Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Mary
Vale of Glamorgan
In the centre of Wenvoe village, fronting the main thoroughfare, in a roughly rectangular churchyard entered through a stone arch at NE.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Medieval church, thought to be C13, but very heavily restored in 1869, and main fabric and fittings mostly of this date. Unusually, the tower originally stood N of chancel and was rebuilt at W end in 1699, as commemorated by a plaque over W door. John Wesley preached in the church 9 times in the mid C18 at the invitation of the then rector. The fine monuments are to the families of Wenvoe Castle, the Thomas family in the C17 and early C18, the Birt and Jenner families in the later C18 and C19, Peter Birt having commissioned the new castle designed by Robert Adam in 1776; died 1791. According to John Newman, the C17 Thomas monument, of especially fine quality, is strongly influenced by Nicholas Stone. Three generations of Jenners were rectors in C19. N vestry of 1930 and N transept of 1991. Churchyard gateway erected in 1930 in memory of Laura Jenner, last inhabitant of Wenvoe Castle, designed by diocesan architect Harry Teather. Rebuilt churchyard cross: large old yew on higher ground indicating past churchyard clearance.
Medieval parish church. Plan of broad W tower, nave, S porch, chancel, NE vestry and transept, boiler room at NW. Of stone rubble with ashlar dressings, slate roof with cruciform finials. W tower is embattled with rectangular louvred belfry openings, similar below; clock face is just below parapet; slightly recessed plain segmental arched W doorway; plaque recording late C17 rebuilding above; rubble quoins. Nave windows are C19 trefoil-headed lancets. S porch has plain pointed-arched doorway with a narrow chamfer and niche above; inside are stone seats, flag floor, plastered ceiling; narrow pointed-arched C19 main S doorway. Similar windows to lower narrower chancel and pointed-arched priests' doorway. E window is 3-light with Geometric tracery; late C20 additions at NE in traditional style. Boiler-house at NW is a single storey lean-to. Walled churchyard has a number of early C19 chest tombs and a kissing gate with spear finials to former Rectory.
Interior is mostly C19, rendered with exposed dressings. C19 nave roof is boarded with trusses of tie beam and angled struts; chancel has painted panelled ceiling with grid of narrow moulded stained ribs. W tower arch is segmental pointed arched, divided from nave at ground floor by a glazed and metal screen by Frank Roper 1981; benefaction board. Small octagonal stone font with alabaster stem. Figuratively carved wooden pulpit of 1902. Pointed chancel arch, the main mouldings rising from deep-cut foliage corbels. Unusual wooden chancel screen with thick cusped tracery mouldings, columns with shaft rings; rood group on rood beam above. One step up to chancel and 2 to sanctuary, which has polychrome alabaster reredos by Ninian Comper. Stained glass E window Hardman-style 1867; S nave by Lavers and Westlake 1896. Late C20 N transept with contemporary fittings. Three bells of 1882 from the Taylors of Loughborough foundry. Fine wall monuments on N wall of nave and chancel described from W. C17 monument to members of the Thomas family of Wenvoe Castle in contrasting marble/alabaster, black, ochre, grey and beige; central oval inscription panel with incised lettering and angelic figures in shallow relief in the angles; swags and heraldic cartouche at base, classical surround with attached piers with Corinthian capitals, broken pediment with reclining figures and a central group of woman and 2 children, representing the Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Early C18 monument to Thomas family in elegant 2-tone grey marble and stone; 2 inscription panels with unpainted cartouche below, cherub heads and drape above; classical surround with broken segmental-arched pediment with reclining cherubs and central heraldic cartouche. Tall late C18 monument to the Birt and Jenner families of Wenvoe Castle in white and grey marble; wide inscription panel flanked by pilasters with Adamesque motifs and a tall enriched urn above backed by a tapering grey panel. Other C18 plain local inscribed wall plaques.
Reason for designation
Listed II* as a medieval church retaining its basic fabric and containing good quality monuments to the owners of nearby listed Wenvoe Castle.
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