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Gates and Gate Piers About 30 Yards East of the Abbey Church of St Michael and All Angels

A Grade II Listed Building in Clehonger, County of Herefordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0394 / 52°2'21"N

Longitude: -2.7557 / 2°45'20"W

OS Eastings: 348264

OS Northings: 238162

OS Grid: SO482381

Mapcode National: GBR FJ.FP2Q

Mapcode Global: VH85N.6Z1Y

Entry Name: Gates and Gate Piers About 30 Yards East of the Abbey Church of St Michael and All Angels

Listing Date: 22 October 1986

Last Amended: 18 December 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1166999

English Heritage Legacy ID: 155339

Location: Clehonger, County of Herefordshire, HR2

County: County of Herefordshire

Civil Parish: Clehonger

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Clehonger

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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Summary

A set of four gate piers of late-C19 date, probably designed by Peter Paul Pugin, and built of sandstone with limestone dressings and oak gates.

Description

A set of four gate piers of late-C19 date, probably designed by Peter Paul Pugin and built of sandstone with limestone dressings and oak gates. The piers are square on section, and set diagonally. There are two pedestrian gates at either side of a carriage way, with single gates to the side and a double gate at the centre. The lateral piers have tapered caps with a knop finial. The central piers are more substantial and have a moulded band below the cap and below the knop finial. The gates do not appear to be original but to follow the pre-existing pattern. These have two ranks of open panels divided by a mid-rail, with interlacing arched struts to the lower panels and uprights and a cross motif to the centre of each upper panel.

History

In 1852 Francis Wegg-Prosser converted to Roman Catholicism. He was a landowner, who had inherited the Belmont estate to the south-west of Hereford, and had acted as MP for Herefordshire from 1847 until his conversion. He had already commissioned work from Anglican architects, including the restoration of the church at Clehonger by William Butterfield. Following his conversion he decided to build a school with attached chapel and schoolmaster’s house to the south-east of his own house. The architect chosen was Edward Welby Pugin; Wegg-Prosser would have known of the Pugin family through the designs of AWN Pugin at Eastnor Castle, undertaken by the decorator, Crace.

Within two years of this first commission Wegg-Prosser had started to build the abbey church at Belmont and again employed EW Pugin as his architect. The foundation stone for the abbey church was laid in 15 February 1854, and work continued, with numerous changes of plan, firstly under Edward Pugin and then, following his death in 1875, under his brother Peter Paul until 1889.
The monastery buildings were started in 1857 and, again, a succession of additions and alterations, including the attached school buildings, meant that work continued under Edward and then Peter Paul Pugin and latterly RA Ford of Bettington and Sons into the 1930s.

Soon after the establishment of the abbey, the intention became that it should be the Central Novitiate for the English Congregation of the Benedictine Order, a function which it fulfilled from 1859 to 1917. The importance of this dual function is reflected in some measure by the lavish architectural treatment of the church and monastery buildings, and a bird’s eye view of the church and monastery, dated 1878, by the Pugin practice, shows the intention to create a group of buildings which would fully reflect the importance of the Benedictine order by a considerably more elaborate treatment, including a longer nave with western towers, three spires and more extensive monastery buildings, including a cloister and a guest wing. Between 1859 and 1916 the abbey church was also the cathedral for the diocese of Newport and Menevia. However, following the death of Bishop Hedley in 1915, the cathedral was moved to Cardiff and in 1920 the abbey became an independent Benedictine community.

The gateway first appears on the Ordnance Survey map for Herefordshire published in 1888, and stylistically the piers appear to date from the later-C19.

Reasons for Listing

The Gates and Gate Piers about 30 metres east of the abbey church of St Michael and All Saints are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: the design of both the gates and gate piers is accomplished and well matched to the other Gothic revival buildings designed by the Pugin brothers on this site;

* Historical interest: the gates and piers form part of a group of related buildings which were commissioned or inspired by Francis Wegg-Prosser, an important and generous benefactor of the Roman Catholic cause in the mid-C19;

* Group value: the group of Roman Catholic buildings at Belmont, which includes the abbey church of St Michael and All Angels, the Monastery, the Almshouses, the school and teacher’s house and Belmont House with its chapel is one of the most complete surviving groups which resulted from the benefaction of a wealthy landowner in the mid-C19.

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