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Coordinates: 52°10′32″N 2°29′47″W / 52.1755°N 2.49631°W / 52.1755; -2.49631

Ruins of the Church of St Mary, Avenbury

Avenbury is a civil parish in Herefordshire, England. It is on the A465, just south of Bromyard, and by the River Frome; the population of this parish at the 2011 Census was 225.[1]


Avenbury was mentioned on the Domesday Book;[2] the village that was centred on the church of St Mary has now disappeared leaving the parish consisting of a series of farms and hamlets.[3]

In the post-medieval period the village had a barn and several lime kilns as well as houses.[4]

Parish Church[edit]

The church was founded ca. 840 AD but rebuilt in Norman times; the tower was built in the 13th century.[5] The church was closed in 1931.[6] Many of the Baskerville family are buried in the churchyard. Three of the bells were rehung in St Andrew by the Wardrobe, London, in 1933.[7]

In May 2007 the church, which had been acquired by a pagan[8] and artist named Leszek Skuriat in the 1970s was put up for sale and a trust created to buy it for preservation.[5][9]

In June 2009 St Mary's church was bought by a local archaeologist.[10] In conjunction with English Heritage, restoration work on the church has commenced: St Mary's is a grade II* scheduled monument and is on the "Heritage at Risk Register".[11]

Some people have said to hear bells and screams when wandering near the building.


  1. ^ "Civil Ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Bromyard History". Archived from the original on November 26, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  3. ^ "Bromyard Historical Society". Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  4. ^ "Historic Herefordshire Online - Archaeological Records". Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  5. ^ a b "Ledbury Reporter - Lottery Cash to buy Historic Church". 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-12-31.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "BBC - Closure Date". Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  7. ^ "Haunted London Richard Jones historic tours". Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  8. ^ "Church's pagan owner warned". Hereford Times. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2007-12-31.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Hope for derelict church". Hereford Times. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2007-12-31.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ The Hereford Times; 2009/08/06
  11. ^ http://risk.english-heritage.org.uk/default.aspx?id=1155&rt=1&pn=1&st=a&ctype=all&crit=Avenbury[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]