www.StW.org.uk

Churches and communities in 

South West Herefordshire 

 
St Weonards : Garway : Orcop : Tretire : Pencoyd : Hentland : Hoarwithy : St Owen's Cross

Basic information about each church in the group is given below, in alphabetic order. However, you'll find out much more by visiting the churches, so we've included grid references and a Google maps link for each church too, so you should be able to find them easily (even those down tiny lanes). All our churches are open during the day, every day.

You might like to know that if you're travelling round the area and need to plan a midway picnic stop, St. Weonards has seats in the churchyard with extensive views over the hills to the east (and the church has toilet facilities too!)

Quick links: Garway : Hentland : Hoarwithy : Michaelchurch : Orcop : Pencoyd : St Weonards : Tretire


Garway

The earliest record of a monastery here is in 615 AD, but it was with the arrival of the Knights Templar in 1180 that the history of the church at Garway becomes clearer. The Templars built a number of partly round churches (copying the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem) including this one. The round foundations can be seen clearly on the north side of the church, and the original carved chancel arch still survives.

There are so many fascinating things to see and discover at Garway that this space is too limited. You can find out more from Audrey Tapper's book, available in the church. Most of the current church - no longer round - is probably 13th century, including the massive tower which was once separate from the main church building.

Here are just four of the carvings to find, all inside the church and some quite difficult to spot: a "green man" (click the picture for a clearer view) , a sword, a fish and a snake. Garway Church is a very important part of the community and in addition to regular services it is used for other events - in the past year alone there have been: a historical pageant about the history of Garway and Archenfield, a May Day celebration, a well-dressing (at the reopening of an ancient holy well), preservation of wild flowers in the churchyard and a Festival of Memories. 

For more information about the church, visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page. And don't miss all the detailed information about the church and many facets of Garway past and present at the Garway website! See also the Great English Churches website.

Finding Garway church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: Near HR2 8RJ (follow signs from this postcode)
(Grid reference SO 454 224): In Garway, you'll find the Common and the Garway Moon pub. From the pub go west past the school and carry on out of the main village for about a mile. Pass the road to Garway Hill and carry on till you reach several houses - turn left at this point (by the Chapel) and go down the hill for a hundred yards then left onto a track which leads to the church itself. Please park carefully and do not block entry to the farm fields next to the track.

Hentland For more information about the Hentland Church building, click here to visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page.

Finding Hentland church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR9 6LW
(Grid reference: SO 542 263): Take the A49 from Ross towards Hereford. After the Pengethly Garden Centre and Pengethley Manor Hotel, take the next road on the right. After nearly a mile, on a bend to the left, turn right and follow the small lane to its end, where you'll find this beautiful, secret church backing on to National Trust land.
Hoarwithy

For more information about the Hoarwithy church building, click here to visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page.

Finding Hoarwithy church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR2 6QH
(Grid reference: SO 545 294): Take the A49 from Ross towards Hereford. After the Pengethly Garden Centre and Pengethley Manor Hotel, take the next road on the right. Follow the road down to the river Wye, then left along the river for about two miles. Go straight through the village (don't turn off on any side road) and as you start climbing the hill you'll see the church gate on your left. Hoarwithy church is built high above the village so be prepared for a (very worthwhile) bit of strenuous exercise getting up to it!

Michaelchurch

This is a beautiful little redundant church where we have a service once a year (around Midsummer). It's looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust who keep it in excellent order and we are very grateful to them.

The first recorded church at Michaelchurch is thought to have been built around 1056, but the present north and west walls are probably later (around 1200) and the other walls are 13th century. Some of the medieval and later wall painting and texts are still visible. The font is Norman, and opposite the door is a Roman altar leading us to wonder just how ancient this site is as a sacred place.

For more information about the Michaelchurch church building, click here to visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page.

Finding Michaelchurch: Google maps link  
Postcode for satnav:
HR2 8LD
(Grid reference: SO 521 255): Going north towards Hereford from Ross on the A49 shortly after the Abergavenny turn you'll pass the Pengethley Garden Centre. Carry on past the next road on the left then take the lane signposted to Orcop. About a mile down this lane, turn left at the crossroads and then take the next left fairly soon. Follow this lane to Michaelchurch.

Orcop

Orcop is a cosy, peaceful church with a long history, dating back to the 12th century, although many original features were lost in Victorian renovations in the 1860s. The nave and north aisle were built in the 13th century. The tower was built in the 16th century and has an unusual weatherboarded top section.

For more information about the church building, visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page.

Finding Orcop church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR2 8ES
(Grid reference SO 480 275): The church is in a beautiful position with glorious views about a mile or so south of Orcop Hill. From the Fountain Inn go south and after a mile go straight across at the crossroads (taking care as the crossed road has right of way) and follow the road to the church.

Pencoyd

The earliest part of Pencoyd is probably the 14th century tower. The church was restored in 1878 when a new chancel was built.  Today, Tretire and Pencoyd form one parish.

Finding Pencoyd church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR2 8JY
(Grid reference: SO 515 265): We'll start from the A49 Ross - Hereford Road. Going north towards Hereford, shortly after the Abergavelly turn you'll pass the Pengethley Garden Centre. Carry on past the next road on the left then take the lane signposted to Orcop. About a mile down this lane, turn right at the crossroads and follow round to the left where you'll find Pencoyd church.

St. Weonards

Click here to download a
copy of the current
St. Weonard's Church guide
(PDF format)
Although most of the current building dates from the 16th century, parts of the earlier 13th century structure are still visible, particularly the chancel arch, lower part of the south wall of the nave and the inner doorway of the porch. The Mynors Chapel was built in 1521 and Sir Richard Mynors still lives in Treago Castle just down the road. There are a number of interesting features in the church and the remains of a 15th century cross in the churchyard. The tower has six bells which are regularly rung.  The facilities in the church include kitchen and toilet areas.

St. Weonard (or possibly Weonards) is shrouded in the mists of antiquity but may have been a local hermit and/or a woodcutter - he may also have been the same person as the Welsh St Gwennarth.

For more information about the church building, click here to visit the relevant Historic Herefordshire Online page.

Finding St. Weonard's church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR2 8NU
(Grid reference SO 496 243): St Weonards is on the A465 about 10 miles south of Hereford and 8 miles north of Monmouth. Follow the Parking sign off the main road and (if you're driving) park in the village car park, then walk back to Church Farm where the church is immediately obvious. During the planting and growing seasons, there's a busy plant stall (proceeds to charity) just inside the church gate, so make sure you bring a carrier bag!

Tretire

The lovely little church at Tretire was built in 1856. It is a light and airy building with fine views and a peaceful atmosphere. recently enhanced by the installation of a "new" organ - more details to be posted.

Finding Tretire church: Google maps link
Postcode for satnav: HR2 8NB
(Grid reference: SO 520 239): We'll start from the A49 Ross - Hereford Road. Take the B4521 towards Abergavenny. At the New Inn go straight over the crossroads (careful - the road you cross can be quite busy) and carry on for about a mile. Immediately before (or just after if you miss the turn) a hump-backed bridge, turn right onto a lane. After a hundred yards the lane turns right, but there is a track straight ahead (bumpy but usually drivable) to the church itself.