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Church of All Saints

A Grade II* Listed Building in Ponthir, Torfaen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6373 / 51°38'14"N

Longitude: -2.9834 / 2°59'0"W

OS Eastings: 332037

OS Northings: 193628

OS Grid: ST320936

Mapcode National: GBR J6.8280

Mapcode Global: VH7B6.73MN

Plus Code: 9C3VJ2P8+WJ

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 22 January 1981

Last Amended: 22 October 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3142

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a rural location on the NE side of Llanfrechfa some 300m E of the junction of Church Road and the B4236.

County: Torfaen

Town: Cwmbran

Community: Ponthir (Pont-hir)

Community: Ponthir

Locality: Llanfrechfa

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Tagged with: Church building

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History

Anglican parish church, late medieval W tower with part of nave W end and S porch. The rest rebuilt to a larger scale in 1873-4 by Charles Buckeridge for the Mitchell family of Llanfrechfa Grange. Buckeridge died in 1873 and the work was completed under John L. Pearson. Nave, chancel, N aisle and NE vestry. The tower of squared blocks is similar to Llantarnam church tower. The Perp style windows of the N aisle are said to be reused from old church, but look C19.

Exterior

Anglican parish church, the C19 parts of coursed squared purple rubble stone with Bath stone dressings and plain tile roofs, the medieval tower and lower part of the W wall of big squared pale purple sandstone blocks and the porch of local brown rubble stone. Tower has battered base and 3 stages with 4 moulded courses, the top one with corner rainwater spouts under crenellated parapet. Square NE stair tower. Base moulding is broken for pointed W door with hollow moulding between 2 wave mouldings, in red stone and with stone voussoirs. Plank door with cover strips and iron hinges. Immediately over is renewed recessed flat-headed 2-light window with cusped lights. Second stage has one very small square recessed vent each side, larger single-light on S. Taller bell stage has small recessed 2-light louvred bell openings, flat headed with ogee-cusped lights.
Body of church has coped gables with cross finials, lower chancel, N aisle with catslide roof and big gabled NE organ chamber and vestry. Late Decorated to early Perpendicular Gothic style. Nave S has porch and 3 large pointed 2-light windows with varied tracery, hoodmoulds and sill course, carried around stepped buttress at right end, quoins at left end. Porch has rubble side walls, coped gable, and C19 front with moulded pointed entry. Within is late medieval barrel roof of 3x6 panels and wall plate with triple-roll moulding. Stone benches, small single light window each side and plain chamfered pointed S doorway with pyramid stop and plank door. N aisle has 4 flat-headed windows with cusped ogee tracery, 3 two-light and one 3-light, and one similar single light to aisle W end. No hoodmoulds. A small windowless projection at right end of aisle (containing pump for immersion font) has ashlar quoins. Chancel has battered base, three large square-headed 2-light S windows with cusped reticulated tracery and deep hoodmoulds. The first window is longer and sill course steps up before second window. E end has quoins above plinth level, high string course and 3-light E window set higher with cusped panel tracery and ogee heads to lights. Chancel N has string course carried around under one window similar to those on S, then big gabled block with ashlar chimney on ridge close to S end, missing octagonal stack. Coped N gable with 2 flat headed traceried 2-light windows without hoodmoulds, shouldered-headed W door up steps, basement steps.

