Castle Frome Church is one that I call a “Single Treasure Church” because one’s reason for travelling to it - and it is a bit out-of-the-way - is because of one important thing. In this case it is the Norman font. And what a font it is. Is it England’s finest? Perhaps. Eardisley, also in Herefordshire and Bridekirk in Cumbria could give it a run for its money. You could also make a case for the lead font at Brookland in Kent. Castle Frome’s is right up there, though. If you are an aficionado of Norman artefacts it will make your heart leap when you see it believe me. Pevsner called it “One of the masterworks pf Romanesque sculpture in England” and added “It would arrest attention in any country”.
The church itself is believed to date from about AD1125. Domesday Book records that the village was held by Roger de Lacey and the family continued to hold if for several generations. His descendant Sybil de Lacy and her husband Payn fitz John are the key figures and were patrons of the Herefordshire School of Romanesqu Sculpture. The church was probably built at the same time as the castle about 350 yards to the east. It is a plain two-celled Norman church. In sharp contrast to its font, the church’s fabric is devoid of decoration.
Norman doorways remain on the north, south and west walls. All, rather disappointingly, have bare tympani, although it is likely that originally they were painted. The hefty Norman chancel arch has no decorated capitals. One