Firebacks

Manufactured in the Herefordshire area

  1. 857

    croft_castle 01.jpg
    790 x 670 mm

    Description: Rectangular with detached pediment linked by S-curves, protruding from each of which is a small scroll; cavetto-moulded edging (top and sides); quartered shield with helm, crest and mantling; initials in top corners.

    Notes: The arms are of Sir Julius Caesar (1558-1636), judge and politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1606-13. Blazon: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Gules, three roses argent, on a chief of the second three roses of the first (Caesar); 2nd, argent, two bars sable, on a chief of the second three swans of the first (?Martin); 3rd, gules, three crescents argent (Peryent/Perin). Crest: a dolphin embowed in the sea vert. This example has the additional initials, TC. The style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: T C

    Arms: Caesar

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Herefordshire area of England.

    Current location: Croft Castle, Yarpole, Herefordshire, England.

    Museum number: CRO.M.002.1 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  2. 941

    fawley_court  01.jpg
    914 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; scalloping within wide fillet edging; shield, helm, crest and mantling; date split either side of armorial

    Notes: The arms are of Kyrle (vert, a chevron between three fleurs de lys or; crest: on a mount vert a hedgehog or) of Much Marcle, Herefordshire, quartered with ?Abrahall (azure three hedgehogs or, though differenced by a fess) and another identified arms. The second part of the date appears to have been altered by hand for the present casting as the style of lettering for the final two numerals is crude compared with the first two. Sir John Kyrle may have operated the iron furnace at Whitchurch, between Monmouth and Ross on Wye; the style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county. It is apparent, from another example, that this fireback has either been broken and repaired, or deliberately reduced in height. Originally the mantling of the helm extended further down, ending in tassels on each side, making the height of the fireback approximately equal to its width. An early photograph of the Fawley fireback, taken by Alfred Watkins, the Herefordshire antiquarian, shows the division of the two parts more clearly (Herefordshire Record Office, AW339b). A copy of the original, un-reduced fireback has been noted with the date 1685 in the distinctive numerals also seen on firebacks from Flaxley Furnace, Gloucestershire.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 20

    Arms: Kyrle quartering Abrahall and another

    Manufactured: in 1620 possibly at Whitchurch furnace in the Herefordshire area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Fawley, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Second Field Meeting 25th June 1918, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 1918, p. xvi.

  3. 954

    much_marcle, hellens manor.jpg
    595 x 770 mm

    Description: Arched shape; patterned astragal edging; central shield with helm, crest and mantling above, and motto scroll below; initials either side of crest; date split by shield.

    Notes: The arms are those of Chamberlayne: gules, an inescutcheon within an orle of mullets argent; the crest: out of a ducal coronet the head of an ass (the tinctures vary according to the branch of the family); the initials are reputed to be those of Thomas Chamberlayne; the date appears to have been hand inscribed. The style of the carving is the same as on two other firebacks in the same county.

    Inscription: T C / 16 18 / [motto unreadable]

    Arms: Chamberlayne

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Herefordshire area of England.

    Current location: Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, 1932, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2: East (London, HMSO).