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Church of St Beuno

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bettws (Betws), Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5622 / 52°33'43"N

Longitude: -3.2955 / 3°17'43"W

OS Eastings: 312274

OS Northings: 296826

OS Grid: SO122968

Mapcode National: GBR 9T.CM99

Mapcode Global: WH7B0.BVYN

Entry Name: Church of St Beuno

Listing Date: 10 March 1953

Last Amended: 25 April 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7548

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located in a circular churchyard, on high ground overlooking the village of Bettws Cedewain.

County: Powys

Community: Bettws (Betws)

Community: Bettws

Locality: Bettws Cedewain

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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Bettws Cedewain

History

The dedication to St Beuno and the circular churchyard suggest the site of an early Celtic church. The earliest part of the present building is the tower of 1514-31, the erection of which is recorded in a memorial brass to John ap Meredyth of 1531. The church was restored in 1811, but nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1868 by W. Eden Nesfield, who also added a N vestry. The church is an early example of Nesfield's work in the Perpendicular style.

Exterior

Nave and chancel in Perpendicular style, under a single roof, with W tower. Random rubble with slate roofs. Main body of the church has stepped buttresses (diagonal at the E end). The S side has 2x3-light windows in the nave, and paired 2-light windows in the chancel, all with hood moulds which have circular stops. 5-light E window below a coped gable with a cross on the ridge. The N side is similar to S but plainer and has a N vestry with prominent stone chimney. The 3-stage tower has angle buttresses and a 3-light C16 W window above a contemporary doorway. 2-storey timber framed belfry with continuous louvred sound opening, pyramidal slate roof and weathervane.

Interior

The earliest feature is a brass in W wall of nave to John ap Meredyth, a vicar of Bettws. Dated 1531, said to be the only surviving Pre-Reformation brass in Montgomeryshire, it records the building of the tower. Beneath the tower are fragments of C17 wood panelling, and flanking the E window are 2 tablets inscribed with the 10 commandments, perhaps belonging to the restoration of 1811. The main features of the interior belong to Nesfield's restoration. The roof is in the local medieval style, with no division between nave and chancel. It has arch-braces on square corbels, with prominent timber pegs, and has cusped windbraces with boarded panels behind. Chancel raised by insertion of steps, the risers of which, and of communion step, have engraved texts from the Gospels and St Paul's Epistles. Pulpit and reading desk to L and R of chancel in a deliberately restrained style with simple panelling, giving equal status to each. Reredos added 1871, of Caen Stone with figures of crucifixion and the Evangelists. Flanking this is patterned stencil work of foliage and lettering in Arts and Crafts style. E window by William Wailes 1868, depicting the Ascension and other New Testament scenes; fragments of Continental glass in S nave windows, mostly of C15-16, are assembled into collages. Heptagonal font of 1868 in local Perpendicular style. Unfinished screen at W end incorporating painted tin panels recording the rebuilding of the church in 1868. Three simple C19 memorial tablets on the nave walls. A second pulpit was installed in 1952 and brought from Hawarden church.
The belfry is said to carry a substantial four panelled pit bell frame, originally of short-headed form. Its construction is said to predate the tower, c1400. The frame was converted to long headed form in the first half of C17 and is said to carry C17 graffiti.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade II* for the exceptional interest of its 2-storey belfry, one of the finest in Montgomeryshire, and for the high quality of Nesfield's treatment of the nave and chancel, including the traditional style roof and chancel furnishings.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II The Old School
    On the N side of the circular churchyard of St Beuno, on raised ground above the village.
  • II The Vicarage
    Located on raised ground 200m NE of church, on N side of minor road from Bettws Cedewain to Berriew and reached by a short private road.
  • II Glan Bechan
    Located approximately 1.3km S of Bettws Cedewain church on S side of a minor road near to junction with B4389. The house has farm buildings on the E side.
  • II Highgate
    Located approximately 1.9km SW of Bettws Cedewain church on E side of minor road from Tregynon to Newtown, immediately N of junction with a minor road to Pontyperchill.
  • II The Old Glyn
    Located approximately 1.9km NE of Bettws Cedewain church, and reached at the end of a track at the end of a farm road to Glyn Farm on S side of minor road between Bettws Cedewain and Brooks.

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