Holy Trinity & St Mary's Abbeydore (Dore Abbey) is part of the Ewyas Harold Group of Parishes. The Cockyard Mission Hall is also part of our parish with an afternoon service on the first Sunday of the month; see separate ACNY entry). See below for our normal and seasonal services.
Dore Abbey stands in a beautiful part of Herefordshire’s Golden Valley. The present church was once the chancel, crossing, transepts, chapels and ambulatory of the medieval Cistercian monastery whose domestic buildings and chapter house can still be traced. The cloister garden is a lovely place to sit to enjoy the tranquillity of the site. The white robed monks first came here in 1147 and their skill in gardening is commemorated in the stylised foliage of the capitals. By the 13th-14th centuries the wool from Dore’s sheep was the best quality in Europe, fetching the highest prices and selling as far away as Italy. The profit paid for the church to be enlarged, decorated and re-painted. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII, the current building was saved from total destruction and was restored in the 1630s by John, Viscount Scudamore. It is a rare, surviving example of a Laudian Church and one of the very few British Cistercian Abbeys still used for regular Christian worship. Among the many points to note are the lovely bosses (saved from the medieval roof because the King’s Commissioners were sympathetic), the original high altar top, the 17thC carved screen, the newly restored stained glass and the wall texts. More information can be found in the guidebook on sale in the Abbey. Guided tours can be arranged. Facilities - portaloo toilets are available in the summer months.
The six bells were originally cast in 1710/1712 by the first Abraham Rudhall at his Gloucester foundry. Four were recast: the treble by Thomas Rudhall in 1770, the tenor by Charles and John Rudhall in 1782, the fourth by Thomas Rudhall in 1810, and the second by Llewellins and James in Bristol in 1892. The bells were restored and re-hung in a new bell frame in 2013.
The Newsletter of The Friends of Dore Abbey has further information on Church Services and Events - see www.doreabbey.org.uk
Also available: The Definitive History of Dore Abbey edited by Ron Shoesmith and Ruth E. Richardson; the fifteen contributors cover all aspects of the Abbey. Contact the Treasurer of The Friends of Dore Abbey.