Rotherwas Chapel

History & Heritage

Rotherwas Chapel

For over six centuries, Rotherwas Chapel was an integral part of a sizeable manor house, the seat of the De La Barre and later the Bodenham families.

Nearby is the site of successive houses: the medieval half-timbered mansion, its stone-built Tudor extension (with elaborate formal gardens) and its Georgian successor, built in 1732 but itself demolished in 1926 (following the death of the last of the Bodenhams).

Surviving documents record a chapel of ease at Rotherwas, for nearby Dinedor church in 1304.

In 1483 the estate passed by marriage from the De La Barre family to the Bodenhams, and in the 1580s Sir Roger Bodenham enlarged the house and rebuilt the chapel. Sir Roger was converted to Roman Catholicism in 1606, apparently following a ‘miraculous’ cure of ‘a gross tumour in the legs’, and thereafter the chapel was used for worship by local Roman Catholics.

As Royalists, the family suffered after the Civil War, and their estate was confiscated. By 1732, however, their fortunes had revived sufficiently to enable Sir Charles Bodenham to replace the old house with a grand mansion. The chapel’s west tower was rebuilt in this period. The outhouses, barn and stable block also survive.

The chapel interior was updated in 1868, when Charles Bodenham commissioned Edward Welby Pugin (the son of AWN Pugin, architect of the Houses of Parliament) to embellish the chapel. A few years later Bodenham’s widow, Irene, employed Edward’s younger brother, Peter Paul Pugin, to extend the east end.

Fortunately the chapel survived the demolition of the house, and was taken into the guardianship of the state in 1928.

Share With Friends


Visit Hereford and enjoy fantastic attractions and things to do, whether you are a first time visitor or a local born and bred, you will discover plenty of tourist attractions to award winning places to eat.

This Herefordshire market town allows you to get lost in the wonders of museums; savour some delicious traditional and locally sourced foodEatsleep and visit this breathtaking countryside with the best places to stay, relax in the bests spaseat in the best restaurants, discover the best cafes serving quality brunch in Herefordshiresleep in the best hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Find events in Herefordshire, what’s happening, when and where, during your stay.

Rate and write a review

Your email address will not be published.

Hereford HR2 6LD Chapel Road, Rotherwas, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR2 6LD, UK
Get directions
OPENING HOURS: Accessible Monday to Friday and the second Saturday of the month. Key available from the Herefordshire Archive and Records.