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Latitude: 52.4063 / 52°24'22"N
Longitude: -3.6069 / 3°36'25"W
OS Eastings: 290780
OS Northings: 279910
OS Grid: SN907799
Mapcode National: GBR 9D.PGL8
Mapcode Global: VH5C2.FSH7
Plus Code: 9C4RC94V+G6
Entry Name: Church of St Curig
Listing Date: 10 March 1953
Last Amended: 24 March 2005
Source ID: 7573
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
ID on this website: 300007573
Location: On the SW side of the village, reached from the main road and set down towards the N bank of the River Wye.
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
Tagged with: Church building
A monastery, or clas, was founded here by St Curig (d. 550). From c1180 the church was under the control of Strata Florida Abbey; the tower may be C12, but was remodelled in the C14-15 with Perpendicular detail. The nave, chancel and aisle are slightly offset from the tower and were probably built in the C15; some fabric survives from this period, particularly towards the SE of the chancel. There are also 3 good medieval windows, to the SW of the nave, E end of chancel, and N of the vestry. The vestry window is re-set and originally lit the E end of the N aisle, whilst the nave window may be reset or be a composite of earlier parts. In c1780, the N wall collapsed and was apparently rebuilt on a slightly different alignment.
A major restoration was undertaken in Early English style in 1877-8 by Sir George Gilbert Scott and Arthur Baker, under the patronage of Chevalier J. Y. W. Lloyd of Clochfaen Hall who gave £11,000 for the work. Battlemented parapets, a stair turret and spire were added to the tower, along with new louvre openings. A new porch was added to the nave, and many of the windows were replaced. The vestry was remodelled, a gabled bay replacing the former lean-to, and half-dormers were added to the N aisle. Internally, the C15 roofs were renovated or reconstructed and a new chancel screen was made, based on detailed drawings by John Parker of the original C15 screen. The stained glass is by Burlison & Grylls of London, much of it relating to Lloyd family ancestry. A restoration of the tower was undertaken in 1984.
Church comprises W tower with spire, nave, chancel, S porch, N aisle and N vestry. Fine medieval 3-stage tower constructed of large blocks of shaley stone, with tall diagonal buttresses with offsets to NW and SW angles, and shallow angle buttress to SE angle. Large plinth, shortly above which is a dripcourse, both Perpendicular features. The tower has battlemented parapets of late C19 date, along with a stair turret to NE angle. The openings have shallow segmental heads of stone voussoirs. Those to W end are Perpendicular: doorway slightly inset, with a Tudor-arched chamfered head; 3-light window above doorway. To the S side is a small light to 2nd stage and a 3-light louvre opening to the upper stage, with late C19 yellow sandstone tracery. Similar louvre openings to E and N sides. The N stair turret has 4 narrow stair lights. Added to the top of the tower is a short broach spire, lead covered and surmounted by a weather-vane, on a short square base which has a 3-light trefoil-headed louvre opening to each side.
Much of the rest of the church was rebuilt in the late C19 in small blocks of random grey stone with yellow sandstone dressings; slate roofs with raised stone copings, tile cresting and crosses to the apexes of nave and chancel. The S wall of the nave and chancel is continuous although the chancel is lower. Gabled porch to L of centre of nave, with sandstone quoins and dressings and splayed base. Tall pointed arched doorway with roll mouldings, the arch on attached octagonal shafts with ringed capitals and bases; double ribbed doors; the side walls have quatrefoil lights. To the R of the porch are 2 large pointed-arched C19 windows with 3-light Perpendicular-style tracery, the lights with cinquefoiled heads. To the L of the porch is a small Medieval 2-light window, the bar tracery of red sandstone. It is partly obscured by a tree, but the lights appear to have shallow pointed heads. Attached to the wall to the L is a plain marble tablet which reads, 'near this spot is buried John Evans, vicar from 1852 to 1876 …'. The chancel has a pair of late C19 2-light windows under shallow segmental heads, the trefoil-headed lights in plate tracery. The E end has a 3-light Perpendicular window, with trefoil-headed lights, within a chamfered, pointed-arched surround; it is slightly inset under a segmental head. Much early fabric survives to the N aisle, but in the late C19, 3 gabled half-dormers were inserted. The large pointed-arched windows are as S wall of nave. To the R, it is adjoined by a short lean-to in front of the stair turret, in the end of which is a doorway with chamfered shouldered lintel. Its front has a 2-light window in the style of the S wall of the chancel. Adjoining the L end of the aisle is the gabled vestry, with short octagonal stone stack to gable apex. It has a 3-light Perpendicular window to front, re-set from elsewhere. To its R is a wide doorway with flat head, under which the boarded door has a Tudor-arched head.
