Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Madoc
On the east side of the Caerleon road about 700m south of Usk bridge,
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
The church is said to have belonged to the Priory of Usk. There is a suggestion that part of the east end walling of the nave may survive from the small Norman church endowed by Richard de Clare (Strongbow) Lord of Usk who died in 1176, but the earliest datable feature is the remains of the c1300 reredos which would suggest that the chancel, and the surviving lancet windows, are contemporary with it. The possibly rebuilt nave could also be contemporary, but its main window is C15 and this possibly dates with the tower. The south porch also appears C14 which again suggests that the nave is mostly contemporary with the chancel. The chancel was heightened and reroofed in the C15. The complete change in the floor levels of the building in the C19 has done much to obscure its medieval origins. The nave may well have required reroofing after the Great Storm of 1703. There is evidence that the church was closed for a period at this time, and both C15 and C18 carpentry were found in the roof in 1998. John Prichard restored the church in 1873 adding the north aisle and vestry and tidying up the features, especially the east window which was given a Perpendicular head as can be seen by the disturbed stonework; the builder was James Lucas of Usk. The building has been little changed since then apart from extra fittings (see Interior) and has been fully repaired in 1998-9.
The church is built of random local sandstone rubble with some cut and dressed stones, particularly in the quoins. The roofs are of stone slates, except for the upper parts of both pitches of the main nave roof, which are of interlocking tiles; the tower roof was not seen but is presumably lead. The plan is of a nave with a north aisle, south porch, chancel and west tower.
The south wall of the nave is in three bays with the porch projecting from the central one. The left corner has a clasping buttress, then comes a probably C17 two-light window with a dripmould. The porch is steeply gabled with a coping and apex cross. The doorway is moulded and has an ogee drip; chamfered pointed inner arch with a Victorian plank door with strap hinges. The right hand return wall has a single light window. Stone corbel brackets support the gutters. To the right is a 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped heads. Corbel brackets and stone verge to the east gable. The chancel has a lower roofline and is set down. First comes a single light window with a trefoil head, then a priest's door with moulded frame which is largely Victorian, then a 2-light Perpendicular window as before with a dripmould with label stops. Corbel brackets, stone coping to gable, apex cross. The east gable has a 3-light Perpendicular window with ogee heads and a depressed arch, this is a Victorian alteration. It shows signs of reconstruction, particularly in the cill, the walling is otherwise medieval, showing that the present window has a lower cill then the Decorated original. The north return wall has another single light window as before, and then comes the Victorian vestry. This has a 2-light trefoiled window in the east return and a larger one in the north gable with a quatrefoil in the arch above. Plain arched doorway. Coped gable with chimney as finial. The west return of the chancel and the north wall of the nave are mostly covered by the Victorian north aisle. This has three pointed trefoiled light windows and a swept roof. The west end of the nave wall has a small lean-to sexton's store and another clasping buttress. Tall square west tower with a pronounced taper. The tower is plain walling until the bell-stage which has a wide louvred opening on each face apart from the west face to the road where it has been narrowed to a slit. Castellated parapet on corbels above this.
The interior is plastered and painted throughout. It is now almost fully Victorian in character, apart from the plaster, with only rere-arches and a few other features visible from the medieval period. The floor levels have been substantially changed as can easily be seen from the tower arch and the south porch entrance. The north arcade was built to suit the new floor level; three bays of pointed Early English style arches, the chancel arch was widened and an arcade with stiff-leaf capital put into the north wall of the chancel. The furnishings and fittings are all Victorian except for the chancel screen and rood-beam which is a c1920 memorial to WWI, and the reredos which is 1905, by Veall and Sant of Cardiff, the statues carved by Wormleighton of Cardiff. This last is set between tall cusped niches for saints, which are C13. The south nave window glass is dated 1910, by Gerald Moira, while the font is post 1933 in its present form although the bowl is medieval. The font is a Prichard design based on that at Beaulieu Abbey; it was carved by Crisp of Leamington. Panelled wagon roofs to both nave and chancel, both are Victorian. There are some good marble late C18 and early C19 wall monuments. There are two bells dated 1635 and 1677.
Reason for designation
Included and highly graded as a church with good medieval work including a fine west tower and an interesting and complete Victorian restoration.
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