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 Saint Mary  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
In a prominent position on the N side of Main Street just E of its junction with Northgate Street.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Anglican parish church, early C13 nave and chancel, much altered, large C14 NE tower probably the largest in the county, vaulted N aisle late C14 or C15, S transept perhaps of similar date. In poor condition by 1860, repairs in early 1870s including to roofs, and major restoration 1876-9 by J L Pearson. Plans were by C. E. Buckeridge who died 1873, modified by Pearson. In 1879 the restoration halted for lack of money when the building had been secured, the sanctuary completed, and two stained glass windows inserted. In 1890 new W entry was made, new organ by Conacher and other works. 1893 reredos by Pearson, carved by N. Hitch, costing £250. 1907 E window by C. E. Kempe, tracery by K. McAlpin. 1909 choir stalls by McAlpin. 1926 W porch, and S porch built out to Main Street 1937. Repairs 1983-8 by G. Scourfield, and after 1989 by P.M. Bartosch. The church is said to have been built for Gilbert de Clare, first Earl 1138-48 or his son Richard Strongbow, 1148-76, but is likely to be contemporary with the major building at the castle by William Marshal, first in Pembroke between1204, and 1219. The earliest feature is the S door, similar to the S door at Monkton. Two round arched windows were found in the nave S wall but blocked in again in the restoration. The simple detail of the N arcade is identical to arcades at William Marshal's Tintern de Voto Abbey, Co. Wexford, suggesting that the arcade may have been in place before the N aisle. The S transept was known as the Mayor's Aisle.  

Parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs and coped gables. Nave with S porch and S transept, chancel, N aisle and massive NE tower. W porch of 1926, S porch extended out to street in 1937. All windows are late C19 replacements in Bath stone. W end has plate traceried 2-light with trefoil in head and stone voussoirs, over large 1926 porch. W porch has coped gable, high plinth, and double doors in pointed wide arch in grey Forest of Dean stone, with flat-headed window above with hoodmould and 3 pointed lights. Pointed window each side. Stone seats within and stained glass 3-light window (Annunciation, c. 1930). Inner doorway of 1890 with double doors in ashlar pointed surround with column shafts. Straight joint between nave and narrower lower N aisle, of red sandstone rubble in contrast to the grey limestone generally used. This has similar W plate-traceried 2-light with quatrefoil in head and stone voussoirs. N side has three widely spaced C19 chamfered lancets, the right one with signs of replacing an earlier window. Wall-head has been raised in C19. Blocked centre door. Straight joint to left, to tower. Tower is exceptionally large, of squared grey stone, five-stage, with slight batter and corbelled embattled cornice. NW stair tower projects slightly on W, flush on N but with 4 louvred loops. Openings with stone voussoirs and stone louvres. Two-light bell-opening each side with cambered heads to lights. W side has pointed window under bell-light, and an opening below, above N aisle roof ridge. Narrow pointed loop on N side at same level., below is a square-headed louvred opening and at ground floor a recessed pointed window and small inserted door to right, to tower stair. Five storeys to E side: 2-light segmental pointed window at ground floor, with segmental-pointed lights, pointed single light above, loop to third stage, pointed opening, and then the paired bell lights. At left of ground floor is big half-arch against chancel N (made to allow access to existing chancel N door, now blocked). Marks of a lean-to building in angle to chancel. Chancel has lower roof than nave, short high length of N wall to left of tower with signs of a low blocked opening, and big 1907 5-light E window with roll-mouldings to two main 2-light divisions and top roundel. Hoodmould over. S side is obscured by buildings on Main Street. Nave S has centre C19 2-light with quatrefoil roundel, another C19 2-light set high, just E of S porch To E of porch is S transept with C19 3-light stepped lancet S window. Chancel S wall is mostly C19 with three long 2-light windows. S porch was extended out to Main Street in 1937 with stone gable, pointed door between lancets, and narrow niche over (this replaced an early C19 one-bay building with door recessed in an arch and window over, possibly of 1822 - see plaque within).  

