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Church of St Illtyd

A Grade II* Listed Building in Goetre Fawr, Monmouthshire

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Latitude: 51.7252 / 51°43'30"N

Longitude: -3.0071 / 3°0'25"W

OS Eastings: 330537

OS Northings: 203427

OS Grid: SO305034

Mapcode National: GBR J5.2GBK

Mapcode Global: VH79L.TWNT

Entry Name: Church of St Illtyd

Listing Date: 18 November 1980

Last Amended: 18 July 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2612

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In the centre of Mamhilad village.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Pontypool

Community: Goetre Fawr

Community: Goetre Fawr

Locality: Mamhilad

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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The fabric of the church is medieval and is clearly older than any of the datable architectural features. All the openings are of Perpendicular style, though not necessarily inserted all at the same time. The first mention of the church is in c1100, but there is nothing recognisably Norman about the fabric and it could well be C13 or even later. The features are late medieval, the date 1482 was found in the plasterwork of the south porch. Victorian modifications appear limited to the insertion of the north west and south west windows in the nave, the quatrefoil in the east gable and the south window of the west porch. This was done by Prichard and Seddon in 1864-5. The west porch itself is also C19, but predates 1849. The church has been restored externally 1999-2000.


The church is constructed in several different styles of coursed rubble using the local red and grey sandstone, quoined in part by larger squared blocks of the same material, and with coarser sandstone used in the main for window dressings. Parts of the structure are built using narrow blocks though these were not necessarily all done at the same time. Stone slab roof. The walls were not available for inspection at resurvey as they have been entirely plastered and limewashed in 2000.
The church consists of nave, with gallery over the west end, separate chancel, not in line, south and west porches, the latter being used as the vestry and west bellcote.
The gabled south porch has a pointed arch with trefoil over, and a small lancet in each of the return walls, coped gable. The nave has a small single light cusped head window to the left of the porch and a 2-light one to the right, this is in a flat headed frame. To the right of this the chancel has a plain arched priest's door and another 2-light window as before. Rafter ends revealed above. The east gable has a 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped headed lights. Coped gable with cross. The north wall of the chancel is blind. The nave gable is coped with a cross. The north nave wall has two 2-light flat headed windows as before. The west gable is coped and carries a gabled belfry with two bell openings. Gabled west porch with coping and cross. Pointed arch door with single light windows in the returns. Above the porch ridge on the nave gable is a Victorian quatrefoil.


The interior is plastered and painted throughout. The nave has a waggon roof of four faces with narrow ribs separating square panels. This is uncertainly late medieval, the line of an earlier roof was visible on the west wall before plastering. There is a similar, but smaller, roof in the chancel. Chancel arch with semi-circular head, but the moulding suggests that this is late medieval. This is filled by a Victorian timber screen in the Perpendicular style which incorporates some medieval work. The west gallery is formed from major fragments of the Rood Loft, particularly the main moulded and brattished bressumer beam, and this carries a pierced and panelled Perpendicular balustrade. This survival is a great rarity. The furnishings are Victorian, presumably from the Prichard and Seddon restoration, except for the re-cut Norman font. Fittings include some reused Jacobean panelling. There are fragments of medieval glass in the east window. There are two incised effigies of c1600 in the chancel. There is also a neo-classical memorial to William Morgan (died 1772) in white marble. This is signed Tyley, Bristol and dates probably from 1823. This would be by the younger Thomas Tyley who was active from 1811.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a mainly late medieval church which was sensitively restored by Prichard and Seddon in the mid C19 and which contains an extremely fine and rare rood-loft now reused as the west galley front.

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