Interior

Tall imposing interior with unpainted rendered walls and Bath stone dressings. Roof of 5 main arch-braced collar trusses, and 4 intermediate ones, the main ones carried down lower onto a wall-post. Ashlar 4-bay N arcade with octagonal piers, moulded caps and 2-chamfer pointed arches. Broad high chancel arch with similar detail. Tower E wall has mark of line of lower medieval roof. Segmental-pointed tall tower arch with C20 timber traceried infill. Small segmental-pointed door to stair tower to right. Tower has oak beams to upper floor. N aisle has roof principals similarly carried down as wall posts, and braced from corbels on arcade wall. Left end door to pump for immersion font. N end wall with pointed doorway into choir vestry with oak screen by Clarke of Llandaff.
Long chancel with two steps at chancel arch, one to sanctuary, four to altar. Chancel roof of 4 main trusses and 3 intermediate, moulded, with panelling only in last bay over sanctuary. Large segmental-pointed N opening with organ, hoodmould carried around as string course, and shouldered-arched vestry door to right. S side has ogee cusped piscina with carved spandrels and hoodmould over, enclosing tiny medieval ogee stone piscina with moulded shelf. Fine triple sedilia with stepped seats and ogee cusped heads with deep hoodmould with portrait heads of vicar and Bishop Oliphant. Traceried tiny openings in piers between the seats. Floor tiles by Godwin of Lugwardine with unusual glazed green outlining tiles. Vestry parallel with organ chamber with high 3-sided board ceiling, piscina by door and choir vestry across N end with shouldered-headed doorway. Big ashlar segmental-pointed arch between 2 parallel roofs.
Fittings Fine large openwork screen of 1874, 3-1-3 bays with ogee heads to lights and much open tracery above the side lights, brattished beam. Three figures carved in Oberammergau added above, formerly in Llanfrechfa Grange chapel. Large carved stone reredos with carved relief of Last Supper by James Redfern, 1874, in 3 panels with brattished ballflower cornice and blind-panelled base on two purple marble steps. Octagonal font with cusped quatrefoils on each face, doves in 4 of quatrefoils. Large total immersion font in NW corner in altar-table casing, three quatrefoil panels and four blind traceried panels on front and wooden lid. Oak pulpit with panelled openwork Gothic 3-sided front and moulded ashlar base with steps up. Brass eagle lectern to Mitchell family, after 1913. Pine pews, oak stalls with poppyhead finials and added open-fronted front kneelers. C20 oak altar rails. Oak altar with white marble top.
Stained Glass: E window 1874 by Clayton & Bell and also 3 S windows by same firm, all described in 1874 though death dates are later. E window of Christ in glory with St Peter, Isaiah, SS Alban and Helena, and Evangelists symbols in tracery, to F. Mitchell died 1863, blue ground with rich reds. S first (from right) of Resurrection and Christ in the garden to Rev. W. Powell died 1874, second of Christ with St Thomas and appearing to the fishermen to Jane Griffith of Llanyrafon died 1880 and third of Ascension and Vision of St John to Florence Griffith of Llanyrafon died 1886, the three with alternate red and blue backgrounds. Chancel N 2-light by George Rogers of Worcester to Frances Prothero died 1847 and Capt R. Macdonald died 1854, two small scenes Noli me Tangere and Suffer the children (probably removed from previous church). Nave S first window of Boy Christ between two saints, 1916, by Daniells & Fricker of Fulham to John Williams, two windows by Lavers & Westlake, one the Good Shepherd and Sower to F.H. Mitchell died 1891, the other Crucifixion and Healing the Lame to Laura Mitchell died 1884, good quality C14 style. N aisle W single light Christ with a child, to W.S.F. Cleeve died 1895, by Lavers & Westlake. N aisle second to Corporal D. Denbury died 1991 by Sunlight Studios, Portsmouth, with daffodils, angel and dragon, third window by William Pearce Ltd of Birmingham, Christ and St Martin to Major Edmund Willimas, killed 1915, good colours. N aisle fourth SS Francis, Elizabeth and David, 1914, by Kempe & Co.
Memorials: Charles Griffiths of Llanyrafon died 1696 and Margaret Griffiths died 1730, plaque in egg-and-dart ornamented bolection-moulded frame. Charles Griffith of Llanyrafon died 1766, two sons, and Margaret Tuder died 1769, oval plaque. Roger Jones died 1804, crude broken pedimented memorial with column shafts and oval plaque. William Griffith of Llanyrafon, died 1831, neo-Grec by Cooke of Gloucester. Marble and alabaster bolection-moulded plaque to F.J. Mitchell died 1913.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* for fine late medieval W tower and unusually stately later C19 body of the church with contemporary fittings.

External Links

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