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Latitude: 51.879 / 51°52'44"N
Longitude: -2.7915 / 2°47'29"W
OS Eastings: 345609
OS Northings: 220340
OS Grid: SO456203
Mapcode National: GBR FH.RS6M
Mapcode Global: VH794.K1LD
Entry Name: Church of St Bridget
Listing Date: 19 November 1953
Last Amended: 19 March 2001
Source ID: 2082
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Very attractively situated towards the N end of the village and approximately 100m NW of Skenfrith Castle, with which it forms part of a very fine group.
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Earliest phase believed to date from the reign of King John (1199-1216), and aisles added (or replaced) probably in the C13 to C15; repaired and restored probably in the later C17; nave and chancel roofs renewed in 1896 by E.G.Davies; restored 1909-10 by William Weir of London in consultation with S.P.A.B.
A small church built in several phases. It consists of a squat W tower, a low nave with N and S aisles under pitched roofs to the same height, a S porch, and a 2-bay chancel which is only slightly lower than the nave and has a small lean-to vestry on the S side. It is built of reddish random rubble with quoins, and the roofs are now of small stone slates.
Its most distinctive feature is the relatively low and very sturdy tower, which, like those at Rockfield and St Maughans, is of a type characteristic of the Welsh borders, square on plan and sheer-walled, with a low 2-stage timber-framed "dovecote" belfry, the lower stage close-studded and the upper with 2 tiers of small square louvred openings and a pyramidal roof. The walls, which are 1½m thick, are of random rubble with dressed quoins, a chamfered band at plinth level, a small moulded band over the ground-floor and plain coping at the top, and there is a massive raked buttress in front of the NW corner. The W front has a broad 2-centred arched doorway moulded in 2 orders, with a hoodmould and a heavy oak door; a small moulded lancet above the doorway, a smaller chamfered lancet above that and a C20 open-work metal clockface at the top. The S side has a similar clockface but no openings; and the N side has a very small glazed looplight to the 1st stage and a chamfered lancet to the 2nd stage..
The S aisle has a large moulded 2-centred arched 4-light W window with Perpendicular tracery, and on its S side a large but low porch with a wide depressed-arch outer doorway, a small 2-light Perpendicular traceried window in each side, inner side benches, a cusped stoup in the NE corner, and a wide Tudor-arched inner doorway with 2 orders of moulding and a heavy oak door. East of the porch is one square-headed mullioned window of 4 cusped lights under a shallow band of simple Perpendicular tracery, and in the E gable a 2-centred arched 3-light window with cusped Perpendicular tracery.
In the angle with the chancel is a small vestry under a carried-down roof, which has a 2-centred arched priest door with chamfered surround and a Tudor-style 3-light mullioned window with arched lights and hollow spandrels. The chancel has a rectangular 3-light S window similar to that of the S aisle, a 3-light E window with simple Y-tracery, and a small 2-light N window with cusped tracery.
The N aisle, which has a more steeply pitched roof and raised gable copings, has 3 windows in its N side like the E window of the chancel, a 3-light E window with reticulated tracery, and a large 4-light W window with cusped lights and delicate trefoil tracery in the head.
Four-bay aisle arcades of cylindrical columns with moulded annular caps carrying double-chamfered 2-centred arches; double-chamfered chancel arch with steps to the former Rood loft to its right; wide depressed tower arch with 2 orders of moulding. The nave and S aisles have plastered wagon roofs, and the wallplate on the N side of the S aisle is moulded and dated 1661. The N aisle has a coved plastered ceiling. The chancel has a wide Tudor-arched opening to the S vestry with remains of a 2-centred former window to its east; a C17 balustraded communion rail; a C13 moulded semi-circular arched piscina in the SE corner; a Reading Desk formed of parts of the medieval Rood Screen, with primitive pierced tracery; and some traces of of wall-painting on the E wall. In the S aisle is an octagonal font dated 1661; at its E end, a re-located C16 or C17 minstrels' pew with 2 tiers of 8 panels, the upper ones with elaborate carved scrollwork; between this and the font is a block of 3 old oak benches on side sills; and on the E wall are remains of wall-painting. The N aisle contains a very fine C16 chest tomb of John Morgan (d. 1557), steward of the Duchy of Lancaster, last governor of the "Three Castles" (Grossmont, Skenfrith and White Castle), and MP for Monmouthshire Boroughs 1553 and 1554: the lid has incised carving of the subject (a bearded man in cap and robe) together with his wife, surrounded by margin lettering: "HOC TUMULO CONDITA SUNT CORPORA IOHANNIS MORGAN, ARMIGERI, QUI OBIIT 2 DIE SEPTEMBRIS ANNO D'NI 1557, ET ANNE UXORIS EIUS QUE OBIIT 4 DIE IAN. ANNO D'NI 1564 QUORUM ANIMABUS PROPICIETUR DEUS" plus an added inscription "IM obit 75 1587"; each side has 4 panels of "weepers" (males on S side, females on N side) and each end an elaborate shield of Arms (that at the foot the Arms of the Cecils, his wife's family), all these in bold relief. At the W end of this aisle is the Morgan family pew, Jacobean, with 2 tiers of elaborate carved panels in Renaissance style, and a top rail decorated with gadrooning. The present pews and choir stalls date from the 1909 restoration.
Listed as an important medieval church minimally restored so as to retain historic character from the several phases of its construction, and with an exceptionally good interior.
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