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St Mary's Church, Abbey Cwmhir

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Map ReferenceSO07SE
Grid ReferenceSO0534071309
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPowys
Old CountyRadnorshire
CommunityAbbey Cwmhir
Type Of SiteCHURCH
Period19th Century
St Mary's church is located within a churchyard used as a cemetery in the centre of the village, on the west side of Cwm Poeth brook. The church was built in 1865-6 to designs of Poundley & Walker in a lively French Gothic style. This replaced an earlier seventeenth-century church before which part of the Abbey (NPRN 96529) may have served as the parish church. The main benefactor was Miss Mary Philips, for whose family the architects also designed the adjacent Hall.
The church is constructed of grey rock-faced masonry with red sandstone bands and bicolour voussoirs, and striped slate roofs. It consists of nave with narrower and lower chancel with polygonal apse, two-stage porch-tower with spire on the south-west, north-east organ chamber with sacristy under a hipped roof, and gabled north-west vestry.
Windows are characterised by Geometric tracery in lancet-and-circle patterns, typical of the architect's style. The west window is three-light with cusped wheel tracery, the polygonal east end with single-light north-east and south-east windows and a higher two-light east window under a gablet. The nave has a four-bay roof with scissor trusses with posts carried on foliage-enriched corbels. The ceiling is plastered between the rafters. The chancel has a boarded polygonal wagon roof with moulded ribs and cornice. The chancel floor is laid with decorative tiles. The sanctuary has a dado of decorative tiles and Caen stone reredos in thirteenth-century French style. Other fittings include an ashlar pulpit with shafts and delicate geometrical carving, and a large circular carved font. Stained glass includes works by R.T.Bayne (1866) and clayton & Bell (c.1866).
Extracts from Cadw Listing description.
R.Scourfield & R.Haslam, Buildings of Wales: Powys (2013), p.277-8.

RCAHMW, 19 August 2015