St Mary Magdalene, Turnastone

Wye Dore home page  Turnastone page

Turnastone is one of the smallest parishes in Herefordshire, with a handful of dwellings and mostly farm pasture land. A history of the parish was published in 2010 although the book is currently out of print. The name derives from a Norman settler, Ralph de Tournai, and an early chapel dedicated to St Leonard is thought to have been near the bridge further up the Slough valley, south-west of the present church. St Leonard is commemorated in a 20th-century stained glass window in the chancel.

The church building dates from the late 12th/early 13th century with a handsome barrel roof dated about 1500. Having fallen into a poor state of repair, it was restored in the late 19th century. The interior walls are adorned with some fine monuments, notably that to Thomas Aparri (ap Harry) of Poston who died in 1522 (picture below). A brass memorial plaque adjacent to the main door commemorates the men of the parish who served in World War I, including Lance Corporal William Jones, Royal Engineers, who was killed in France in 1918.

Click here for a list of rectors from 1259 to the present. A historical guide is available in the church or via the contact us page, price £1 plus postage.

Music is provided by a harmonium (a foot-pumped reed organ), or occasionally recorders. If no musician is available we may use pre-recorded organ music.

Monument to Thomas Aparri. The inscription reads:

Here lie the bodies of Thomas ap Harry, esq. and Agnes his wife. Thomas who died 3 Dec 1522 and the aforesaid Agnes who died 15 ....
Arms: 1st Parry, 2nd uncertain, 3rd Waterton, 4th Delahay.

The Turnastone harmonium