Parish History

Hereford MapThe first vicars name recorded at ‘St Michaels’, Felton is John Lyllwell who took up the position on April 18th 1554 sponsored by Sir John Pryce of Brecon, his patron who had been given lands recently by Henry VIII following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. This would have included those of St Guthlac’s Priory which held ‘Feltone’ at that time. There is no physical evidence of a religious building on the present site or elsewhere on the present site. There was the Benedictine Priory just over the southern boundary of the Parish. It should be remembered that Parish boundaries have moved over time.

It is reasonable to assume that when John Lyllwell took up the ‘living’ there was a church on the present site and a house for the clergy nearby. Six clergy followed Lywell in the next 150years and in the period 1708-1734 the incumbent, Rev Henry Price rebuilt the vicarage, which at that time was east of the church beside the lane. He also paved the chancel, which at that time contained no sepulchre inscription.Church Feature

Six clergy later, and after another 117 years, Rev Henry Thomas Hill MA arrived at Felton to find ‘a dilapidated church, a small old parsonage down the road, bare fields and glebe land’. The church at that time was a small building dedicated to St Michael. It consisted of a Nave, Chancel, a wooden Tower with three bells. Between the Nave and the Chancel were the remains of a wooden loft. In the south wall of the Chancel was the LaraCrum under plain arch in Saxo style.

Near the communion rail was a flat stone inscribed: ‘Here lieth the body of Capt. Thomas Coningsby Esq. of Morton Bagot in the County of Warwickshire being the eldest of that family he died 18th June 1690’. His memorial stone may still lie under the tiles of the floor laid during the rebuilding in 1854.

The Coningsby family of nearby Hampton Court owned a very large area including the three principal farms in Felton: The Green, The Court and Hinton. The 1st Earl Coningsby, Thomas (1659-1729) MP for Leominster for 31 years and then the House of Lords in 1716, contributed to the church buildings and was patron to the church.

Hampton Court Hereford