St Nicholas` Church, Trellech

Neill Parker

Caerphilly, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Church of St Nicholas
The church is a Grade I listed building. With an elegant pointed and prominent spire, a font and ancient sundial, it is a focal point of the village. A church on this site, probably a wooden structure, was endowed by Kings Ffernwael ap Ithel and Meurig ap Tewdrig who were rulers of Gwent in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Preaching Cross in the churchyard may date back to this time, as may the font. The present building dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. The early English Gothic stonework has been dated to between 1225 and 1272, and that of the Decorated Gothic up to 1350.
When the weathercock was removed from the spire in 1972 it was found to have been made in Ross-on-Wye in 1792. The original spire fell, damaging the roof of the nave, and a contemporary reference attributes this to “lightning and storms”. In the belfry the cage housing the three bells is of a type similar to that found in others constructed about the year 1700.
At the west end of the church, directly below the window, is a Royal Coat of Arms for King Charles II dated 1683.
At the end of the last century the church was in a neglected state and was extensively renovated and re-roofed. The Belgian slates then in place were replaced with Welsh slates in 1961. The chancel was replastered in 1972 and painted white. During 1974 considerable further repairs were undertaken to the north and south aisles, and in 2001 the majority of the churchyard dry-stone wall was removed and rebuilt. There remains a fair amount yet to be done to the building, however, if it is to be kept at a reasonable standard.
Records are held by the church dating from 1692. Complete lists of vicars, from 1359, and churchwardens, from 1763, can be found in the entrance to the south aisle. The rear of the main church door is inscribed “IHS 1595”.

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