Saint Michael Churchyard Cemetery

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Saint Michael Churchyard Cemetery

Newtown, Powys, Wales
Memorials 146 added (99% photographed)

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The church was founded by Bleddrws in the second quarter of the 12thC, when it was referred to as a 'monasterium', perhaps indicating some monastic link. It has been suggested that an earlier cemetery perhaps existed on the site prior to the foundation of the church and that the churchyard was enlarged to enhance the status of the new church.

It was subsequently granted to the Augustinian Abbey of Haughmond, probably just before 1150.

The church is recorded in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 as 'Ecclesia de Treveglos' at a value of 13s 4d.

The church was rebuilt on the foundations of the old church by Poundley and Walker in 1864-5. The Perpendicular east window was retained, as were the old (reputedly 17thC) oak posts that support the turret.

Considerable work at the west end of the church was required in 1932. The west wall was presumably rebuilt at this time and the bell-turret was much renewed.

Further restoration took place in 1970.

The church comprises a nave with a bell turret over the western end, a narrower chancel and a north-western porch. It is aligned north-east to south-west but for the purpose of description 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted.

Fabric 'A' consists of medium-sized blocks of quarry-cut grey sedimentary rock, perhaps a siltstone, some with quartz veins; irregular coursing; large blocks selected for quoins. Red and yellow sandstone dressings for architectural features. 'B' is similar to 'A' but in less regular masonry with some large pebblestones and some smaller, irregular lumps of stone as well as very infrequent lumps of red sandstone; occasional traces of limewash; irregular coursing.

'A' and 'B' are both restoration-period fabrics, but the latter incorporates re-used stone.

Roofs: slates, black ceramic toothed ridge tiles, and a metal cross finial to the east end of nave. Broken finial to chancel.

Drainage: Modern guttering and downspouts lead to soakaways. Hints of a gully on the north and south sides of the building.

Bell turret. General. Square wooden turret rises from the nave roof at the west end. Four louvred apertures with unconventional cusped heads on each side; pyramidal slate roof topped by a metal cross.

Porch. General. Completely of stone with a high, sharply angled roof line. Two-centred sandstone arch on large Corinthian shafts and capitals; the outer order to the arch formed of alternating red and yellow sandstone voussoirs. Small, cusped, two-centred windows in the side walls. Angle buttresses with some decoration at north-west and north-east corners.

North wall: in 'A', but the north-west angle could be rebuilt. Four windows, alternating single and paired two-centred lights with plate tracery above. Each set under a two-centred arch of alternating red and yellow sandstone dressings. Two buttresses, one at the extreme east end of the nave which is more elaborately decorated, the other to the west of two of the windows. West of the porch is a single-light window.

South wall: in 'B'. The fenestration as the north wall with alternating paired and single lights. Three stepped buttresses.

West wall: gable end is completely slated (reportedly around 1987) and there is a concrete basal plinth. In 1932 the wall was reportedly rebuilt with a lancet window in it. Previously there had been a circular window.

Chancel. General. North wall in 'A', the east and south walls in 'B'. Fractionally narrower and lower than the nave. Also a more decorative finish.

North wall: two windows set below dormers which have grotesque gargoyles protruding from the base at either side. Both windows have a single cusped light with a quatrefoil in plate tracery above it; ringed shafts (termed nook shafts by Haslam) have small capitals supporting the two-centred arch of alternating red and yellow sandstone voussoirs.

East wall: largely in 'B'. Victorian window in Perpendicular style; a two-centred arch with three cinquefoiled, two-centred lights and panel tracery above; there is a hoodmould with head stops, and above this a relieving arch of voussoirs in pink sandstone.

South wall: fenestration and dormers as on the north side but the gargoyles are replaced by plain large sandstone blocks which support the guttering.

Trefeglwys churchyard is a large sub-rectangular enclosure of about 1.6 acres (0.65 hectares). The ground slopes down in the northern half of the churchyard but the church is sited on level ground on the south side of the yard. It is on the valley floor and a fluctuating water table creates problems for the church building.

Boundary: a stone wall on the north-west and south-west sides where the yard is edged by the road. On the south-east, north-east and part of the south-west it is hedged. On the south side it is embanked internally.

Monuments: all the burials are located on the north and west sides, where there is an even distribution of mainly 19thC graves; mainly slabs, some chests and railed graves and pillars. The earliest seen, near the west entrance, was a chest tomb to John Jones (d.1769) by T. Williams, and there are a few other late 18thC memorials. Modern burials are located on the west side. There is no evidence to suggest that there were ever any burials to the south and east of the church.

Ancillary features: a pair of wrought iron gates are placed in from the north corner and a single gate is set in the west corner. Tarmac paths lead up to the north porch. A modern metal farm gate forms a recent entrance in the south-west corner with a new gravel path to the north porch.

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GPS Coordinates: 52.50363, -3.5183

  • Added: 2 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2383036