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Parish Church of Saint Nicholas

A Grade I Listed Building in Montgomery, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.561 / 52°33'39"N

Longitude: -3.1467 / 3°8'48"W

OS Eastings: 322362

OS Northings: 296520

OS Grid: SO223965

Mapcode National: GBR B0.CMZK

Mapcode Global: WH7B2.MWSL

Plus Code: 9C4RHV63+98

Entry Name: Parish Church of Saint Nicholas

Listing Date: 19 July 1950

Last Amended: 16 December 2005

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7950

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated in large churchyard bounded on S and E by Church Bank.

County: Powys

Town: Montgomery

Community: Montgomery (Trefaldwyn)

Community: Montgomery

Built-Up Area: Montgomery

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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History

Anglican parish church, founded c. 1223, probably coeval with the castle. Earlier C13 nave, possibly originally comprising both nave and chancel, 23.5m x 7.9m (77 x 26 feet); later C13 transepts (S transept is called the Lymore chapel and the N one, now a vestry was supposedly built by the Prior of Chirbury for tenants at Court Calmore, later called the Brockton chapel) and chancel. Roofs of late C15 and C16. Remarkable late medieval screens, back to back, the rood loft over the W one, the whole of the E one with stalls and N wall panelling supposedly brought from the Priory at Chirbury after dissolution in 1539,in similar style to work in Ludlow and Leintwardine. The S transept contains the Herbert memorials, two effigies of knights and the very large Elizabethan tomb of Richard Herbert, 1600. Tower attached to N transept, wholly replaced in 1816 at a cost of £1,700 for Lord Clive of Lymore. N vestry of c. 1840-50 (not shown on 1839 Tithe Map). Restored in 1863-8 by George Beadnell of Cynhinfa, Meifod, banker and amateur architect, with new chancel roof and S porch, and in 1877-8 by Edward Haycock Jr, following recommendations of 1875 by G.E. Street, when galleries, box pews and two-decker pulpit were removed and the arcade to the N transept inserted as a copy of that to the S transept. Contractors were Messrs Powells of Wem. Repaired 1969-70 by Anthony Catwin.
A view of 1793 shows possibly thatched roofs, a two-storey porch with two-light upper window and ogee-arched entry, and an embattled tower with two-light bell openings. The chancel appears to have no S windows and the S transept W window has tracery as does the nave S window. A print of c. 1865 shows the nave with box pews, the two-decker pulpit on the S wall and Commandment boards on N wall. John Parker's drawing of the E screen in 1831 shows it with fine tracery matching that on the N wall panels, since destroyed.

Exterior

Parish church, rubble stone with C13 and later dressings in red sandstone, C19 windows in yellow sandstone, slate roofs. W end of nave has red sandstone quoins to SW and added diagonal buttress to NW, and large five-light late Gothic window of 1868. C19 stone gable cross. Nave S has a small earlier C13 chamfered lancet to left of large timber-framed porch of 1868 which shelters remarkable red stone C13 pointed doorway with three keeled orders to arch, the inner one continuous, the outer two on angle shafts. C19 double doors. Medieval carved head above. To right, in angle to S transept a yellow sandstone C19 2-light, with sexfoil in the head.
S transept has red stone quoins and one large red stone later C13 lancet to each of three sides. W side has a trefoiled short window to right, the S end has an earlier C13 lancet like those in nave set low to right (perhaps reused when transept was added) and the E side has a later C19 pointed red stone doorway in angle to right, the door with elaborate iron hinges.
Chancel S wall has rounded slight rood-stair projection in angle to S transept, a red stone narrow C19 lancet in an infilled broad opening with timber lintel and quoins, possibly connected with an inserted rood stair of the earlier C16. Big later C19 lancet to right. E end has red stone quoins, exceptionally large late Gothic window of seven lights in two tiers. Original red stone frame, the tracery restored in 1859. Two blocked loops at basement level, possibly to a charnel house. N wall obscured by mid C19 vestry with walls of large greenish stone blocks, coped shouldered N gable and corniced chimney. E wall has a low cambered-arched timber basement window below a flat-headed hoodmoulded upper window with two lancet lights. N end has basement door with applied Gothic moulding to ledged door, and W side has outside stone steps to a door to right, flush six-panel, with similar applied Gothic detail. Plain later C19 organ chamber to right, with parapet. Windowless short stretch of original wall to right, with evidence of having been raised as does N transept E wall.
N transept has large later C13 red stone lancet on E and W (matching S transept), with thin stone voussoirs. At corners is a large added buttress with offsets, on the W wall partly covering a later C13 red stone blocked doorway with roll moulding.
Tower is attached to N transept. Four-stage in coursed rubble with ashlar dressings including moulded string courses, windows and door, big three-stage diagonal buttresses, coved cornice, embattled parapet and corner crocketted finials. N tall pointed doorway with thin shafts, double ledged doors, and pointed overlight with intersecting Gothick glazing bars. Pointed louvred lancet to second stage each side, two small lancets to third stage, flanking a big diamond panel, former clockface on N, and a painted round clock dated 1816 on W. Top stage has cusped Y-traceried 2-light big bell openings.
Nave N has a small earlier C13 lancet each side of a blocked C13 large doorway with roll moulding, all in red stone.

