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Parish Church of St Tysilio and St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Meifod, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7097 / 52°42'34"N

Longitude: -3.2516 / 3°15'5"W

OS Eastings: 315537

OS Northings: 313185

OS Grid: SJ155131

Mapcode National: GBR 9W.2646

Mapcode Global: WH79G.04WZ

Plus Code: 9C4RPP5X+V9

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Tysilio and St Mary

Listing Date: 31 January 1953

Last Amended: 26 May 1995

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7646

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located near the centre of the extensive 3.6ha (9-acre) churchyard, within the village of Meifod.

County: Powys

Community: Meifod

Community: Meifod

Locality: Meifod Village

Built-Up Area: Meifod

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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Meifod

History

Meifod was a centre of early christianity in Central Wales, associated c.550 with St Gwyddfarch, and later, by tradition related by the C12 poet laureate Cynddelw, to St Tysilio, son of Brochwel Usgythrog, Prince of Mathrafal Powys, whose royal seat lay in the immediate locality. Tysilio was later bishop of St Asaph. The first foundation was probably a clas, from which the neighbouring lands were evangelised. Bishop Tanner noted the visible remains of an early church some 100m from the present building. Later a church, dedicated to Sant Fair, was built here in the C12, reputedly by Prince Madoc ap Meredydd, but probably after a bequest of 1137 by Gruffydd ap Cynon, and is recorded in the Brut y Tywysogion as being consecrated in 1156. This is consistent with the architectural style of the earliest surviving fabric. There is a possibility that the early arrangement consisted of a line of small single cell churches of differing dedications, with their domestic buildings and burial ground in what was to become the unusually large churchyard, the present church occupying just one of these sites. The churchyard is said to contain the royal tombs of Madoc ap Meredydd, 1154, and Gryffydd Maelor, 1190. The church was a prebend of St Asaph. Archdeacon D.R.Thomas, the historian of the diocese, was the incumbent from 1877.

Exterior

C12, C15 and 1838, and then restored by Benjamin Ferrey in 1871-2. Local rubble stonework, with slate roofs. Nave incorporating the liturgical chancel, and the earlier nave at the W end, N and S aisles, with raised vestry incorporated at the N side within the aisle, and C15 W tower.
Each aisle separately roofed. C14 moulded entrance at SW end through blocked arcade of the C12 nave. S aisle has later C19 2-light windows, but original C15 window at E end of S wall. Three-light reticulated window at E end. Central to the aisle a C17 priest's door within a opening of 2 orders. N Aisle buttressed, with 2-light windows, all of 1871-2 as chancel E window. W tower of 3 stages, with slightly projecting stair at SW corner. Coved string, with gargoyles, at base of the crenellated parapet.

Interior

W end of nave incorporates 1 bays of the wide Romanesque nave, with arcades on both sides, that on S immured, plastered and whitewashed. Circular columns in red sandstone, with double offsetting chamfered capitals carrying round arches of 2 plain orders. Wide tower arch with similar half-round impost columns reset perhaps from original chancel arch (Haslam), carrying a pointed arch. N arcade further E of 4 bays, 1872, round columns, the S arcade of 3 bays of low, almost segmental arches with one octagonal column, with walling with door opening between the two W bays, perhaps the original S entrance before the S aisle was built. Roofs of nave and S aisle 10 bays, C15, with slightly cusped windbraces, much restored.
Chancel is within the E bay of the Nave. Altar raised on 3 steps, paved with C19 tiles. Oak reredos, incorporating elements from a screen (or wall plate) and C17 pews. Slender turned sanctuary rail.
Vestry, raised, and approached through the C12 arcade, screened by panels from C17 pews.
Pulpit: C19, oak, octagonal. Font: octagonal on inverted funnel shaped stem, probably C17, inscribed RDV. Pews: Pine, 1871-2. Organ: mid C19 with a painted Gothic case, rebuilt by Whiteley, 1977.

Glass: by Ward and Hughes. E window of N aisle, an Adoration, dedicated 1888. W window of S aisle 1857. Chancel E window, an Ascension, 1872, S Aisle, W window, 1856, by D.Evans of Shrewsbury for Glynne Mytton family. Also 6 large suspended coats of arms of the Mytton family and relatives, 1838, also by David Hughes.

Monuments: Nave, N wall: Bow fronted tablet of white marble, grey columns to sides and broken ogee pediment, by Gaffin of London, to Charlotte Glynne Mytton of Pen-y-lan, 1859. S wall: (a) White marble curved tablet with inlaid fluting to side pilasters and pedestalled urn against a pyramidal ground, to Jenkyn Parry of Maine, 1787. (b) Large limestone tablet with draped figures in low relief, to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, at Ypres 1914. (c) Marble tablet by Sephton, Liverpool, to James Briggs, 1816.

At W end of S aisle, an important tomb slab of c.C9 discovered during work to the foundations of the chancel arch in the C19. A crucifix against a ring-cross, over a long Latin cross, and many scattered triquetra, interlace and other motifs. Nash-Williams discusses Merovingian, Viking and Irish influence. Perhaps for a princely grave.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade I as a very important medieval church within the region, with much of interest and historical significance.

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