Montgomeryshire Churches Survey
Church of St Cedwyn , Llangedwyn
Llangedwyn Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Llangedwyn in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SJ1882524143.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16867 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.
St Cedwyn's at Llangedwyn, 7 miles south-west of Oswestry, is a small Victorian church that incorporates earlier, possibly medieval, masonry in its west and east walls, and also retains a Romanesque-style porch of earlier 19thC date. Associated with the
Williams-Wynn family at Llangedwyn Hall, it sports several memorials, a hatchment and a weathervane that reveal this link. Additionally, a 14thC effigy of a priest, a font, a pulpit, a wooden almsbox and several wall tablets all survived the restoration of
1869. The churchyard is now irregularly shaped but was originally elliptical, and it contains an early upright gravestone incised with a cross in a circle.
Except for the porch which has Romanesque features in terracotta from an early Victorian building, almost the whole church was rebuilt in 1869-70. Earlier masonry, perhaps of medieval date, remains in the east and west walls, and the east wall may also
have some earlier Victorian masonry, although this could be no more than material re-used at the time of the 1869 restoration.
Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1986 publication The Buildings of Wales: Clwyd by Edward Hubbard
The dedication, location and churchyard morphology strongly suggest an early medieval foundation of which nothing now survives.
In the medieval era it was a chapelry to Llanrhaiadr-ym-Mochnant and its value was assessed under the mother church in the two 13thC Taxatios.
The medieval chapel was either replaced or renovated in 1527 according to an inscription on a wallplate noted by Thomas.
The Rural Dean's report of 1749 indicated that the roodloft had been converted into a gallery for the Williams-Wynn family. This was removed at the time of the rebuilding in 1869/70.
The earlier church was a simple building with a small nave, and a timber steeple at the west end. A west porch may have been added in the 1840s, perhaps by Thomas Penson.
The church was rebuilt in 1869-70 by Benjamin Ferrey under the patronage of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, but the earlier Victorian west porch was retained.
The church was restored by H. L. North sometime before 1907, and dormer windows were added above the nave/chancel division.
The church comprises a nave and chancel, a south aisle with a vestry at its east end, a west porch and a west bellcote.
It is oriented west-south-west/east-north-east but for descriptive purposes 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted here. Conventional directions are retained for the churchyard.
Fabrics: 'A' consists of grey shale slabs showing some degree of coursing; some of the stone appears fresh, some more weathered with limewash residue adhering; occasional lumps of sandstone. Quoins of dressed sandstone blocks. Heavy pointing.
'B' comprises blocks and lumps of dark shale, and red and yellow sandstone, randomly coursed and giving a much more irregular appearance than 'A'.
'C' is of thin slabs and blocks of dark shale with some (?re-used) sandstone and occasional lumps of brick.
'B' could be medieval, 'C' could conceivably represent early Victorian masonry but may simply be earlier material re-used in the later restoration, and 'A' certainly dates to the later Victorian restoration.
Roof: the body of the church has slates with ornamental ridge tiles that are probably of fired clay; the porch has plain ridge tiles and a stone cross finial. Wooden dormers are set over the nave/chancel divide.
The west bellcote is partly in ashlar with a single aperture for one bell. Hoodmoulds with head stops over the arches on west and east. Above is a weathervane with an eagle.
Drainage: ground hollowed along edge of northern wall so perhaps a drainage gully there; gravel paths on the south and west disguise anything beneath, although downpipes do channel water below ground. Nothing obvious on the east.
Nave and chancel. General. No external differentiation between the nave and chancel.
North wall: in 'A' with more re-used stone at lower levels; also two horizontal bands of dressed sandstone blocks along complete length of wall. Three Gothic windows with two lights and a quatrefoil above, in pale sandstone; hoodmoulds with head stops,
all different. Two buttresses with ornamented coping stones.
East wall: basal plinth to a height of c.0.3m, its chamfered top in weathered sandstone. Above this and beneath the east window the masonry is 'B', a probable medieval survival. East window of three, stepped, lancet lights under a two-centred arch and a
hoodmould with foliate stops, and above this a relieving arch of dressed freestone. Masonry surrounding this is 'C', but although it is likely that the east window was inserted into this, the insertion is not visible. The wall angles and the edges of the
gable are in 'A'.
South wall: where visible this is in 'A'. One standard window lights the chancel.