Interior

Whitewashed plastered walls with stone reveals. Two fine roofs to nave. W roof probably late C15 to early C16, with hammer-beams carrying arched-braced collar-trusses, and four tiers of quatrefoil windbraces between moulded timbers. E roof, probably C16, is a panelled barrel ceiling, with moulded ribs and carved bosses at crossings. Chancel has a steep roof of 1863 with arch-braced collar trusses, the rafters covered in 1969. S transept has C17 three-sided roof with plaster panels framed by moulded ribs with gold stars at the intersections. Moulded beam on N wall held on 3 wooden braces from corbels. N transept has plaster Georgian ceiling. Segmental-pointed red stone heads to reveals. Nave has tall blocked N door. Two-bay later C13 pointed arcade with round column and half-round responds to S transept, and similar but heavier later C19 arcade to N transept. N transept has late Georgian detail, the two N corners chamfered and tall pointed door into tower, with intersecting tracery to overlight. Medieval pointed piscina in both N and S transepts, faint medieval wall painting on S transept S wall. Chancel has S pointed door to rood loft stairs, covered by stalls and S lancet covered by C18 royal arms. Late C19 tall segmental arch to organ chamber on N. Later C19 rich encaustic tiles and marble steps to sanctuary, less elaborate to chancel.
Fittings: Two late medieval screens back to back. C15 W screen designed for church, 5-1-5 bays with delicate cinquefoiled tracery to heads, ogee head to broad centre opening, with carved shield-bearing figure on each side post. C17 panelling affixed. Paired gates with lozenge-pattern C16-17 panels, bobbin-turned rails and ramped scrolls on top. Loft front above from Chirbury Priory with richly detailed 24 narrow panels, each with cusped ogee lower arch with crocketted finial reaching up centre to divide pair of tiny pointed openings each with their own cusped heads and crocketted finials. Cornice with rosettes above apparently added.
E screen from Chirbury, much damaged after 1833 (cf the John Parker drawing). Also of 5-1-5 bays, originally with tracery similar to the blind panels in the adjoining panelling on the chancel N wall, all broken off. The centre breaks forward with two big octagonal posts, the tops truncated. The stalls from the same source have seven carved heads on the arm rests and eight carved misericords. N wall has fine traceried blind panelling of five bays above four stalls with five carved heads and one misericord. Misericord carving includes an eagle, a priest, a duel, a soul taken to Hell. Seven simpler stalls on S wall, the E ones added, blocking chancel S door. The space between the screens crudely formed into two panelled C16-17 pews. Running-scroll moulding on S pew with panelled door.
C13 bowl font with roll moulding below over tapered base, much retooled. Oak Gothic spired font cover of 1915. Oak octagonal Gothic pulpit with two carved saints to each face, to the Rev. Maurice Lloyd (died 1873), allegedly by G. E. Street. Brass eagle lectern to Col. R.J. Harrison (died 1896). Exceptional reredos, dedicated in 1892 by R. H. Carpenter, in memory of Margaret widow of the David Lloyd commemorated in the E window, and daughter of George Beadnell. Designed with open tracery to frame the bottom lights of the E window in Caen stone with four alabaster figures by T. Earp, and flanked by canopied panels, five each side with Venetian mosaic figures of Evangelists and Prophets, to designs by Clayton & Bell. In N transept, earlier C18 arch-headed painted benefaction boards in corners, and a large painted board over N door commemorating building of