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Latitude: 51.5941 / 51°35'38"N
Longitude: -2.7475 / 2°44'50"W
OS Eastings: 348316
OS Northings: 188629
OS Grid: ST483886
Mapcode National: GBR JJ.BTW5
Mapcode Global: VH87Z.B6C8
Plus Code: 9C3VH7V3+M2
Entry Name: Church of St Mary
Listing Date: 19 August 1955
Last Amended: 8 August 2000
Source ID: 2019
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: About 400m north east of the centre of Caldicot village.
Built-Up Area: Cil-y-coed
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
There are records of a pre-Norman foundation but nothing survives from this. The earliest part of the present church seems to be the bottom of the tower, not because it is particularly datable but because the nave and chancel have been added to it, probably in the early C14. The south porch is of two builds with the main appearance given in the early C16, and the top of the tower was probably completed at this time or a bit earlier. The north aisle, which appears to have been C15, was rebuilt in 1859 when the church underwent a major restoration by Henry Woodyer with most of the windows replaced, the tower was given its parapet and the interior was refurnished. There have been some changes since with the chancel refitted in 1905 and many of the Victorian furnishings have been changed.
The church is constructed from squared or angular blocks set in fairly regular courses. The materials used are mainly local fine grained limestones, with conglomerate and coarse red sandstone. The dressings are yellow sandstone with Bath limestone for the Victorian work. It is not generally possible to make a clear distinction between the fabric used in different phases, with the exception of the Victorian and later work, which is in normal squared rock faced blocks set in rhythmical snecked courses. All the roofs are red tiled and appear to be of the same date.
The church consists of nave, chancel, north aisle, central tower between the nave and chancel, south porch and vestry.
The nave south wall has three windows and the porch, which projects between the second and third windows. From the left: a square headed 2-light window with decorated type tracery; this could be C16 or even C17. The other two windows are 3-light Perpendicular ones with cusped heads and dripmoulds over, these are Victorian reproductions of the original C14 ones. The rear wall is entirely covered by the north aisle. The west gable has a Victorian reproduction of the previous west door with a pointed arch and a dripmould. Above this is a recessed 3-light window with cusped reticulated tracery within an unusual curvilinear head and with no external frame. Again this is an accurate Victorian copy and is nearly identical to the east windows at Redwick and Rogiet churches. There is a 2-light vent in the gable above. Steeply pitched plain roof with coped gable.
The chancel has two decorated windows in the south wall, these are in recessed moulded frames and have a curvilinear heads. The north wall is hidden completely by the vestry. Stepped diagonal corner buttresses. The east gable has a Perpendicular window with through tracery, 3-light with cusped heads and a dripmould over. Again this is a faithful Victorian reproduction. Stepped diagonal corner buttresses.
The north aisle replicates the nave, being very nearly as wide and as high. It is wholly Victorian. The north wall has three Perpendicular windows, 3-light with a continuous dripmould, these are much as the chancel east window. The west gable has a 3-light Perpendicular window with dripmould similar to the south windows of the nave. The east gable has a circular window of sixteen radiating lights and a 2-light vent above this. Corner buttresses, steeply pitched roof with coped gables.
The tower is square and of two tall stages. The south wall has two stepped buttresses, probably Victorian additions, two slit windows and a clock above. Single slit on east and west faces. The north face has a single storey gabled transept projecting, with a further modern boiler house projecting from this. Above the transept are two slit windows. A string course goes right round the tower between the stages,. Above this the bell-stage has a 2-light Decorated opening on each face, these appear to be Victorian. Finally there is a Victorian castellated parapet with a pyramid roof rising behind it.
The south porch is of two builds, it was originally of two storeys, but was converted to a single storey when the facade, roof and battlements were added, probably in the early C16. The facade and parapet are ashlar, the rest squared rubble. Corner buttresses, tall pointed arch with applied ogee decoration arising around and above it of the Somerset Perpendicular type. Cranked string which supports an ashlar castellated parapet with corner pinnacles. The entrance door is a Victorian replacement.
The vestry covers the north wall of the chancel. It can clearly be seen to have been extended, probably twice, as the stone is of different colours. From the left a 3-light plate tracery window with a gable above, a 2-light and a single light with plain parapet above, all are Victorian.
All the walls have been stripped of their plaster, although this has been done since the Victorian restoration. Five bay arcade of compound piers between the nave and the north aisle. This arcade is Perpendicular and therefore probably dates the original north aisle to the C15. Canted waggon roof with a rib to each bay carried to a moulded wall plate. The north aisle has a common rafter roof. The chancel has a common rafter roof with arch braced collars and ashlar pieces. The nave roof is medieval, the others are Victorian. Late C19 furnishings in the main, the chancel was refitted in 1905.
Listed and highly graded as a fine medieval church with interesting Victorian restorations and additions.
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