St._John_the_Baptist,_Whitbourne,_Herefordshire_sally

Sandstone font dating from around 1180.

Sandstone font dating from around 1180.

altars 6 011

This is one of many plaques for the Freeman family, including Johanne, Abigail, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, John

This is one of many plaques for the Freeman family, including Johanne, Abigail, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, John

"Hereunder lies Elizabeth, most loving wife of Richard Langford.  Died 10th February 1708 aged 32.  With her lies their son John who died 14th June 1708

"Hereunder lies Elizabeth, most loving wife of Richard Langford. Died 10th February 1708 aged 32. With her lies their son John who died 14th June 1708

The listed Lychgate shown on the picture of the church above is a lovely 15th/16th century (although restored in 1911) example of where traditionally the first part of the burial ceremony was carried out, and the original bier is still stored under the rafters. The sandstone tiled roof provided protection from the elements and to this day the coffin shelters under the lychgate before being taken into the church for the service.
The 12th century font is carved from local sandstone, and features interlocking stars. The tower of Whitbourne church houses six 18th century bells and also a 16th century sanctus bell. In 1912 the Harington family and some of their friends installed the screen behind the altar (reredos) and it is truly beautiful – depicting the Nativity, it also features colourful wings in the style of William Morris.
During the Second World War, several boys from Westminster school were evacuated to Whitbourne, and many of them have donated generously to the church.

The name Whitbourne is Anglo Saxon for “White Stream” and the village lies close to the Worcestershire border.
As with all Herefordshire villages, the main occupation in centuries past was agriculture.