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Church of St Michael and All Angels

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llantarnam, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6329 / 51°37'58"N

Longitude: -3.0027 / 3°0'9"W

OS Eastings: 330697

OS Northings: 193155

OS Grid: ST306931

Mapcode National: GBR J5.89DW

Mapcode Global: VH7B5.W7Y1

Entry Name: Church of St Michael and All Angels

Listing Date: 1 May 1951

Last Amended: 30 September 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3121

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a churchyard on the SE side of Newport Road some 140m SW of its junction with Llantarnam Road.

County: Torfaen

Town: Cwmbran

Community: Llantarnam

Community: Llantarnam

Built-Up Area: Cwmbran

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

Anglican parish church, medieval, with mostly C15 surviving details, and C15-C16 W tower. Nave possibly of C12-C13 origins (see blocked small nave N window), chancel and NE memorial chapel, of uncertain origins, all much altered in C15-16, the chapel arcade to the chancel possibly later C16, co-eval with the alabaster memorial to one of the Morgan family of Pentrebach and Llantarnam Abbey. The broken upper string course on the NE chapel suggests that the present late C15 to C16 windows are inserted. Restored 1869-70 by E.A. Lansdowne who replaced the roofs and added the porch, and in 1921 by Sir Harold Brakspear who took the plaster off the walls. David Lewis Catholic priest hanged at Usk and later canonised was arrested in a cottage opposite the church. In the churchyard is the grave of John Fielding (died 1932) who won the Victoria Cross at Rorke's Drift in 1879.

Exterior

Anglican parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs. W tower, S porch, nave, chancel, and large NE chapel. Tower is late C15 to early C16 of squared red sandstone with Tudor details, unbuttressed. Two stages, the upper two-thirds and NE stair tower in smoother almost ashlar stone. Battered plinth with heavy top moulding, moulded course between stages and below embattled parapet. Segmental-pointed W door with double ovolo moulding, hoodmould abd voussoirs above. Flat-headed 2-light window above with segmental-pointed heads to lights, hoodmoulds and relieving arch. Similar bell-openings each side, louvred and without relieving arch. Tower S has similar single light breaking string course, with hoodmould.
Nave has S 2-light flat-headed window to left of porch with curved heads to lights, C16 or C17, and C15 flat-headed 3-light window to right with renewed cusped ogee tracery and small rectangular light to right, lighting rood loft. Porch is C19 with coped gable, low angle buttresses, pointed entry. Medieval pointed chamfered S doorway within. Nave wall is of rough rubble with traces of limewash. Chancel roof is very slightly lower, with C19 coping to E gable. Chancel S has renewed Tudor-arched S door, chamfered with diagonal stop, and C15 3-light similar to that in nave, but with hoodmould. Large ashlar 3-light Perp style E window with cusped ogee heads to lights, of c.1869.
NE chapel is added, see straight joint. Broad roof, coped gables, blocked broad E window with stone voussoirs (possibly C18), two moulded stringcourses the lower one ovolo-moulded, the upper one a cove, cut by the blocked window. On N side two C15 or C16 2-light windows with cusped heads and hoodmoulds also break upper string course and are returned around W end, obscured by C19 lean-to vestry with coped N gable, N end door and S single light and 2-light windows with chimney on roof slope between. Nave N has 2 2-light C19 windows with curved heads to lights and step in masonry to left, for rood stair. Blocked small early window, possibly C12-13.