the tower 1816. In tower, benefaction board with bolection moulded frame, and painted Commandment, Lord's Prayer and Creed board on W wall. Painted hatchment with Herbert arms, c. 1801, in S transept. Large royal arms of 1726, painted on board, on s chancel wall. S transept altar of Clipsham stone, 1958, by Herbert Carr, with Book of Remembrance for war dead. Later C19 organ in plain Gothic case. Later C19 L-plan kneelers to stalls, with blind tracery and row of small carved panels. Later C19 pews with traceried blind panels to ends. Three ornate later C19 iron and brass hanging coronae in nave.
Stained Glass. Fine large E window of 1861 by Thomas Baillie of London to David Lloyd (died 1859), brother of the Rev. Maurice Lloyd. Crucifixion, Ascension, with Evangelists and SS Peter & Paul. Chancel S lancet with crude mid C19 painted glass of Munich type, a large ascending figure, probably portrait, to Marianne Lloyd (died 1850). Large W window of 1902, to Mercedes Fairles-Humphreys, designed by Charles Hean, made by G.L. Maerchant of London. Late Gothic style, Nativity, Adoration, with SS Michael, Nicholas, Gabriel and Tyssil. Two nave narrow lancets with patterned glass of c. 1870, and S two-light 1920 to W. Llewelyn Lloyd, Christ crowning a knight. S transept E window showing church and Presbyterian church, 2002, by John Edwards. N transept W lancet to Rev. John Lloyd (died 1891) and E lancet to Margaret Bryan (died 1921) both similar.
Monuments. Two fine late medieval recumbent effigies of knights in Lymore Chapel, restored c. 1814-30. The S one, with helm, is probably of Sir Edmund Mortimer (died 1408), the other with flowing locks is said to be of Sir Richard Herbert (died 1534), though the figure looks of c. 1500. Above are hanging tabard with Herbert arms and helm, probably C16, a rare survival. Magnificent canopied alabaster and painted stone monument of 1600 to Richard Herbert (died 1596), probably by Walter Hancock of Much Wenlock. Effigies of Herbert and his wife, eight children in arcades behind, and cadaver beneath. Herbert was father of the poet George Herbert and of Lord Herbert of Chirbury who built the mansion in the castle.
Memorials: Four matching early C19 plaques with grey surrounds ornamented in Greek key, and white marble plaques, cornices and urns: chancel N to Margaret Pugh (died 1819) and her sister, daughters of William and Mary Lloyd (died 1769 and 1803), and sisters of Maurice Lloyd of Plas Trefaldwyn and Garthlwyd (died 1813), commemorated on opposite plaque; nave W to Mary Lloyd Sr and Jr (died 1772 and 1775) and Maurice Lloyd (died 1830); and to Charles T. Jones of Fronfraith (died 1807). Nave S plaque to Lt EM Buckley (killed 1915) by Gaffin; sarcophagus plaque to Mary Weaver (died 1825) by J. Carline of Shrewsbury. Nave N two marble plaques with banners, by Gaffin of London, to Lt Gilbert Jones died in India 1857, and Admiral Sir Charles T. Jones of Fronfraith (died 1853). In blocked N door, oval plaque to C. Gardiner Humphreys, attorney (died 1787). S transept small oval plaque to the historian J.D.K. Lloyd 1900-78, with verse by him. N transept plaque to M.E. Jones of Stalloe (died 1865) by G. Dodson of Shrewsbury; oval plaque with urn on grey marble, to William Davies (died 1803); tapered neo-Grec plaque to Jane and William Nathaniel Davies (died 1833 and 1837) by B. Baker of Liverpool; plaque to Jane Powell of Rhydwhyman (died 1819) aged 103.
Bells. Six bells, five of 1724, one of 1814 by C W Briant of Hertford.

Reasons for Listing

Graded I as a large medieval church with exceptional roofs, screens and monuments.

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