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St Brewis's Church, Eglwysbrewis

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Map ReferenceST06NW
Grid ReferenceST0056069120
Unitary (Local) AuthorityThe Vale of Glamorgan
Old CountyGlamorgan
CommunitySt Athan
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St Brewis' Church is now disused and lies within the perimeter of St Athan RAF base. It contains a series of post-Reformation wallpaintings. The first group is a series of non-liturgical texts from Psalms, from neither the Authorised Version nor the 1662 Prayer Book. The date of 1654 on the Lord's Prayer may therefore be a useful guide, although it is possible that this is a 'memorial' date. In any case the lettering style suggests a fairly short time-span, since generally post-Restoration texts are in Roman lettering. The text on the northern side of the western face of the chancel arch is in a circular frame and has a black letter inscription from Psalm 19.1,3 - 'Blessed are those that are undefiled...'. On the south wall wall above a stoup is black letter text in a rectangular linear border from Psalm 41.1 'Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy...'. It is possibly a deliberately located text - the stoup was perhaps acting as an alms-dish.

The second group contains the creed, the Lord's Prayer and liturgical texts in black letters. The later set may be from 1654, with an earlier group probably of sixteenth or seventeenth century date. On the southern side of the western face of the chancel arch is the Prayer Book Lord's Prayer in an elaborate 'jewelled' border and at the base two names and the date 1654 (though this is possibly a 'memorial' date). Traces of a second and earlier prayer text are below, but only 'Amen' is really clear. At the western end of the northern wall is the Apostles' Creed in similar text, in a cabled border. There is also a large faded palimpsest inscription. The upper layer is two rectangular panels with scrollwork borders, possibly a Decalogue whilst underneath is a prayer, possibly the St Matthew version of the Lord's Prayer.

The third group is a palimpsest of Royal Arms - those of Charles I and II and George - on the north wall opposite the south doorway. A possibly a pre-Civil War Stuart coat of arms has been obliterated then replaced by the post-Restoration Stuart arms. This was later appropriated to Hanover by adding G [R]. This represents full Stuart heraldry with formal leafy scrollwork of late seventeenth century character.

Susan Evans, RCAHMW, 13 September 2004.
application/pdfRCAHMW Exhibitions