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Latitude: 52.0114 / 52°0'41"N
Longitude: -3.3017 / 3°18'6"W
OS Eastings: 310755
OS Northings: 235574
OS Grid: SO107355
Mapcode National: GBR YS.HKN2
Mapcode Global: VH6BM.QPCX
Plus Code: 9C4R2M6X+H8
Entry Name: Church of Saint Matthew
Listing Date: 17 January 1963
Last Amended: 31 March 2005
Source ID: 6731
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: In the churchyard in the centre of Llandefalle some 900m W of the A470.
Community: Felin-fach (Felin-fâch)
Traditional County: Brecknockshire
Anglican parish church, mostly late C15, and of larger than usual scale, with broad high nave and S arcade. There may have been a Celtic church on the site dedicated to St Maelog. The present church was begun c1300. The font may be C12, S doorway c1300 and there is a C14 door and window in the nave N wall. The big tower may be C14, with two short upper stages, possibly rebuilt c.1661 (bells dated 1665). There are two late C17 three-light S chancel windows. The fine C15 screen, like those at Partrishow and Langynyw is missing the rood loft. A plaque records restorations in 1905 and 1933, probably by W. D. Caroe. The 1905 restoration removed a plaster wall that divided off a schoolroom at the W end.
Parish church, rubble stone with imitation stone tiles to roofs. W tower, broad nave with single roof over nave and S aisle, lower chancel, and S porch. W tower is medieval up to ridge level with big red sandstone corner stones, slightly battered base and one small ground floor loop on W. S side has two inserted red sandstone chamfered lancets, one at each level. String course above, under slightly set-back rebuilt upper part with plain chamfered lancet each side, with leaded glazing, a coved string course above with stone waterspouts, two on S, two broken on N, one on W, and top (possibly formerly embattled) with two square louvred openings each face, under eaves of tiled pyramid roof.
Nave N has medieval, possibly C14, pointed chamfered grey stone doorway to right, with plank door and strap hinges. Rough voussoirs over. C14 flush 2-light window with cusped heads to lights and small lozenge shaped light in head, then two large C15 Perpendicular style 3-light pointed windows with recessed hollow mouldings, ogee heads to lights and panel tracery in head. The second is in angle to rood-stair projection which has tiny lancet to top left. Nave S (actually S aisle wall) has similar Perpendicular style window to left of big gabled porch, and two to right with tracery much renewed. Porch has C15 big moulded pointed S arch of hollow/ovolo/hollow profile and bargeboards to gable. Stone floor, stone seats, fine C13 pointed S doorway with two corner roll mouldings and a hollow between, big plank door with cover strips. Stoup to right, half-octagonal, chamfered below, with small pointed arch to recess. Square recess over doorway. Plaque to David Watkins of Maesycoed died 1792. Porch has C15 roof with nine arch-braced collar trusses, five of them ovolo-moulded. Porch E side wall has plaque to John Jenkins of Felin Newydd died 1832. Single long roof slope over nave and aisle. Evidence of altered E wall, which has C15 similar Perpendicular style 3-light to aisle and a small flat-headed 2-light in gable, over chancel ridge, with arched lights.
Chancel has two flat-headed recessed hollow-moulded three-light windows with four-centred arched heads to lights. To right of left window is narrow four-centred arched doorway, plank door with cover strips. Plaque to Thomas Bevan of Trehenry died 1767, by Games. E end has big renewed Perpendicular style recessed 4-light E window similar to those in nave. plaques to Mary Jones of Pantycored died 1767, by T. Games and another with name eroded, died 1767 of Ysgubor Newydd. Windowless N wall with blocked square-headed opening.
Plastered walls, broad C15 panelled barrel roofs to nave and chancel, lean-to ceiling to aisle. Nave roof of 13x6 panels with moulded ribs. Three massive tie-beams on crude oak console brackets. Stone flagged floors. Small chamfered pointed W doorway into tower, plank door. Arcade of four bays with double-chamfered pointed arches on octagonal piers with chamfered plinths and moulded caps. Two steps right across nave and aisle. Nave has door at w end of N wall, up five steps, cambered-headed reveal. Cambered head to medieval N window. Fragment of painted decoration between two nave N windows, in nave NE corner and on nave S wall. S aisle has segmental pointed reveal to S door. Panelled dado to nave and aisle, probably C19 but incorporating behind aisle altar some panels marked WVA 1687, said to come from former box pews.
Two steps up, beyond pulpit and Tudor arched N door to rood stair. Stone stairs in wall thickness, curving at top to upper square-headed opening, lit from rectangular light.
Broad chancel arch with two chamfers, dying into jambs, with fine oak screen (see below). Chancel floor is slightly lower, stone flagged. Ceiling of 10x8 panels. Flat heads to two S windows. Two steps to stone flagged sanctuary, with C17 altar rails and C20 altar (see below). Medieval stoup in S wall, rounded bowl and ovol-moulded triangular-headed small recess.
Fittings: Massive and crude grey stone C12 bowl font on rubble stone square platform. Fine C14 oak screen, missing rood loft. Nine bays, with wider centre opening, four openings each side with broad mid rail and panelling below. Square heads of all openings have delicate tracery to an X pattern, with cusping below and small roundels with quatrefoils in the three triangles created. The mullions between openings are moulded with a front roll and ogee sides. Top rail has vine scroll decoration. Mid C19 carved wood altar at E end of aisle in 3 panels with pierced naturalistic leaf and fruit decoration and IHS in centre roundel. C20 limed oak main altar in style of W. D. Caroe. Altar rails with thick turned balusters, barley-sugar twist on a vase pattern, and moulded rail, c1660, the gates altered. Plain C19 pews. Plain earlier C19 pulpit, five-sided with raised Tudor panels and panelled plinth, said to have been part of a three-decker pulpit.
Memorials: Nave S wall Elizabeth Griffin Williams of Bryndu died 1840 and Thomas Williams died 1848, plain marble, under stone 1820s plaques with delicate low relief detail to other family members. Chancel S wall C19 stone plaque with list of benefactors. E wall marble plaque to Rev. Charles Vaughan, died 1851, by Thomas of Brecon. Propped against n wall plaques to Mary Hopkins died 1801, and to Philip Jones died 1753, and his son died 1776, by Powel. On N wall, from E: Neo-Grec plaque with draped urn to Rev Thomas James died 1842; painted plaque with oval to Roderick Gwynne of Llyswen died 1780, by Powel of Talgarth; long plaque to John Griffin of Kington, family, and Thomas Williams of Bryndu died 1796; plaque above with winged cherub head to Benjamin Williams, died 1742, by T. Brute; large painted marbled plaque with broken pediment and arms, to Thomas Williams of Felin Newydd died 1779, by Powel; plaque with draped urn above to Thomas Williams of Felin Newydd died 1790 and his son died 1803, by Hughes; well-lettered plaque to Thomas Williams died 1730 and his wife died 1739, by T. Brute; plaque below to Philip Price of Penheoleinion died 1776, by Powel;
Stained glass: E window of S aisle has broken fragments of late medieval glass, reset 1949.
Graded I as a very large late medieval church with earlier origins, retaining original roofs, screen and other features.
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