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follow site This is a lovely little church, in a truly delightful location.

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Bishopstone-Herefordshire-St. Lawrence- exterior

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1863 it was reported that a long standing custom was being continued at St. Laurence – that of the Rector and wealthier farmers getting together at Christmas to ensure that those of a poorer standing had ample meat for the table and coal for the fire. In addition, the church was decorated to the rafters with garlands of holly and ivy and candles blazed from every nook and corner, and sixteen choristers processed down the aisle wearing pristine surpluses whilst singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing to the accompaniment of the rather splendid organ.

The Churchwarden, a Mr. Plant of Bishopstone Court, had taken the precaution of supplying extra chairs from the Court, but still many people had to stand whilst others simply couldn’t get in.

Holy Church of Bishopstone

Holy, unique, antique chapel – antique chapel,

Chapel by the hill alone,

Holy Church of Bishopstone;

Quivering autumn leaves, without thee,

Fall in yellow showers about thee,

with the wind’s November moan,

Holy Church of Bishopstone.

 

Brown, bronze, purple, topaz leaflets – topaz leaflets,

Birchen, ashen, near thee blown,

Sadly grace thee, Bishopstone;

And the year seems very weary,

Life around thee very dreary

Even in the gold noon,

Holy Church of Bishopstone.

 

Tottering old men, smiling maidens – rustic maidens,

Two by two and three by three,

Wend their willing steps to thee;

Old men utter the inscription,

Children breathe the solemn diction

On each quaintly carved tombstone,

Round the porch of Bishopstone.

 

Tombstones aye are creeping round thee – creeping round thee,

Humble shrine and mossy mound,

Hither, thither strew the ground;

Scrulptured cherubs singing praises

On them as the old man gazes,

Says the old man, I shall soon

Lie beside thee, Bishopstone.

 

Hush! the choir is softly chanting – sweetly chanting,

Still as Ariel tread the stone

In the aisles of Bishopstone.

Sure, the theme was never sweeter,

Jesu Hominum Salvator,

Chanted in a mystic tone,

Holy Church of Bishopstone.

 

Ne’er a srhine in old Grenada – bright Grenada,

or a shrine in proud Castile,

Where Spain’s dark eyed daughters kneel –

Frescoed chapels, altars sainted,

Poets’ visions sung and painted,

But I’d choose thee just as soon

Holy Church of Bishopstone.

 

Oh, it is an antique chamber – antique chamber,

Olden legends start to sight

In its dim, religious light.

Higher swells the prayer of duty,

Softly dies in dreamy beauty,

Dies away in holy tone,

Holy Church of Bishopstone.

 

On the oak roof, on the woodwork – curious woodwork,

Shine illuminated scrolls,

Each a sacred text unfolds;

Holy men in deep abasement,

Stained in the eastern casement,

Kneel above the altar stone,

In the church of Bishopstone.

 

Golden Angels, placid Jesus – placid Jesus,

Silver emblems, tender young

children lift their hands among

bright creations of the Elysian

fancies of the artist’s vision,

Here and there a seraph’s crown,

Gleams in light in Bishopstone.

 

Beautiful illumination! – lumination,

Concentrated holy hue!

Gold and crimson, azure blue,

like a rainbow’s gorgeous gleaming,

On the pavement there are streaming.

Gentle is the preacher’s tone

In the Church of Bishopstone.

 

Poet of my youth’s first loving – youth’s warm loving,

To my fancy thou art known

As a Church of Bishopstone.

Cold the world was all without thee,

Dreary fell life’s leaves about thee,

And thy soul’s chant had the tone

that is heard in Bishopstone.

 

Holy, unique, antique chapel – antique chapel

was they soul’s profound recess –

illuminated Holiness;

When uprose the prayer of duty

full of quaintness, full of beauty

Were the sacred numbers known,

like the scrolls in Bishopstone.

 

John White.

 

1846 – a note in the Hereford Times on Bishopstone Church…….

“it lieth low and secluded, as piety loveth to lie”  Its external, and more especially its internal appearance has been greatly improved by the Rev. R.L. Freer F.A.S. who, with a most refined regard for the antique, has illuminated the building with the painter’s skill.

The church contains a chaste monument in white marble, by the eminent sculptor, Peter Hollins.