Church of St Teilo, Llantilio Crossenny
Description: Church of St Teilo
Date Listed: 19 November 1953
Cadw Building ID: 2073
OS Grid Coordinates: 339888, 214983
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8298, -2.8724
Location: Llantilio Crossenny, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8SY
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Situated in a gently sloping churchyard in the centre of Llantilio Crossenny.
An earlier pre-Norman, probably timber-framed church, almost certainly existed on the site. According to tradition, a battle against Saxon invaders took place in C6 at Llantilio Crossenny and the local ruler Iddon triumphed after asking for St Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff, to pray for victory. The earliest fabric of the present Church dates from C12 . The crossing tower is probably late C12, and Early English. The W aisle walls have small lancets which survive from the original late C12 nave. Subsequently this nave was remodelled in C15 Perpendicular style and a clerestory added. The chancel was rebuilt in the early C14, and the N transept enlarged and extended E to form a Lady Chapel. At some stage, probably in C14, the pavement at the E end was considerably heightened. In C17 the Lady Chapel came to be known as the Cil-lwch Chapel (anglicised to Killough) and, between 1697-1835, successive gentry families from Great Killough were buried here. The spire was added to the tower in 1708-9 when the bell chamber was strengthened, and the windows in the S aisle date from the Victorian restoration of 1857 by Prichard and Seddon.
The interior is remarkable for its austere simplicity. The chancel is out of line with the nave, being deflected to S. From the nave the chancel is barely visible through the low crossing arch. Entry into stone-flagged porch with collar-rafter roof and stone bench (left). Porch C19 inner doorway has pointed arch with dripmould and foliated stops. The majestic nave with its high and narrow white-washed walls has a fine arch- braced collar-rafter roof. Nave is of 5 bays. The octagonal piers have moulded capitals and are set on octagonal moulded bases and have double-chamfered pointed arches. Above the depressed chamfered arch of the crossing , the upper wall (to right) has a pointed arched doorway to former gallery. From the angles of the tower crossing, four massive oak posts rise about 20m to support the bell chamber. The original five bells, inscribed with prayers for the church and for Queen Anne, and a sixth dated 1821, were recast in 1978- 9. Chancel walls are stripped. Fine arch-braced collar-rafter roof has battlemented wall-plate and cambered tie beams with painted decoration to soffits. C14 piscina with chamfered pointed arch, cinquefoil head and foliated finial. Set into the tower buttress of SW wall at ground-level, is blocked ogee-arched doorway. On adjoining S wall, blocked upper doorway with flat head has chamfered surround with pyramid stops. At ground level are two further blocked openings: to left, a segmental arched doorway with stone voussoirs and keystone, and to right a chamfered pointed-arched doorway with pyramid stops. The Cillwch chapel is separated from the chancel by an arcade of three depressed pointed arches. The arches nearest the tower have piers with attached shafts, one with a mask at impost level (‘the green man'), and complex ovolo and cavetto moulded arch. The arcade has two squints aligned towards chancel altar. Cillwch chapel has moulded late C17 altar rail with turned bulbous balusters. Either side of the E window of the chapel, are stone corbels with a king's head (said to represent King Edward II, and possibly early C14). Furnishings: porch has massive medieval parish chest, over 3m long, made from oak planks, lid in two halves with strap hinges, and nave has C19 benches with shaped ends and close boarded backs. Stained glassE window, by Howard Martin of Celtic Studios. N aisle, two C18 windows (taken from Llantilio Court) with arms of (1) Sir David Gam and (2) Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Cillwch Chapel E window by CE Kempe. In chancel are several good wall monuments and floor slabs, including: W wall, to Jane Hughes of Treadam (died 1815) oval slate tablet, with closed alabaster urn garlanded with foliage, by Reeves of Bath. N wall, rectangular alabaster tablet to John Morris (died 1753) framed by fluted Corinthian pilasters and flanked by acanthus scrolled tapering wing brackets has broken pediment with inset painted achievement. Also to Mary Lewis (died 1760), oval tablet surmounted by obelisk against which is a carved achievement, and fine monument to Mrs Mary Ann Bosanquet (died 1820) by John Flaxman; square alabaster tablet depicts dying figure surrounded by relatives or friends, reeded architrave with paterae at angles and inscribed tablet below. Between choir stalls are two fine floor slabs depicting (1) To man with wife (probably Jane and John Walderne, died 1620) and three sons in contemporary costume (2) To Vicar Owen Rodger (died 1660) which bears three candles, and ten angel's faces. Cillwch chapel, N wall has classical style wall monument to Thomas Medlycott (died 1738) with rectangular marble tablet flanked by fluted Corinthian columns and, above cornice, a painted achievement flanked by shells. Also on S wall, small tablet to James Watkins (died 1721) in style of Brute brothers, has sacred monogram inscribed in pediment with ball finial and winged angel in apron. In S transept, tower upper wall has rectangular tablet to Matthew Morgan (died 1761) with winged angel at head, by P & T Brute.
Red sandstone rubble with some ashlar dressings, battered stone plinth; slate roofs except spire which has wooden shingles. Cruciform plan; aisled nave with clerestory, transepts, crossing-tower, chancel, N chapel, W porch. W gable has single-storey gabled stone porch with pointed arched entrance doorway with double chamfered head and C20 glazed double-doors, and (above) small single light window with flat head in gable head. Porch side walls are blind. Each side of porch, aisle walls have small, single lancets. W gable of clerestory has tall, C15 2-light cinquefoil with flat head, ribbed panels to tracery, and rectangular leaded panes. Nave N and S aisles enclosed by lean-to roofs. Nave S clerestory has two 2-light cinquefoil windows (as described). Nave S aisle, three C19 pointed arched windows, each with 2-light trefoils and a traceried quatrefoil. S transept gable has C19 restored 2-light window with Tudor-arched dripmould with stops bearing Chi Rho sacred monogram (left) and pointed arched chamfered doorway which has C19 boarded door with ornamental strap hinges (right). Above doorway is a small rectangular window with lattice glazing. Chancel S wall has three windows (l to r) a small 2-light with a flat head; next a flat headed window with 3 ogee lights and traceried quatrefoils; and then a 3-light pointed arched window with intersecting tracery and C19 dripmould. E gable with C14 3-light trefoil headed window and dagger tracery. Chancel N wall is blind. To right Cillwch Chapel has lean-to roof with square end-stack and C19 octagonal chimney pot with moulded circular base. On Chapel N wall are a pointed arched window with two trefoil-headed lights, an ogee headed window, and a pointed arched doorway with C19 boarded door and ornamental strap hinges. Chapel W wall has C14 pointed arched window with three ogee headed lights and traceried trefoils, and oval wall monument to Frances Evans (died 1832). Nave N clerestory with two 2-light windows (as before). Nave N aisle has two C19 3-light cinquefoil windows with flat heads, and a C15 2-light window with flat head and tracery of ribbed panels. Crossing tower has two trefoil headed louvred bell openings on each face (partly obscured by ridge of nave roof to W), and fine splay-foot spire with ball finial.
Reason for Listing
Grade I as an exceptionally fine medieval parish church with outstanding interior.
Irwin D, John Flaxman 1755-1826, p 150.
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:
Situated in a gently sloping churchyard in the centre of Llantilio Crossenny.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.