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St Ishow's Church, Partrishow

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Map ReferenceSO22SE
Grid ReferenceSO2788822434
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPowys
Old CountyBrecknockshire
CommunityThe Vale of Grwyney
Type Of SiteCHURCH

Fragments of an eleventh century church may survive in the present chapel which contains St Issui's shrine and six consecrated crosses, but most of the fabric of this church dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The church was restored in 1908-9. It is built of rubble walls with stone tiled roofs, and is a simple Gothic church comprising a nave and chancel, porch, chapel, and bellcote. The church has a variety of internal fixtures and fittings which, due to their long time span, illustrate radical changes in liturgy. These include pre-Reformation stone altars with consecration crosses to the left and right of the chancel arch, a rood screen above these altars of c1500, a number of pre and post-Reformation wall paintings, and a round font of around 1055.

The wallpainings consist of four groups. The first, in very poor condition, is on centre of the north wall and depicts the Stuart Royal Arms, probably those of James I, with an interlace border. The second group, which dates to the late part of the seventeenth century, is a Paternoster and the Decalogue. The inscription has nine lines of text, probably the Apostles' Creed. At the east end of the north wall is the Lord's Prayer and in the centre of the south wall is the prayerbook version of the Decalogue. Other biblical texts, dating from the late seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries, form the third group. On the northern wall, under the rood loft, is a small mutilated text whilst on the south wall under the rood loft is a text reading 'If ye love me keepe my Commandements...'. On the south wall over the doorway is a rectangular panel that probably once contained text. On the north wall of the chancel, at the eastern end is a text beginning 'Then came the word of the Lord by (the) mouth of ye prophet Haggai...' (Hag.1,3-4,7-8). The painting in the fourth group is the most spectacular. It is a seventeenth to eighteenth century depiction of Death on the western wall of the nave. It is a crude skeleton with a spade hanging from the crook of the left arm, an hour-glass in the left hand and long knife in right hand.

Associated with:
Churchyard cross (NPRN 306284)
Holy well (NPRN 306285).

Sources include:
CADW listed buildings database
T.J. Hughes, Wales's Best One Hundred Churches, 2006.
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 50, 64, 65, 69, 70, 78, 268.