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ST PADARN'S CHURCH, LLANBADARN FAWR

Site Details


NPRN 236

Map Reference SO06SE

Grid Reference SO0869764300

Unitary (Local) Authority Powys

Old County Radnorshire

Community Llanbadarn Fawr (Powys)

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century, Medieval

Site Description The parish church of Llanbadarn Fawr in Powys (formerly Radnorshire). The current church was completely rebuilt in 1878-9 on the site of a former, probably twelfth-century church which consisted of only a single nave or aisle. Geraldus Cambrensis may have visited the former church in 1176. The current church consists of a nave with a slightly narrower chancel. A new vestry was built in 1905, the former vestry now housing the organ. There is a porch to the south over which there is a tower and spire. Of particular interest is the preservation of the medieval south door which is highly ornamental. The arch above the door has a plain chamfered hood-mould and two recessed orders. Set within the arch is an image of a tree growing out of the head of an animal (or perhaps a human with long ears) flanked by two lions with trefoil tails. The western lion has reared up and under his forepaws in a rayed sun or inside a circle. The lintel underneath has a tau pattern resting on brackets carved with heads, although the eastern one has been defaced. The arch rests on two abacuses the western with a snake with the head broken off, the eastern with lozenges. On either side of the door are columns, the capital of the western column bearing human figures, possibly Adam and Eve, with a head between then, the eastern bears fantastical animals. The Victorian door in the middle is painted purple. A Roman stone is secured to the western internal wall of the porch with the inscription ‘VALFLAVINI’, said to have been found during the demolition of the old church. High on the eastern wall are two Norman corbels, a Janus-type head and a sheila-na-gig.

(Sources: Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire, III County of Radnor (RCAHMW: 1913), pp. 59-60; Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, Radnorshire Churches Survey)

A.N. Coward 12.04.2018

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