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Church of St.Gwynnog

A Grade II Listed Building in Aberhafesp, Powys

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Latitude: 52.5212 / 52°31'16"N

Longitude: -3.3678 / 3°22'3"W

OS Eastings: 307292

OS Northings: 292358

OS Grid: SO072923

Mapcode National: GBR 9Q.G7HQ

Mapcode Global: VH682.KWYM

Plus Code: 9C4RGJCJ+FV

Entry Name: Church of St.Gwynnog

Listing Date: 31 January 1997

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18185

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: At the E end of the village, N of the B4568 and the Severn Valley, in a slightly raised position.

County: Powys

Town: Newtown

Community: Aberhafesp (Aberhafesb)

Community: Aberhafesp

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

Tagged with: Church building

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Extensively rebuilt c 1857 under the direction of the Rev. Richard Davies, but incorporating the Medieval nave and chancel. Inside the church is a list of incumbents dating back to 1537. The church has had a long association with Aberhafesp Hall, and many of the memorials relate to its former owners.


Perpendicular style, consisting of tower, nave, chancel, south porch and vestry. Snecked masonry under a slate roof, with sandstone or heavy grey stone dressings. The sandstone dressings to the front have been 'rusticated' by rock-faced margin drafting so that they resemble the grey stone dressings. Other typical detail includes stone kneelers, raised copings and diagonal buttresses at the corners. Three stage tower with embattled parapets and 2 string courses. The top stage has louvre openings on each side with Y-tracery and cusping. Below is a clock to the S and a small quatrefoiled light to the N. Elsewhere, the fenestration is mainly pointed lancets in heavy surrounds, except for a 2 light window under a four centred arch at ground level on the S side. Planked W door with ornate hinges under a pointed arch with 2 sets of chamfered mouldings. The low nave encompasses the former nave and chancel, and is built off a high plinth. The south porch is also built on a plinth with a pointed-arched entrance with double chamfered mouldings, below a small trefoiled light. The porch has a C19 scissor-brace roof, and the wood planked double doors are below a pointed arch. The nave contains 2 windows to the E of the porch, each flat-headed with 3 cusped lancets, diamond glazing and internal ferramenta. Between the 2 windows is a buttress. The chancel is lower and narrower than the nave but displays similar detail, including a single lancet window in heavy stone surround on the S side. The E window is in Perpendicular style with 3 cinquefoiled lancets under smaller cusped lancets, daggers and a quatrefoil. The N side of the nave has a modern church hall attached, of grey brick with an asbestos slate roof. To the E, some random masonry is visible which may be the remains of the original church. A Tudor-style window with 2 cusped lancets has been inserted. The vestry has a N-facing gable end containing a window under a 4-arched head with 2 cusped lancets. There may have been a chimney on the W side, now truncated.


Well preserved 8 bay roof, probably C15. Every 3rd truss is scissor-braced with cusping on the extrados. The remainder are collar trusses with arched braces. Two purlins and substantial rafters with two rows of cusped windbraces, quatrefoiled between the two purlins and half quatrefoils between the lower purlin and wall plate. C19 chancel, chancel arch, and fittings including Maws-type floor tiles and an octagonal font on a square plinth. A blocked doorway in the tower suggests a former gallery. Most unusual poker-work panelling at W end by E.B. Proctor of Aberhafesp Hall, dated 1893. It is 3 panels high and surrounds the door to the tower. Constructed from honey-coloured wood, possibly pine, with recessed panels. The figures and text are in relief, the surrounding wood being darkened by the use of the heated poker. The panels display biblical scenes in simple Arts and Crafts style which relate to the text above each panel. For example the text 'The Lord is my Shepherd' is symbolised by Christ with 2 sheep at his feet. Other scenes include the nativity, the crucifixion, resurrection, and the evangelists Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Some panels display stylised motifs including foliage, flowers, arcades and crosses. The hymn board is in similar pokerwork.

Many of the memorials in the church relate to the owners of Aberhafesp Hall. However, in the chancel there is one to Richard John Davies of Brompton Hall, Shropshire, rector of the church for 37 years, who died in 1864. He was responsible for the restoration of the church in 1857. On the N side of the chancel are memorials to Henry Adolphus Proctor C.B. of Aberhafesp Hall and his wife Louisa who died in 1857. They were probably the parents of E.B. Proctor. Earlier owners of Aberhafesp Hall were the Morgan family, whose memorials are found on the S side of the Nave. Two of them, to Matthew Morgan and his daughter Frances, are fine, ornate, marble wall monuments dated 1712. In the early C20, Aberhafesp Hall was owned by the Woosnam family and there is a memorial to Gaynor Woosnam, d. 1933, erected by the Girl Guides movement. There are further C18 and C19 memorials in the church. Stained glass by Baillie of London, c 1857, lurid and bold in style. The E window shows Christ taking leave of his mother, while the Easterly N nave window shows an angel leading a woman to heaven and is dedicated to Louisa Colman, daughter of Adolphus and Louisa Proctor, who died in 1854 aged 36. The Westerly N nave window, probably by a different hand, shows the crucifixion and last supper scenes and is dedicated to Mary Ann, wife of E.B Proctor, who died in 1890.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II for its fine Medieval roof, the most unusual (and possibly unique in Wales) C19 poker-work panelling, and the wall memorials which link the church with Aberhafesp Hall.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Aberhafesp Hall
    Located at the end of a short driveway leading N off the B4568. Set within gardens stretching towards the East, with a former coach house to the rear.
  • II Pentre
    Located on the N side of the B4568 at the W end of Aberhafesp village. The house is positioned on a slope with the entrance facing down hill. It has a roughly circular front garen with orchards beyon
  • II Cogan Cottage
    Located to the E of the church and the village on the W side of the B4568 set down from the road, approaching the flood plain of the River Severn.
  • II Fachwen
    Located at the end of a track c 0.6 km from a road leading from Aberhafesp to Bettws.
  • II Barn at Ysgafell
    In a farmyard at the side of the road near the community boundary. Sited upslope and behind the farmhouse.
  • II Milestone
    On the A489, S side, opposite the entrance to Ty Mawr farm.
  • II Rhydlydan Mill
    The mill lies on the N side of the Newtown to Llanwnog road, in the valley of the Rhyd-ros-lan, which formed the ancient boundary of the Cantref of Arwystli.
  • II Middle Scafell
    Alongside a farm track three quarters of a mile West of Milford.

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