Interior

Rubble stone walls inside. W end painted grained panelled doors in panelled infill to C15-16 segmental-pointed tower arch with inner arch dying into piers, ovolo mouldings. Boarded ceiling to tower, W door and window above in deep reveals with stone voussoirs. Nave W C20 organ loft. Broad 7-bay arch-braced collar-truss roof with windbracing and 3 tie-beams, all of 1869. Segmental pointed arch to S door with stone voussoirs, restored moulded rood-stair door to N with depressed-arched head and mural stairs up to former rood-loft door in NE angle. Chancel arch is broad segmental-pointed with 2 chamfers dying into sides, possibly pre-C15.
Chancel has 1869 roof of 3 bays with arch-braced collars and brattished wall plate. C19 E window has shafts. S side has C15 3-light and low S door with segmental pointed head of two stones. On N side, an exceptional 2-bay late C16 arcade to the N chapel with Tudor arches on octagonal centre pier. Arches are in 2 orders, with double recessed chamfers on chancel side, while N side to chapel has double wave moulding, on leading edges, and no hood mould. Pier has fluted neck with rope-mould above, below coved capital. Above arcade is a reset stiff-leaf corbel, possible C13.
NE chapel has broad roof, probably of 1869, with tie-beams, arch-braced collars and windbracing. E wall has marks of blocked window. W wall has blocked long opening to right of centre (former window?) and straight joint to far left, at original nave NE corner. Segmental-pointed W door with stone voussoirs, opening into C19 vestry.
Fittings: Remarkable ashlar font apparently made up of different medieval bits, the top is a shallow square bowl with ovolo top and angle mouldings, on a tapering lobed underside that does not appear to be of the same piece, the 8 lobes divided by raised fillets and the four cardinal lobes fluted, over a ring moulding. This stands on a panelled tapering octagonal shaft, on a moulded circular base. Rood beam Rev. J. Ward (d 1917). Mid to later C20 altar with painted carved panel of St Michael, panelled pulpit, pews and organ.

Stained Glass. Nave S first after 1945, Christ and woman full of good works; S second fine quality window by C.E. Kempe, 1901, to Augusta Stear (d 1899), SS Mary, James and John; Nave N, SS Ambrose and Augustine to H. Cromwell, (d 1901), richly coloured, also by C.E. Kempe. Chancel E Christ, SS Michael and Peter, to Capt. G.P. Steer (d 1915), 1916 by Kempe & Co. South 3-light, 1905 by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, Good Shepherd with SS Stephen and Lawrence, lesser quality.
Monuments: On NE chapel N wall remnant of elaborate C16 alabaster monument to one of the Morgan family, altar recess framed by side piers with fruit, shields and tablets, top piece with inscription (Philippians 1, 21), date 1590, and Morgan arms above. E wall has memorial to Lady Mary Blount (d 1657), ashlar with marble panels in pilasters and frieze, the Latin inscription repeated on a C17 brass plaque below; plaque to Maria Kemeys of Maendy (d 1798) circular on dark square panels, with draped urn above; large marble memorial to Martin Kuyck van Meirop (Dutch merchant d 1775 at Mynydd Mawr) sarcophagus plaque under black pyramid between urns, and with carving below plaque. Monument is set within a crude ashlar frame with side piers, arched head and keystone; marble plaque to R.B Bowling, barrister, died at Llantarnam Abbey 1859, by James of Newport; ashlar memorial to Amy George, 1728, with gadrooned shelf under plaque flanked by thin columns with crude leaf capitals, and ogee cornice. W wall has neo-Grec scroll to E.F. Blewitt of Llantarnam Abbey (d 1868) by A.H. James of Newport; neo-Grec plaque to Edmund Blewitt, barrister (d 1834) by Wood of Bristol and ashlar memorial to Mary McNamara (d 1791) with pilasters and broken pediment.
Chancel S wall memorial with urn and branches to Ann Williams, Mary Williams and Edward Walters (d 1829-34) by Davies of Usk; oval plaque in painted moulded frame with carved spandrels, to Henery (sic) Lawrence (d 1802); small urn memorial to Ann Jones (d c1760) over plaque to Blanch Jones (d 1804) by Drewett & Co, Bristol.
Nave N has memorial with flaming urn to M and H Phillips (d 1804 and 1808) by Jones, Dunn & Tyley of Bristol; painted plaque with rustic winged circular face, to Martha Absalom (d 1770); eroded plaque with hourglass in broken curved pediment and skull below, to Ann Dentt (d 1676); memorial to W. Williams (d 1836) with urn above and reversed torches, by T. Davies of Usk. Nave S has plaque with shell motif at head of carved border, to Henry James (d 1764); scroll plaque to Jane Johnson (d 1841), by Watkins of Newport; plaque to William Harris (d 1815) with pilasters.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II * as a medieval church with fine Tudor W tower and C16 chancel arcade.

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