The nave has a C15-style barrel-vaulted wood-panelled roof of 3-and-a-half bays, divided by hammerbeam trusses with billetted decoration; wall-posts on stone corbels, the hammerbeams supporting large carved wooden angels. Three-bay C15 arcade to N aisle, continuous 4-centred arches on square piers, all plastered and whitewashed. Tall pointed tower arch of narrow stone voussoirs, unplastered. The tower chamber has a vaulted plastered ceiling with central opening for bell ropes; small doorway with monolithic lintel with triangular head to N side leading to stair turret; quarry tile floor with inlaid slate tablet recording a restoration of the tower and spire in 1983-5. Perpendicular octagonal font to NW corner of nave, of white marble with pairs of blind trefoiled arches to each face; octagonal stem and base. It was apparently removed from the church in the C16 and replaced in 1660. Central aisle with quarry tile floor flanked by wooden pews with carved bench ends. To SE, pulpit with polygonal wooden front on stone base.
The N aisle has a lean-to wooden roof with arched braces supported on stone corbels; the C19 dormer windows form part of this roof structure. A 4-centred arch to the E end leads to the organ recess. Fold-up benches against aisle wall.
The 4-centred chancel arch is in the same style as the arcade; rood screen of 1878, a reconstruction of the original, of decorative openwork, including central opening with Tudor arch and flanking bays with traceried heads. Beneath the brattishing is a foliate frieze from the original medieval screen. The chancel has a 3-bay hammerbeam roof, similar to nave but more ornate; roll mouldings to arched-brace trusses, cusped windbraces and struts. It also has carved wooden angels supported on the hammerbeams. To the L, is a 3-bay arcade to vestry, C19 in C15 style, the heavily moulded and decorated Tudor arches on octagonal piers with ringed capitals and bases. The L arch is narrower and leads to the organ recess. Choir stalls with decorated bench ends, 1 step up to altar with encaustic and quarry tile floor; altar rail with iron scrollwork and brass handrail; wood panelled reredos with decorated openwork panels.
Much of the stained glass relates to the Lloyd family of Clochfaen and is by Burlison and Grylls, 1878. The E window shows St Curig holding a church. To the S chancel and nave, the windows have a series of heraldic shields relating to the Lloyd family ancestors, dating from 1197 until 1781. In the nave, the central lights contain depictions of St Michael and St Timothy, with heraldry to the outer lights. Similar subject matter to W end window but the upper lights contain glass which is probably medieval. The N nave windows include depictions of the Virgin and child, and St Michael.
Memorials: to the arcade, marble tablets, to JR Pryse of Pant y drain, who died in the Boer War in 1900, and below, a tablet to John Rhys Pryse, probably his father. To the R is a World War I memorial tablet with roll of honour. In chancel, early C20 marble tablet to Elizabeth Bennett Evans (d. 1923), church organist, and another to Jane Bennett Evans (d. 1937). On S wall of nave a series of small brass tablets, C19 to early C20, some to the Lloyd Verney family of Clochfaen.
Listed grade II* as a large medieval church retaining significant original fabric and some detail; also for the social-historical interest of the high-quality Victorian restoration funded by local patronage, undertaken by 2 notable church architects, and with good contemporary fittings.
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