St Mary the Virgin
Yazor Parish Church

St Mary the Virgin Church is administered by the Churches Conservation Trust and is a Grade II Listed building.

It is an imposing Church to be found in a remote rural setting alongside the A480 in Herefordshire. The church with its very tall spire can be seen from a distance of several miles.

The height of the spire is unusual for this area of the County where many churches have low towers some with squat cone shaped square tops.

The spire although exceptionally high is easily matched in height by the magnificent Wellingtonia fir trees standing not more than 6 metres away.

The church was built in the first half of the Victorian period between 1843 and 1855 and its construction was funded by the local Price family of Foxley. The Architect for the church was George Moore but the spire of the church had to be completed by the then Reverend R L Freer, as the architect had lapsed into insanity.

A timber name board at the entrance gives different dates for the Church's construction.

Wording states - St Mary's Yazor an estate church of 1843 - 1851

The church is of great interest for researchers of Victorian engineering history
for its
three examples of heating and ventilating disciplines.

The heating for the church was separated into two areas Chancel & Nave.

A Gurney warm air stove fired by solid fuel is sited against the north west wall.

For more details about the history of this type of Gurney warm air stove

A separate wet heating system was installed on both side walls in the Nave to provide heating for the occupants of the pews in that area. This heating system comprised two flow & return circuits of 6" dia cast iron pipework terminating in two very large banks of pipe coils both enclosed in a open latticed timber framework. The banks of coils are positioned on either side of the main entrance.

North-side rows of Pews with single pipe

South-side row of Pews with double pipe

Pipe coil risers from floor duct

The heat generation for the wet system was provided by a solid fuel fired brickwork furnace sited in a basement room. Within the furnace is a heat-exchanger which is connected to the cast iron pipework. The heating system had gravity circulation. 

Flow & return pipes connected to furnace

Fuel input & clean out doors

Side view of furnace in basement room

The Nave and Chancel areas have floor grilles and gratings fitted which brought fresh air from outside through a system of underfloor ducts. Certain floor grilles in the Church are fitted with damper control which was operated by a centrally sited square key. The external fresh air inlet gratings are sited on either side of the Church.

Front of grille

Rear of grille

View of fresh air entry external grating on both sides of Church

Many of the Churches in the county of Herefordshire have fresh air ventilating systems installed, which must indicate that ventilation is considered necessary to prevent condensation occuring on the surface of the walls due possibly to local weather conditions.

MAY  2013