West wall: more weathered than the other sides. Original walling in 'B' survives, together with sandstone quoins at south-west angle now immured in the wall. Above this the wall is rebuilt in 'A'?
South Aisle. General. Masonry is 'A', although occasional lumps of brick.
East wall: rendered above line of vestry roof.
South wall: three windows, two with paired lancet lights, one triple. A single horizontal band of dressed freestone comparable with north wall of nave.
West wall: in 'A' but considerable amounts of re-used stone. No features.
Vestry. General. In 'A'. South side has square-headed doorway, the east side a window in similar style.
Porch. General. Roughcast render on the wall faces, pilaster buttresses at the four corners.
North wall: blind arcaded window in Romanesque style.
South wall: Romanesque-style doorway in terracotta and brick, with eaves courses in same material.
West wall: pair Romanesque-style windows.
Porch. General. Flagged floor; painted brick walls; rafter and purlin roof.
Nave. General. Tiled floor with carpet along the aisle, and raised seating; no obvious heating vents but beneath the carpet is at least one boarded void. Walls plastered and painted. Three-bay roof with bracing springing from wall corbels to support
North wall: 19thC/20thC wall memorials.
East wall: nothing other than a step up to the chancel.
South wall: three-bay arcade with two-centred arches resting on round piers with moulded capitals.
West wall: simple entrance from porch. Several wall tablets, but only one (of 1738?) of pre-19thC origin.
Chancel. General. One step up from the nave, two more to the sanctuary, and one to the altar. Carpetted, but encaustic tiles in the sanctuary. Walls as nave. Arched roof of 24 panels with carved bosses. Inscribed woodwork of 1527 is re-used in the chancel
East wall: wall memorials of 1718 and 1961.
South wall: wall memorial of 1617 plus 19thC brass.
South Aisle. General. As nave but with a simple raftered roof, with braces springing from corbels above the piers.
East wall: wall memorials of 1722 and 1832.
West wall: wall memorials of 1779, 1813 and 1844.
The churchyard at Llangedwyn is now an irregular 'butterfly' shape, due to extensions on both the south in 1870 and the east (in 1905 and later). Originally, it may have had an elliptical form but the outline has been modified through time, and the best
traces of its curvilinear nature are fossilised on the south-eastern side. It occupies flat ground on the edge of the northern terrace of the River Tanat, though well back from the river, at a place where a small stream runs off the hill to the north. It
is well maintained and interments continue in the north-western sector of the original churchyard.
Boundary: surrounded by a mortared stone wall which acts as a retaining wall on the west above the stream (c.1m lower), and continues round the southern churchyard extension. Part of the eastern extension(s) is also walled, the rest fenced. The north-east
side too has a wall and here there is virtually no difference between the inner and outer ground levels.
Monuments: stones are well spaced on the north and west, and more closely packed on the south and in the extensions. Slate memorials of the 19thC predominate, but there is a table tomb of 1734 to the east of the chancel and several illegible ledgers
immediately below the east window.
Furniture: a ring cross slab of medieval date outside the east wall of the chancel.
Earthworks: a low, spread bank, 0.3m high, surmounted by three yews, represents the former boundary on the east, and to the south of the church is a natural scarp nearly 2m high which almost certainly functioned as the earliest boundary on this side.
Ancillary features: a single iron gate at the north-east, simple double gates on the north; gravel paths.
Vegetation: yew bushes of no great age on the south, older ones though not ancient on the earlier eastern boundary.
CPAT Field Visit: 12 December 1997
Crossley 1946, 31
Faculty 1870 (NLW): churchyard extension
Gresham 1968, 169
Hubbard 1986, 214
Quinquennial Report 1989
Thomas 1911, 235
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Please note that many rural churches are closed to the public at certain times. It is advisable to check when the church will be open before visiting. Information about access, or how to contact parish clergy, can often be obtained from the relevant Diocesan Office which can be found through the Church in Wales website. Further information about Llangedwyn Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.
The CPAT Montgomeryshire Churches Survey Project was funded by Cadw as part of an all Wales survey of medieval parish churches.
This HTML page has been generated from the Cadw Churches Survey database & CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record - 17/07/2007 ( 22:02:05 ).
Further information about this and other churches surveyed is available from the Regional Historic Environment Record, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7RR tel - (01938) 553670, fax - (01938) 552179, email - firstname.lastname@example.org, website - www.cpat.org.uk.
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