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St Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

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Map ReferenceSO21NW
Grid ReferenceSO2165018430
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPowys
Old CountyBrecknockshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St Edmund's church, Crickhowell is believed to be the only church in Wales dedicated to St Edmund. It is situated in an elevated and oval-shaped churchyard to the west of the Town Centre. This decorated Gothic church was begun by Lady Sibyl Pauncefote in 1303 on the creation of the parish. There have been many later alterations including removal of the aisles in 1765 and their subsequent replacement in 1826 and 1835. There was further restoration in 1868, including work by J L Pearson; and the roofs were replaced in 1897.

The church consists of a nave, north and south aisles, transepts and a north east chapel; there is a crossing tower and with, unusually for Wales, an octagonal broach spire and a weathervane to the top. There is a chancel with a south vestry and main entrance to the west end. The church has local red sandstone rubble walls, tiled roofs with cresting, shingles to spire, freestone dressings including gable parapets and crucifix finials. Geometrical windows replace the original intersecting tracery and there is an octagonal chimney stack to the north aisle.

The interior retains a fine group of monuments in the chancel set in 13th century style recesses, including recumbent alabaster figures of Sir John and Lady Joan Herbert dated 1690. An early 14th century monument in an adjacent recess of Lady Sibyl Pauncefote is portrayed with no hands in a reference to the Pauncefote legend. Sir Grimbald Pauncefote (died 1287) lies opposite with broken limbs. There are commemorative tiles of 1926 and screen and reredos by W D Caroe, 1934.

References: Archaeologica Cambrensis, (1872), p.387
Crickhowell Heritage vol.1, (1983), pp. 16 and 25
R Gant, "Crickhowell through the Eyes of a Tourist 1800-1859", (1981), p.8
Rev C James, Draft Typescript of Church History
M Harrison, "Victorian Stained Glass", (1980) p.78
Haslam, "Powys", pp 312-313
E Poole, "The Illustrated History and Biography of Breckonshire....", (1886), p.220