Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Old Vicarage  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Located close to and on a bend of the River Wye, set apart from the village, at the far S end at the end of the road.  


Broad Class

Built late C15, perhaps by St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester, and modified probably in 1611, when the building was shortened at each end, the open hall at the centre ceiled and stacks inserted in the position of the axial fireplace, and the stair projection added to the N front. The vicarage was probably the residence of Alexander Griffiths, vicar 1661-1690, the loyal and orthodox divine, who wrote 'Mercurius Cambro-Britannicus' (1652) and 'Strena Vavasoriensis', (1654). Structure recently stabilised.  

Small rubble stonework with slate roof. One storey, six bays with an added lateral stair under a pent roof to the E bay on the N side. Small C20 gabled porch to the central bay, and lean-to porch at the E end. Timber C17 cyma-quirk-ovolo-moulded mullioned and transomed windows with stone drip, 4-light to the former service end, now the living room, in the W bay, 2-light window central to hall, and 3-light to the W end, with stone drip course over. Timber lintels. Four-light moulded raised dormer window in a large gable over the E bay. The rear elevation has a large gable to the E and over part of centre bay of the original house, with a full height mullioned and transomed hall window. Sitting room window to S, 2-light as on N side. Two C20 windows in gable light the attic floor. The trusses suggest that the old vicarage was always stone walled. The gable ends have been rebuilt and the end trusses lost.  

The building appears to have originally consisted of a central hall of approximately 24ft span, with a parlour at the E end, a cross passage and a further 2 bays, possibly services with solar over, at the W. The medieval roof throughout survives largely unaltered, comprising 2 bays over the hall subdivided by intermediate trusses, supporting 2 tiers of purlins, with cusped straight windbraces at three levels, including to the ridge. On either side of the cross passage, the trusses have king posts and intermediate struts, filled above tie level with wattle and daub. The two main trusses over the west parlour are of arched-braced collar form with king post rising to the apex, all cusped above the collar. The rafters are seated on stub ties, and knee braces continues the shape to terminals below wall plate level. The intermediate trusses have arched braced collars with king post to the ridge, also cusped above the collar. Carvings survive on the lower end of three knee braces in the E parlour end; one with a figure of a bishop, one grotesque mask and one fashionable female head dated by her hair style to pre-1500. The high quality of the roof construction continues beyond the cross passage where the two trusses are of scissor form with king posts rising from the intersection to the ridge, all again cusped, including braces from king post to ridge, suggesting that the two bays formed a solar at the SW end. the whole roof was heavily smoke-blackened. The C17 remodelling is equally unusual and interesting. The cross passage was retained, and a closet formed at the centre, with a stack inserted at the upper end of the hall, bearing the 1611 date on the end of the lintel. The stair projection, enclosing a stone winding newel stair, with angled squint windows and a side closet, was probably added in the same building phase to provide accessto the new upper chamber formed when the open hall was ceiled. The present kitchen, at the E end, has a bracket moulded square panelled ceiling, 4 x 2 bays. An ovolo moulded timber framed screen crosses the house between the kitchen and the dining room, and part of a former glazed screen, formed of short panelled studs survives at high level across the cross passage, probably related to the central service area formed in the C17.  

Reason for designation
Included at Grade I as one of the most important and best preserved small medieval houses in this region of Wales with an exceptionally fine and rare type of roof.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]