The Estate Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Yazor stands by the main road in a fairly isolated setting. The tall narrow spire is quite a landmark, and can be seen for miles along the Wye Valley.
This church was built in the mid 19th century, mostly paid for by the Price family. Unfortunately, the architect, George Moore, was unable to complete the task due to increasing insanity and the completion of the church, including the spire, was undertaken by the then Rector, Revd. R.L. Freer.
The new church was consecrated at the beginning of December 1851, with the ceremonies beginning at midday, and the following description was in the Hereford Times:
“The church is in form, a cross of early English style, built of two descriptions of stone from the neighbouring quarries of Sir Robert Price; the one, which is of peculiarly fine grain and quality, as well as of extreme hardness, forming the windows and doorways, and the angles of the building, the other, which is of a coarser grain.
The new church was commenced by the late Mr. Uvedale Price, and is beautifully situated on the right of the road from Hereford to Kington, on a sunny knoll, near the entrance to the Foxley grounds, commanding a lovely view of the valley of the Wye, rich with its native vest of oak and elm and ash, and bounded by the distant line of the Black Mountains, whilst the glorious wood of Foxley and the well known hill called “Lady Lift” form a background of surpassing richness and a secure shelter from the north and east”.
Within the church was a beautiful monumental brass by Hardman of Birmingham in memory of Uvedale Price, the founder. It had a decorated cross of Calvary, with an elevation of the church in the centre, and at the foot an inscription…
In memory of Uvedale Thomas Shudd Price M.A. of Mongewell House in the county of Oxford, only son of the Rev. Robert Price L.L.D, Prebendary of Durham and Canon of Salisbury Cathedral; brother to Mary Ann Elizabeth, wife of Sir Robert Price of Foxley, Bart. He was zealous for the honor of his Maker’s house and began to build this church, the ancient one of this parish being dilapidated by time. But it pleased Almighty God to call him home before his work was ended. He died at Bishopstone, Nov. 6th 1844 aged 39 years.
This church was declared redundant in 1986 but remained consencrated, and it was one of 9 Herefordshire churches to be rescued by the Churches Conservation Trust.
Recently, a wonderful concert was held in thechurch, covering a wide range of music, all made possible by the restoration of the dilapidated organ to full working order.
Epitaph from Old Stone in Graveyard of Original Church
“Neare to this place
Interrd are laid five
little and one larger
Maid who lived Sweet
Babes but little Space
But Martha lived seven
Years at leaft thrice hap
they to die so foun for had
they lived its ten to one what
others do they would have
done their names in verfe I
cant compofe therefore Ive
Put them down in Profe.
Lucy Mary Suky Sar
Elizabeth & Martha
the Children of Thomas Watkins
and Sibil his Wife
of this parifh of Yazor”