Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Parish Church of St Stephen  


Unitary Authority
Old Radnor  
Street Side


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Elevated position on W flank of Old Radnor Hill in largely circular churchyard. Pre-Norman foundation. Present church predominantly dates from rebuilding throughout the C15 after attacks by Owen Glendower in 1401/2 but includes earlier fabric. Restoration of 1882 by F Preedy of Worcester. One of the finest medieval churches in Wales.  

Nave and chancel under one roofline, separately roofed south aisle and Lady Chapel, narrow lean-to north aisle and chapel, south porch, west tower. Coursed sandstone rubble, stone tile roofs with raised ashlar copings and apex crosses. East end of chancel rebuilt 1882 and much window tracery also remade in C19. 1854 window to north wall of chancel, double lancet to south wall. Reticulated tracery to west window of south aisle. Other windows later Perpendicular, those to south aisle of C16 with cambered heads over cinquefoil lights. Blocked window at east end of Lady Chapel. Gabled porch with deeply moulded Perpendicular arch, apex niches with C19 sculptures of Christ, Mary and St Stephen holding the stones of his martyrdom. Pointed south door to Lady Chapel. Broad 3-stage early C15 tower with diagonal buttresses, battlements and loopholes, north-east stair crowned with beacon turret. Churchyard with numerous chest tombs and lychgate of 1882 in Tudor style.  

Unusually fine, and well-furnished, late medieval interior. Four-bay nave arcades, tall octagonal piers with moulded capitals on square bases, double chamfered arches. Similar but flatter 2-bay chancel arcades. No chancel arch but wide Lady Chapel arch. Earliest roof in north aisle - divided into panels with richly moulded ribs and chamfered rafter infilling, the main ribs jointed into curved braces incorporated into a coved, moulded bressummer piece at wallplate level. Nave and south aisle roofs have very flat-arched profile, plain ribbed panels with moulded tie beams, numerous bosses with armorial and foliage motifs including Tudor Roses. Chancel roof rebuilt 1882 over new corbels and incorporating new arch-braced truss to mark nave division. Furnishings: Fine late C15 screen of Gloucestershire type extends across nave and aisles, repaired in C19 when paint and gilding removed. Eight bay nave section, shafted muntins extend to the floor, Tudor-arch heads have foliated and cusped tracery, lower sections have 2 panels to each bay with blind tracery and a top frieze of quatrefoil openwork between 2 quatrefoil bands. Double canopy with mortices for loft parapet. West side has tierceron vaulting springing from the muntin capitals. Canopy bressummer frieze with top and drop cresting and 2 bands of stylized vine scroll. The east side of the canopy coved with carved spandrel ornament. There are some irregularities: the Lady Chapel canopy is vaulted both sides and the north aisle has slightly different tracery. C16 parclose screens of Welsh pattern, muntins finish at rail height, panelled dado with blind tracery, narrow lights with cusped tracery under flat head, crested frieze with vine scroll. C15 stalls with traceried fronts and poppy finials across the main and parclose screens, one stall with original book chain. Outstanding early C16 organ case incorporating Gothic and Renaissance details; nationally important as the earliest surviving in the British Isles although not in its original form. Restored and rebuilt 1872 when the present Walker organ installed. The pipes arranged in 5 compartments, 3 of them projecting, the 2 flat sections contain 2 tiers of smaller pipes divided by a richly carved panel with central Tudor Rose, all have elaborate, freely carved, traceried pipe shades. Above is a deep brattishing of pinnacles and semi-circles topped with grotesque beasts. Lower sections have linenfold panelling, some wrongly reset during the restoration. North aisle Easter sepulchure (or possibly tomb niche) with moulded 4-centred arch. Trefoil-headed piscinas mark the positions of 5 pre-Reformation altars. Monolithic pre-Norman font carved out of local doleritic erratic boulder, massive polished bowl set on 4 thick legs. Tiles by William Godwin of Lugwardine, some medieval tiles reset in north aisle and at entrance to Lady Chapel. Pulpit, reredos and altar-rails by Preedy in Gothic style. East window glass by John Hardman of Birmingham. East end of north aisle has fragment of late C15 glass with St Catherine and her wheel. Also in the north aisle chapel C18 Italian painting of Moses and Aaron and large C17 panelled chest. Some raised and fielded panelling in the north aisle. Three hatchments on the west wall, also C19 tablets to Lewis family. Blocking the Lady Chapel east window a large pyramidal monument with seated woman and portrait medallion to ThomasáLewis (died 1777) and, on south wall of chancel, monument to his wife Ann (died 1785), mourning woman on pyramidal slab flanked by putti. Flat sarcophagus on corbels to John Lewis (d 1797) by Flaxman. In front of the chancel entrance, a floor tablet with foliated cross, possibly C13. Six bells, 1724 by Rudhall of Gloucester.  

Reason for designation

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