Dore Abbey, Herefordshire

The present Dore Abbey Church consists of the presbytery (13th century), crossing and transepts (12th century) of the Morimond Cistercian house founded by Lord Robert of Ewyas in 1147. Though there was a Saxon monastery here from the 7th century. The church has a striking interior and houses the heart burial of a Bishop of Hereford, as well as two good effigies to the half-brothers, Roger Clifford and (a later) Robert of Ewyas. The latter's brother-in-law, St. Thomas Cantilupe, finally consecrated the building in the late 13th century. The monks were expelled at the Dissolution and the church purchased by John Scudamore. It was used by the parish but quickly fell into extreme disrepair until restored in 1633 by Viscount Scudamore, a descendant who was convinced his marriage would not be blessed with offspring until he stopped living off his family's monastic plunder. This is when the small tower was built, the magnificent heraldic screen erected inside and the original altar returned. His Lordship was a friend of Archbishop Laud who is depicted in one of the windows. Several fine stone bosses from the nave have survived, apparently lowered to the ground with care and hidden from protestant extremists.

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