's Church, Croft (3) (26k) St Michael's Church, Croft (4) (28k) St Michael's Church, Croft (5) (27k) St Michael's Church, Croft (6) (35k) St Michael's Church, Croft (7) (23k) St Michael's Church, Croft (8) (37k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Michael's Church, Croft
St Michael's Church,
Croft Castle (National Trust),
Croft, Herefordshire.

Cemeteries

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 the 14th century, 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] A first view of St Michael & All Angels Church, approaching from the entrance to Croft Castle grounds. The building dates from the mid-14th century, but was ‘enlarged and beautified’ at a later date, to the extent that it required a rededication in 1515.

There was a former north chapel (since demolished); possibly its position is indicated where the blocked-up opening may be seen on this photograph. Pevsner says it housed Sir Richard Croft's Tomb, now in the Chancel.

At the opposite end, the doorway beneath the bell-turret is 17th century, above which is an unusual oval window - this doorway was special as it was the Croft Family's private entrance to the church. Croft Castle may be seen to the right, clothed in scaffolding - unfortunately, more or less its normal appearance these days, so we were told by one of the guides.[1]

[Image 2] Croft is fortunate that it was not ‘restored’ by the Victorians, so it retains many of its original fittings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed the overwhelming impression on entering is of “old church”; yet its ‘treasure’ - the Tomb of Sir Richard Croft (d.1509) seen on the left of this photograph - looks as fresh as if it had just been carved![1]

[Image 3] The church has various styles of box-pew dating from the early 18th century. Many of the floor tiles date back to the 15th century - they were moved here from the Chapel in Croft Castle when it was demolished in the 17th century. Various designs may be seen on the tiles - abstract patterns, Coats of Arms and tiles quoting text (one is dated 1456). The church leaflet says that in their original setting the patterned ones would have formed a design, but their placing now is rather more random.[1]

[Image 4] A brass plaque to the left of the Tomb tells us:

This Tomb / is to the Memory of
Sir Richard CROFT, Knt.
Sheriff of Herefordshire
1471-72-77-78.
Fought at Mortimer's Cross 1481,
Tewkesbury 1471.
M.P. for Herefordshire 1477.
Governor of Ludlow Castle.
Created Knight-Bannerett
After the Battle of Stoke 1487
Died July 29 1509.
Also of Eleanor his wife
Daughter of Sir Edmund CORNEWALL Baron
of Burford Salop
Widow of Sir Hugh MORTIMER of Kyre.

The plaque does not record the date of Eleanor's death, but the church leaflet tells us she died in 1520. The Tomb was previously in a north chapel, which was demolished in the early 18th century.[2]

[Image 5] The Inscription reads:

Sacred / to the Memory of
Richard KNIGHT of Brindgwood and Croft Castle,
in the County of Hereford, and of Stanage Park,
in the County of Radnor, Esqr.
who died January 29th 1705, Aged 72.
and of Elisabeth (sic) his Wife, Daughter of
Thomas POWELL, in the County of Radnor, Esqr.
who died July 16th 1776, Aged 79.
Also of
Thomas JOHNES, of Llanfair and Hafod, in
the County of Cardigan, Esqr.
and of Elisabeth, sole Daughter and Heiress
of the above named Richard and Elisabeth KNIGHT,
the former of whom died May 12th 1780, Aged 59,
the latter November 18th 1815, Aged 94, their Mortal Remains ar deposited in a Vault near this Spot.
This Tablet
was erected by Samuel Johnes KNIGHT and Anne JOHNES, the Surviving Children of
Thomas and Elisabeth JOHNES,
A Memorial / of the worth of their Ancestors, and of their own gratitude and affection.[2]

[Image 6] The Inscriptions read:

In Grateful Memory
of those who gave their lives
in two Great Wars
and especially the following
who went from this Parish[3]

1914-1918
Pte. G. BENGREE K.S.L.I.   Capt. H. Kevill DAVIES 9th Lancers
Pte. R. BREEZE K.S.L.I.   Pte. E. MITCHELL K.S.L.I.
Pte. J. BROOKS K.S.L.I.   Pte. W. PERKINS Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Sgt. C CHAMBERLAIN R.E.   Cpl. J. PINCHES South Wales Borderers
Spr. C.T. COLLETT R.E.   Pte. E. PINCHES K.S.L.I.
Cpl. F. DALE R.F.A.   Pte. J. PRICE K.S.L.I.
Pte. A. GOUGH 14th Welsh Regt.   Pte. R. PRICE K.S.L.I.
Pte. E. GOUGH Berkshire Regt.   Pte. J. TOMLINSON K.S.L.I.
Cpl. C. GRIFFITHS, M.M. 6t Dragoon Gds   Pte. C. WILKINSON Hereford Regt
Pte. J. JAMES K.S.L.I.   Pte. H. WILKINSON Northants Regt
L/Cpl. S.J. CROSS Manchester Regt.
1939-1945
Gnr. W. CHAMBERLAIN R.A.   Maj. W.T. Kevill DAVIES, M.C. 7t. Hussars
Capt. Sir James CROFT. Bt. No1. Commando   Sgt. S.L. MUMBY R.A.
“Greater love hath no man than this,
that man lay down his life for his friends.”

[Image 7] Croft Memorials in the Chancel, from left to right:

In / Loving Memory
Katherine Agnes / wife of
Sir Herbert Archer CROFT
10th Baronet of Croft Castle
She died in her sleep
on the night of Nov 30th 1966
Aged 88 Years
Also / of her Daughter / Elinor
14th February 1904 - 19th February 1955
Angels of Glory Angels of Light
Singing to Welcome the Pilgrims of the Fight
RIP
Esse Quam Videre

In / Proud and Loving / Memory of
Sir Herbert Archer CROFT / 10th Baronet,
Born September 5, 1865,
High Sheriff of Herefordshire ????
Enlisted in the / Herefordshire Regiment
August 4 1914,
Captain September 12,
Killed in Action 1st Gallipoli
August 1915.
[can't read the verse below from the photo]

The CWGC site records that Captain Sir Herbert Archer CROFT was the son of Sir Herbert George Denman CROFT, 9th Bt. and husband of Lady Katharine Agnes CROFT, of Croft Castle, Kingsland, Herefordshire, and that he died 11 Aug 1915.

In / Proud and Loving / Memory of
James Herbert CROFT / 11th Baronet,
Born ?Mar 24 1907
??? son of Herbert Archer CROFT
Enlisted in the
Herefordshire Regiment 1914
Captain No.1 Commando
Special Service ???
Battle of Norway
and other Battles
Killed on Active Service August 15, 1941.
[can't read the verse below from the photo]

The CWGC site records that Captain Sir James Herbert CROFT was the son of Sir Herbert Archer CROFT, 10th Bart., and Lady CROFT (nee PARR), of Sway, Hampshire, was a Commando in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, and died 15 Aug 1941 aged 34.[3]

[Image 8] Although it isn't immediately apparent on this photograph, the clock face has only one hand! The guide leaflet suggests a date of late seventeenth century or early 18th century for the clock, at which time perhaps an exact time to the minute was unnecessary. Even so, the clock maintains accuracy as the striking mechanism allows for the time to be announced on the hour and quarter-hour, and the pendulum oscillation measures seconds.

This is one of two faces to the bell turret - the other is on the opposite (north) side of the turret and can be seen on an accompanying photograph.[1]

Denomination

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.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SO4498965418. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Resources

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 Croft, 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.

Acknowledgements

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

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

2. Transcription provided by Rosemary Lockie.

3. Transcriptions provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 4 Oct 2010 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 8 Aug 2020 - 16:41:05 BST 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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