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Radnorshire Churches Survey

Church of St David , Cregrina

Cregrina Church is in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, in the community of Glascwm in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SO1236452100.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16752 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Cregrina Church, CPAT copyright photo 414-18.JPG

Summary

St David's church occupies a polygonal churchyard above the valley of the Edw, some 9km to the east of Builth Wells. The church has little diagnostic architecture and apart from a screen and Norman font few features of pre-19thC origin.

Norman font may indicate date of earliest church on site. Present nave and chancel of separate builds, the nave thought to be 13thC, the chancel possibly as late as 15thC, though little substantive evidence. Windows largely replacements and some wall sections probably rebuilt; known restorations in 1903 and 1958.

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

History

In the Taxatio of 1291 the church is referred to as 'Ecclesia de Crugrima' and had a low value of only 2 13s 4d.

Nave heavily restored in 1903, with yellow brick belfry and windows in yellow freestone.

Repairs including roughcast render to the exterior were carried out in 1958, to plans by G. Pace.

Architecture

Cregrina church consists of a nave with western belfry, and a chancel. It is oriented north-east/south-west, though the nave and chancel have different alignments. 'Ecclesiastical east' is adopted here for descriptive purposes.

Fabric: exterior plastered and whitewashed, so impossible to discern the nature of masonry.

Roofs: nave and chancel in one - slate with reconstituted clay ridge tiles; no finials.

Drainage: on north and west there is a drainage trench, 0.6m wide x 0.3m deep; on east this shows only as slight hollow; on south its presence can only be suspected because of tarmac up to edge of wall.

Exterior

Nave. North wall: gentle batter at base, irregular wall surface, and more vertical in vicinity of windows. Two lancet windows in yellow sandstone (modern). Downpipe at north-west corner.

East wall: not present.

South wall: wall face vertical. Modern two-centred arched window in yellow sandstone, its two lights having cusped tracery in ogee heads, with a quatrefoil above. To west is two-centred arched doorway with unrendered dressings, asymmetrical head, chamfers that may originally have had stops, in bright yellow sandstone - ancient doorway, modern door.

West wall: protrudes slightly at foundation level, possibly indicating earlier wall, or just a general irregularity in its build. Modern rectangular two-light window. Wall above may have been rebuilt to take belfry.

Belfry: stone-walled on west but otherwise timbered with weather-boarding; rectangular with hipped roof.

Chancel. General. Alignment of chancel markedly different from that of nave.

North wall: irregular surface, a slight batter only at north-east corner. One modern lancet window.

East wall: battered for most of its height. Unattractive east window of three stepped lights with cusped heads with single panel above. Irregular wall surface around window suggests that inserted into existing wall.

South wall: two standard lancet windows. Rectangular aperture for priest's door, the door itself modern, and nothing to suggest aperture of any antiquity; late 18thC has been suggested. One step up from pavement.

Interior

Nave. General. Floor of wooden blocks, carpet covering down aisle and into chancel; small benches raised on wooden board platforms. Roof of 15thC arch-bracing, with tie-beams and two tiers of plain windbraces; restored details from 1903, particularly the purlins, struts and windbraces; four trusses including that above chancel entrance, and on south side tie-beams rest on wall which narrows to the thickness of the wall plate; one truss re-set, the stub of the earlier tie-beam beside it. Very thick walls, all plastered and even window dressings whitewashed.

North wall: two deeply splayed windows with triangular headed embrasures.

East wall: tie beam above division between nave and chancel, and plaster infill above the beam.

South wall: Rectangular window embrasure, and door embrasure.

West wall: window embrasure only.

Chancel. General. Floor as nave with choir stalls raised in similar fashion to nave benches. One step up to sanctuary which is tiled but carpet covered. Roof similar to that in nave but with more massive timbers and in better condition; degree of replacement impossible to gauge.

North wall: standard window embrasure.

East wall: window embrasure framed by large two-centred arch with stopped chamfers, but of no obvious antiquity.

South wall: two splayed window embrasures. Crudely hollowed, shallow piscina near altar, its drain hole running off horizontally for only a short distance. Rectangular embrasure for door. One mural tablet of 1822.

West wall: screen only.

Churchyard

Churchyard is polygonal in shape and is perched above sheer fall to River Edw, the church close to the lip of the valley. Internally it slopes from west to east. Some modifications to its original form are likely to have occurred, but no extension has been added.

Churchyard is well-maintained, the southern part being permanently fenced off for grazing livestock. Still used for burial.

Boundary consists of stone wall on south, about 0.9m to ground level on both sides; there is however a hint of a more curvilinear bank or possibly an infilled ditch externally. Above river on south is a fence and some embanking to provide a revetment. On north wall is mortared with considerable drop to hollowed roadway, though internal bank may be modern accumulation. External surface gradually rises and on west probably little difference between internal and external ground levels.

Monuments: 19thC and 20thC graves to north of church cover larger area but are not tightly packed. South of church smaller overall area covered but denser concentration. Here mainly 19thC, a few 20thC and some 18thC, the earliest seen being 1777. Tomb chests may be 18thC but badly effected by overgrowth.

Furniture: none noted.

Earthworks: scarp bank running diagonally across south side of churchyard may be natural feature.

Ancillary features: at east end a wooden kissing gate in poor condition approached by sloping path from road. North-west corner has main entrance - narrow, double ornamental gates with a separate hinged gate. All are served by concrete paths around south side of church.

Vegetation: two mature yews on west, a couple of younger ones on north. Deciduous trees in south part of yard.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visit: 14 November 1995
Crossley and Ridgway 1949, 227
Davies 1905, 172 & 317
Haslam 1979, 227
NMR Aberystwyth


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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 Cregrina Church may also be found on the Swansea and Brecon Diocese website.


The CPAT Radnorshire 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 ( 22:02:45 ).
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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