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Church of St Mellon, Old St Mellons

Description: Church of St Mellon

Grade: I
Date Listed: 3 January 1963
Cadw Building ID: 13865

OS Grid Coordinates: 322835, 181404
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5258, -3.1124

Location: The Ton, Llanrumney, Cardiff CF3, UK CF3 5UR

Locality: Old St Mellons
County: Cardiff
Country: Wales
Postcode: CF3 5UR

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There is also a scheduled monument, St Mellons Churchyard Cross, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text

Location
In a commanding hilltop position with access lane and open ground to N and churchyard extending below on S slope.

History
Core of building is C14, date of E and W windows; S porch is later, an earlier entrance being through the S tower, and overlaps the C15 SW nave window though from its roof the porch appears still medieval; tower is earlier than the C15 S chapel which is adapted to it; nave refenestrated C15; N chapel C16-C17. Church, including nave roof, partly restored c 1858 by GG Scott, paid for by EA Freeman, the antiquary who lived at Llanrumney Hall; further work c 1869 by Charles Buckeridge; chancel restored by Ewan Christian; some doors reputedly made of wood from warships broken up at Dover after First World War. Pews were recorded as painted white in 1902. Dedication saint was an early Christian Bishop of Rouen; appears on 1880 OS map as St Melan, but many other variations recorded. Welsh name for the village is Llaneirwg, appears as Llaneurog on OS map of 1901, various other spellings also recorded . Map of 1880 shows a building apparently within the churchyard enclosure at SW.

Interior
Interior is unrendered rubble with ashlar dressings. Wagon roofs. Nave has 2- bay S arcade of 2-ordered pointed arches with stepped capitals, one bay occupied by organ, and a further blocked bay to tower. Blocked N door. Some early bench seating with simplified cusped poppy-heads. Font is small, hexagonal and roughly chalice-shaped with blind tracery panels to stem. Panelled vestry created adjacent. Pointed roodloft entrance doorway NE with square-headed former access doorway above. Unusual wide pointed chancel arch with the mouldings sweeping out to the stepped capital and narrower arch sharing the same pier to N chapel, C19 stone pulpit in front; window in nave apex; wooden chancel screen in late medieval style probably early C20. Chancel has squint from N chapel which contains early C19 monument to David Richards of Llanrumney Hall and an asymmetric arch to S chapel which has an altar at E; above in E wall is a niche with finely wrought foliage corbel, no canopy; sill appears to incorporate piscina. C18 and C19 wall tablets in chancel, one to members of the David family of St Julian's farm. E window of 1882 believed to be by Clayton and Bell. Enriched wallplate, shaped ends to the ribs of the wagon roof. Six bells in tower originally from Chepstow foundry 1713 recast 1913.

Exterior
Medieval church. Long nave with S porch and S tower, unusually close together, S chapel, narrow chancel, N chapel. Of rubble variously hued with ashlar dressings, slate roofs, some pitches of small slates, with cruciform apex finials; all walls are battered, most strongly the tower and E chancel wall. W end of nave has 3-light window with reticulated tracery, hoodmould with foliage stops and a stone head above apex, low pointed-arched W doorway set within an altered opening with relieving arch above; elaborate iron hinges to boarded door. At SW nave is a 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery; all such windows here have deep almost Tudor-arched hoodmoulds. Immediately adjacent and part overlapping is a deep gabled S porch, with remnants of render, moulded doorway with hoodmould, the stops slightly swept out. Porch interior has wooden barrel roof, the 3 principal ribs supported by stone corbels, stone benches, holy water stoup to right of inner moulded doorway. Immediately to E and separated only by a drainage channel, is the 4-storey church tower, without buttresses, embattled parapet, 2 string courses; paired cusped louvred lights under relieving arches to belfry and small single light rectangular-headed openings at 2 levels; former ground floor pointed-arched doorway blocked but incorporating a 3-light window. Abutting the tower is the S chapel with three 3-light Perpendicular windows and a narrow priests' doorway with stone head above; stone bench at SE with inscription 1796 below commemorating Evan Phillips who erected it. 3-light E window with reticulated tracery and foliage stops to hoodmould. Chancel has similar but larger 3-light E window and small SE window of 2 trefoil-headed lights within ogees. N chapel has large rectangular 3-light E window with chamfered surround and mullion under a rough relieving arch, large stone brackets at eaves for gutters; 3-light Perpendicular N window and narrow doorway. N nave has 3 similar Perpendicular windows, the hoodmoulds almost overlapping the eaves, shallow bay at E end for roodloft stairs, wide blocked N doorway with narrow stone voussoirs.

Reason for Listing
Listed Grade I as retaining almost all its medieval fabric with an unusual plan on S side and internally an unusual double arch to chancel and nave

References
Bielski A, The Story of St Mellons, 1985;
Newman J, Building of Wales Series, Glamorgan, 1995, p567;
St Mellon Tithe 1846;
Ordnance Survey, First Edition, scale 1:2500, surveyed 1875-82;
Ordnance Survey, Second Edition, scale 1:2500, 1901.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Notes:
In a commanding hilltop position with access lane and open ground to N and churchyard extending below on S slope.

Source: Cadw

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.




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