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Dedication: St Mary

Denomination: Anglican

Built: circa 1400

Photography: Dai Bevan
Date: 5 June 2003
Camera: Kodak DX4330 Zoom digital

Note 1. St Mary's church is a small single-chambered structure which is considered to be of late 14th or 15th century date, with the east window certainly of the 15th century. Inside is a fine late medieval roof, a medieval font and stoop and some 15th century stained glass. The churchyard may once have been curvilinear, and nearby was a Cistercian nunnery, though its precise location has been the source of speculation. In 15th century Perpendicular style though the south windows are thought to be late 14th century. An annex of unknown form on the north side, now gone, was served by a now blocked doorway. The date of the porch is uncertain but is probably 19th century. The location and the churchyard morphology imply an early medieval origin, and traditionally the church was founded in the 6th century by Llorcan Wyddel. The dedication, too, may originally have been to Llorcan, that to St Mary being a result of the proximity of the post-Conquest Cistercian nunnery, founded prior to 1188 and continuing until the Dissolution. Its founder was Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain, and it became a daughter house of Strata Marcella. Its site is uncertain, but a meadow by the River Rhiw is one site that has been suggested. However, it has also been mooted that the nunnery was adjacent to the church, though this remains unproven. It was presumably a very small community, with only an abbess and four nuns recorded in 1377. [From the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website, where the full text is available]

Note 2. The walls and roof of the single chamber (above) are somewhat earlier than the late 15th century east and south windows. In the east window (below left) is glass of 1453 and 1500, reassembled in 1891. The circular font (below right) dates back to circa 1200. [From The Old Parish Churches of Mid Wales by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern 2003; ISBN 1-871731-62-3]

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