Project Info


The River Wye



Hentland church survey


Saturday 4th/Sunday 5th March

Archaeological earthwork surveying training with Mark Bowden and Nicky Smith from English Heritage


Hentland Church
 photograph Chris Musson and the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club

Hentland, a Welsh name meaning the old church, is believed to have been the site of a Christian church before the arrival of the English in the area. However, an excavation here during weekends in Summer 1970 and 1971 failed to find any evidence of activity pre-dating the Norman Conquest.

Remains of  buildings of several periods were excavated. The earliest were wooden building represented by post-holes. This phase had been deliberately buried by a layer of soil before the construction of a stone building of the 13th century. This building which was only partially within the excavated area and was represented by one wall.

There was also a 15th-l6th century building, the end wall of which remained in situ. This was replaced by a 17th century rectangular house, which was probably the manor referred to in documentary records.

The results of these excavations were published in the Herefordshire-based 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club' and a note appeared in the prestigious 'Medieval Archaeology'.

The excavations were conducted by the Archenfield Excavation Group, who carried out much excellent work in the area in the 1960s and 70s. Further work on the site was done by Jane Wyatt to whom we are extremely grateful for access to her notes, plans and photographs.

In Henry VIII's taxation of 1523, Hentland itself does not appear. Within Hentland parish however there are five townships in three groups - Altebought (Altbough) and Tresecke (Tresseck), Trerado (Treaddow), and Kynnarston (Kynaston) and Henfrowde (Llanfrother).

In 1536 there were three residents of Hentland who were taxed - John Gwyllam with land to the value of 29 pounds and Thomas Seymour and John Flanders with goods to the value of 20 pounds each. Within the parish the townships of Llanfrother and Kynaston together had two taxed residents.

Altbough and Tresseck are near Hoarwithy; Llanfrother and Kynaston are now farms between Hoarwithy and Hentland; Treaddow is a settlement in the southern part of Hentland parish.

sighting using a plane table and alidade


While at the other end the staff is place on the edge of the earthwork


The position is plotted onto the plan


The plan takes shape



The finished plan of the earthworks at Hentland



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This project was part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme.