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Church of St Ffraed

A Grade II Listed Building in Talybont-on-Usk, Powys

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Latitude: 51.9031 / 51°54'11"N

Longitude: -3.277 / 3°16'37"W

OS Eastings: 312238

OS Northings: 223495

OS Grid: SO122234

Mapcode National: GBR YT.QCRJ

Mapcode Global: VH6C7.4FXG

Entry Name: Church of St Ffraed

Listing Date: 17 December 1998

Last Amended: 17 December 1998

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21144

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: On rising ground just above the main road to Brecon which passes beneath it to W close by the River Usk, set in a roughly rectangular walled churchyard.

County: Powys

Community: Talybont-on-Usk (Tal-y-bont ar Wysg)

Community: Talybont-on-Usk

Locality: Llansantffraed

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

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A medieval church rebuilt in 1690 preceded the current building, constructed 1884-5 by Stephen Williams of Rhayader. Dedication stone laid 1884 by J P Gwynne Holford of Buckland, responsible for the rebuilding. Henry Vaughan the metaphysical poet who died 1695 and lived at nearby Newton is buried in the churchyard and his brother Thomas was rector here; further commemorated by later wall plaque in church. Theophilus Jones provides a description of the older church and the later Glanusk edition of the reconstruction in 1884.


Gothic Revival church built of snecked rockfaced stone with red sandstone dressings and tiled roof with bracketed eaves, decorative iron guttering and apex crosses. Plan of nave with S porch, slighly lower chancel, N and S choir transepts and in the angle between S transept and nave a slender attached spire. Nave has single trefoil headed lancets with voussoirs to sides, Decorated windows to W, also to chancel and transepts; stepped buttresses with offsets at most corners; moulded kneelers. All openings have hoodmoulds, most with foliage stops, face stops to larger windows. Steeply gabled S porch with pointed arched doorway, retains old stoup. The spire is the most unusual feature: octagonal, 3 tapered storeys, and of contrasting stone, the top storey of red sandstone ashlar and the lower storeys separated by red ashlar offsets. Narrow ground floor pointed arched entrance is flanked by small trefoil headed lights; above are regularly spaced rectangular stair lights; the bell chamber has 8 narrow deeply moulded open trefoil headed lights, the deeply splayed sills dying into the offset, and is surmounted by an octagonal spire with blind quatrefoil mouldings topped by a finial. Dedication stone at SW corner.


Interior has unrendered walls of red snecked ashlar sandstone with some paler stone dressings. Six bay arch-braced nave roof supported by angel corbels with shields, wallplate screen with quatrefoil openings. Pointed moulded chancel arch with face stops to roll-moulded hood, the inner orders supported by short foliated responds with triple marble colonnettes. Wide pointed arched to N and S choir transepts with deep foliage capitals; N transept is a chapel and S is occupied by organ. Chancel has boarded coffered ceiling. A range of good monuments; in N chapel a C17 group, many to Jones family; in chancel to left to Thynne Gwynne of Buckland d 1826 and to right Edward Jones d 1682. E end has stone reredos is memory of Alfred Crawshay d 1891; stained glass E window in memory of Gwynne Holford d 1885 by Willard and Hughes. Font is medieval, a fluted bowl with stop-chamfered stem.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special interest as a later C19 church with fine spire and monuments and for its important historical associations.

Group value with the churchyard monuments to Gwynne Holford and Henry Vaughan, and with Llansantffraed House.

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