Plastered walls and N arcade of four pointed arches on chamfered square piers. N aisle has pointed barrel vault. C19 rafter roof to nave, with arch braces to make 11 bays. Ashlar S transept and chancel arches, both double-chamfered with no capitals. S transept C19 rafter roof. N aisle third window in blocked pointed opening of a lost transept. E end of N aisle has deep chamfered pointed tower arch. Tower has vaulted ground floor with thick square ribs (similar to those at Monkton Old Hall) to octagonal vault with octagonal centre opening. Chancel has C19 pointed boarded ceiling with transverse ribs. Quarter-round stone corbel table on S wall and N wall to right of tower. N wall left has lower corbels carrying wall-thickening for tower, over pointed triple-chamfered low tower arch. Blocked rood loft door to left of tower arch, and blocked external N door to right. S wall has small pointed piscina and deep recess above. C13 arched S door with two continuous roll-moulds and a hood (like the door at Monkton Priory). Damaged, possibly C13, niche over with C17 tablet to Andros Anderson Marcer, from Switzerland, died 1622. Stone curved vault and stone benches. Porch extension with roof of 1937. W wall plaque 1937, and plaque of 1822 with 'James Hird/ Rich Ormond/ Church/ wardens/ WB Fech'. E wall pointed door to space between church and Clock House. Fittings: C12 square font, scalloped, with darts, sloped in to rope moulding at top of round shaft. Large reredos of 1893 by Pearson, Bath stone, carved by N. Hitch. Christ with Evangelist symbols and angels to big canopied centre panel, musician angels each side, in two banks of two, with canopies copied from C15 canopies on Adams memorial (see below). Stone side panelling with ogee crocketted heads. Altar of 1940, with marble shelf and low oak back of c. 1920. Pulpit, 1880, by Pearson with blind tracery and angle crocketted piers. Ornate stalls by K. McAlpin 1909, the ends carved with lily and rose, front with ringed shafts, leaf cusps and lilies and roses. Pitch pine pews by Pearson. Inner W porch 1992 by P.M. Bartosch. S transept has Gothic oak reredos and altar of 1946 and dado panelling. N aisle has altar and reredos of c. 1932, and matching door to tower. Timber Gothic altar rails, 1937. Organ by Conacher 1890 in Gothic case. Chancel tiles 1884, carpeted over. In sanctuary, carved chair with panel of St Peter, perhaps reused continental work. Stained glass: Two W windows 1879, four Evangelists, by Clayton & Bell. E window 1907 by Kempe & Co, Crucifixion and four saints. By Kempe & Co: chancel S right 1918 and centre c. 1918; nave S left 1916 and right 1910; and 3 N aisle windows 1909. Patterned glass in chancel S, c. 1879. S transept S, 1908. Monuments: Adjoining chancel arch, fragments of a late medieval relief in alabaster, converted in 1607 to a monument to the Adams family of Paterchurch, itself dismantled. In front is a damaged Bath stone pedestal with stepped top to Roger Adames, died 1707. On wall to left, slate neo-Grec plaque to W. H. Adams, died 1833, and stone to Robert Seafort died 1630. Chancel N memorial to Edward Byam of Antigua died 1768, wreathed oval. Fine Bath stone plaque to R. and J. Meyricke, children, died 1606, small, flanked by half figures with Ionic capitals, under large cartouche; C17 plaque above to W. Goodacre, with cartouche, cherub heads, and winged skull. Chancel S, Brig-Gen Sir F. Meyrick, died 1932, with carved arms, designed by Herbert Allen, artist of Tenby; 2nd Lt W George, killed 1918, oval alabaster with wreath. N aisle N plaque to John Gwyther, died 1737, with winged cherubs and skull; marble plaque to Lt Col S. Ferrior, killed at Waterloo 1815, by Reeves of Bath. N aisle E, memorial to Lt Gen Alexander Adams, died 1834, neo-Grec with banner, by R. Westmacott Jr; plaque to Charlotte Adams, died 1814, with torches, by Harris of Dublin. In S transept, fine memorial to Francis Parry, Mayor, died 1688, brass in painted stone frame with broken pediment, cherubs and hourglass. Nave S: brass to W. Hulm JP died 1886, by Mayer & Co; later C20 oval plaque to R D R Davies; granite plaque to Lt R. Treweeks RN, killed 1915; War Memorial plaque in alabaster frame.  

Reason for designation
Graded I as medieval town church with exceptional large medieval tower and stone vaulted N aisle.  

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