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Montgomeryshire Churches Survey

Church of All Saints , Mochdre

Mochdre Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Mochdre in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SO0723988673.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16912 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Mochdre Church, CPAT copyright photo 411-34.JPG

Summary

All Saints church in the small settlement of Mochdre, 3 miles south-west of Newton, was rebuilt in 1867. It retains its 15thC roof though with modifications, but almost all of the fittings are 19thC. It occupies an irregularly shaped churchyard sited above the valley of the Mochdre Brook.

The church was rebuilt in the second half of the 19thC.

Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1979 publication The Buildings of Wales: Powys by Richard Haslam

History

It has been suggested that a church was established on this site in the 12thC. It was appropriated in 1287 by Bishop Beck of St Davids and at the time of the 1291 Taxation was worth 3 6s 8d.

The 18thC church had a stone flagged floor and a singing gallery. In 1789, it was agreed to build a new gallery to join the existing old one.

In 1862 the parish was transferred from the Diocese of St Davids to St Asaph.

By 1849, the building had deteriorated badly and it was completely rebuilt on the old foundations. Work commenced in 1864 at a cost of 1204, to the design of E. Haycock the younger of Shrewsbury. A local landowner donated the glass in the east window and the carved angels and roof bosses, the altar and chairs. It re-opened in 1867.

Architecture

Mochdre is a single-chambered church with a western bellcote, a south porch and a north vestry. It is aligned north-east to south-west but for the purposes of description 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted here.

Fabric: 'A' consists of small to medium blocks of grey and greenish-grey shale with irregular coursing and quoins of the same material but dressed; buff-yellow sandstone dressings. There are some variations in this masonry, particularly at the west end.

Roofs: slates, with lead rather than ridge tiles. Cross finials on the gable end of the chancel, on the porch and on the top of the bellcote.

Bellcote with two-centred arched apertures, string course and other embellishments; protective louvres fitted to the west side and top part of east side of the turret in 1953.

Drainage: 19thC guttering, castellated cisterns and downspouts lead to soakaways. Evidence of a drainage trench filled with chippings around the western end of the church.

Exterior

General. Continuous nave and chancel under an uninterrupted roof line with a bellcote at west end

North wall: two three-light windows with square-headed frames and the lights with cusped heads; two stepped buttresses with pink sandstone dressings. All to the west of the vestry; east of it the wall is featureless.

East wall: square-sectioned string course at c.1.7m above ground level; below this the wall is battered. East window tracery in buff-coloured freestone matches nave west window; the two-centred arch has a hoodmould with foliate stops and there are alternating fabric 'A' and red sandstone voussoirs to the relieving arch. Finally a decorative band of sandstone blocks is incorporated into the masonry above the window. A railed grave abuts the wall.

South wall: west of the porch is a single cusped light set in a two-centred arch with a hoodmould and square stops, all in standard buff-yellow sandstone, and a relieving arch of voussoirs. East of the porch are two square-headed windows, each with three cusped lights. Lighting the sanctuary is a square-headed window in worn red sandstone, the lights slightly recessed with two-centred, trefoiled heads. This is not an original window, but appears to be of a different origin from the remaining fenestration. Two stepped buttresses with a mixture of yellow and pink sandstone dressings.

West wall: a three-light Perpendicular-style window, cinquefoil heads to the lights with panels and a cinquefoil-traceried roundel all under a two-centred arch with a hoodmould terminating in head stops; a relieving arch in stone voussoirs. Stepped buttresses, battered at the base, to either side of window.

Vestry. General. Adjoins north wall at west end of the chancel. In 'A' but with pink sandstone quoins. Shouldered arch to the doorway in north wall, in buff-yellow sandstone; two shouldered lights in a square-headed frame in the east wall. A chimney with yellow sandstone quoins and a blue brick head rises from the nave roof adjacent to the vestry. Against the west wall is a breeze block shed with corrugated roof.

South Porch. General. Stone porch with two-centred entrance arch of two orders, the outer one with fluted jambs but both terminating in pyramid stops, and a hoodmould with foliate stops. Short stepped clasping buttresses to either side. The east and west walls have pairs of small cusped lights in square-headed frames, of the standard pattern.

Interior

Porch. General. Tiled floor; plastered walls with exposed dressings, with wooden benches along the east and west sides. Three collar trusses to the roof and a large carved wooden angel on the collar above the nave door. North wall contains a two-centred doorway with keeled shafts giving access to the church.

Nave. General. Continuous nave and chancel. Red and black tiled floor with slightly raised wooden boarding beneath the benches, and carpetting in the aisle. Plastered and painted walls with only the sandstone dressings exposed; heating pipes run along the north and south walls above the splayed windows. Over the nave and chancel is a hammerbeam roof of seven bays with eight arch-braced collar trusses rising from the hammerbeams, and cusped raking struts; the hammerbeams have chubby carved projecting angels; the hammerbeams are mounted on short ornamented wall posts which rest on stone head-corbels. Three tiers of quatrefoil windbraces, between heavily moulded purlins and ribs; moulded cornices and wallplates. The roof is of 15thC date, but the hammerbeams themselves, the carved bosses and the carved angels are 1864-7 additions, and it is difficult to judge how much of the remaining timberwork has been replaced.

North wall: nothing to note.

East wall: nothing to note.

South wall: nothing to note.

West wall: one marble memorial of 1812. Above the window is a large corbelled plinth, an internal support for the bellcote.

Chancel. General. One step up from the nave, one to the sanctuary, one to the altar. Floor carpetted, with some tiles; walls as nave. Roof as nave - two and a half bays - but the intersections are enriched with bosses

North wall: shouldered entrance arch to the vestry; organ against the wall.

East and south walls: nothing to note.

Vestry. General. Wooden floor covered with linoleum. Fireplace in south-west corner. Plastered and painted walls. Roof of five close-set trusses with exposed rafters.

Churchyard

A well-kept medium-sized and somewhat irregularly shaped churchyard on a hillside that slopes moderately down from north-west to south-east.

Boundary: hedged on all sides except the south-east where there is a property revetment wall.

Monuments: well-spaced monuments around the church, with recent burials in the western extension. Cleared 18thC slabs, the earliest of which seems to be of 1760, lean up against the south side of the church. Some late 18thC ledgers to south of church.

Furniture: none seen.

Earthworks: none.

Ancillary features: the main entrance is via a pair of wrought iron gates and a stile leading in from the north-east side and there is a further pair of gates on the south-west side to a lane. Tarmac paths lead all around the church.

Vegetation: several old yews located on the south-east side, the largest by the porch. 19thC yews located along the paths and at the north entrance gates. Conifers in the south boundary, and two large ones to the east of the church.

Sources consulted

Cadw Schedule of Listed Buildings 1996
CPAT Field Visit 21 November 1995 and 4 June 1998
Crossley and Ridgway 1947, 205
Eisel 1986, 190
Haslam 1979, 163
Lloyd 1953-4
Powys SMR
Thomas 1908, 537
Click here to view full project bibliography

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 Mochdre 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 - chrismartin@cpat.org.uk, website - www.cpat.org.uk.

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