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Parish Church of St. Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Malpas, Newport

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6061 / 51°36'21"N

Longitude: -3.0079 / 3°0'28"W

OS Eastings: 330293

OS Northings: 190177

OS Grid: ST302901

Mapcode National: GBR J5.B23G

Mapcode Global: VH7B5.TW5M

Entry Name: Parish Church of St. Mary

Listing Date: 24 June 1999

Last Amended: 24 June 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21942

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Set back from the E side of Malpas Road, within a large churchyard, entered via a prominent lychgate.

County: Newport

Community: Malpas

Community: Malpas

Built-Up Area: Newport

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

Originally the site of a Cluniac Cell belonging to Montacute Priory, Somerset, apparently founded by Winebald, son of Drue de Baladon, brother of Hamelyn, the conqueror of Over Gwent. At the Dissolution, it was valued at £15. 2s. 4d. (£15.12) and was granted in 1547 on lease to Sir William Herbert of St. Julians. The church was noted by many commentators for its Norman features, Coxe (1801) stating that it was ‘one of the most ancient edifices in these parts’. Sir Stephen Glynne sketched the church in 1849, just before it was rebuilt, showing a church with nave, chancel and west bellcote. The west end was of striking quality, with a highly carved round-arched Norman door with a similarly detailed window above. Entirely rebuilt 1849-50 by John Prichard, architect to the Diocese of Llandaff. His use of the Norman style was probably inspired by the original structure, but also reflects the popularity of the Norman style for new churches during the 1840s, inspired by G.E. Hamilton’s ‘Designs for Rural Churches’ of 1836: Prichard had already used the style at Llanfabon Church, Glamorgan in 1847. Little, if any, of the original features were reused, although the ‘Monmouthshire Merlin’ newspaper noted in 1850 that the chancel window reused stonework from the old south door: there is no apparent evidence of this today. It is possible that the corbel table within the vestry is medieval. Thomas Prothero of Malpas Court had offered £500 towards the rebuilding of the church on the condition that it was built closer to his house: the offer was rejected, and he consequently reduced his contribution to £250. Restored c.1887 by Middleton, Prothero & Phillot of Cheltenham, probably consisting of repairs to stonework. Vestry added in early C20 in matching style.

Exterior

The plan is of nave and chancel, the latter with a large north vestry. Construction of squared green and red sandstone, with Bathstone dressings. Slate roofs, with stone parapets. Slim buttresses. Tall square west bellcote with pyramidal roof of ashlar: alternating bands of fishscale detail. Large round-arched belfry windows with chevron mouldings: two-light lancets within on colonettes with moulded caps. Elaborate west door of three orders. Outer order with double-chevron detail. Central order on columns with scalloped caps, inner order with chevrons. Boarded doors with very elaborately branched iron hinges, escutcheons and handles. Single-light west window on colonettes with moulded arch. Single light windows to north and south elevations with moulded arches on quarter-columns; scallop capitals. South door of two orders, both with shafts having variously carved capitals: inner arch with chevrons, the outer with a flattened chevron pattern. East triplet of round-arched windows: arches with beakhead type mouldings on shafts. Roundel above. Vestry with flat roof hidden behind shallow gabled parapet. Big north triplet, the centre light divided by a shaft, terminated by a cross-finial. Steps on west side down to basement.

Interior

Wagon roofs with open timbers. Triple-shafted round-headed chancel arch with roll-mouldings and prominent chevrons: large dogtooth pattern above. Capitals of varied types, some of the waterleaf variety, one with a carved bird. East windows with chevron moulded arches on shafts. The exterior north wall of the chancel (now within the vestry) has a short painted corbel table, including one simple mask corbel, which may be medieval. Neo-Norman font: square bowl with angle shafts: central round pedestal, possibly original Norman work; outer shafts with spiral mouldings and scallop caps. Stone lectern standing on four shafts: profuse Romanesque style carved foliage. C20 pews. Strongly coloured east windows (Life of Christ) of 1850 by George Rogers of Worcester. West window (Stilling the Waters) of similar date, as is the central south window in the nave (Crucifixion). Other stained glass of c. 1867- c.1882. Greek style monument to Henry Jones (d.1837) depicting a female with tall urn. Gothic monument to Thomas Prothero (d.1853).

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special architectural interest as a mid C19 neo-Norman church, an early work by one of the leading church architects of South East Wales, one of only a relatively small number built in Wales before the Ecclesiological Movement concentrated on Gothic as the correct style for church building.

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