Bronllys – St Mary’s Church

History

   Church of St. Mary in Bronllys was erected in the 12th-13th centuries, probably by the powerful Clifford family, who also erected a nearby castle. The church and its property were later granted to the Clifford Abbey in Herefordshire, which it owned until the Reformation. In the 14th century, the temple was rebuilt, and the first mention of the parson dates back to the year 1400, when David Gomod was appointed to this position. In 1887, the church underwent a thorough rebuilding, keeping only a few fragments of the original walls. Also the roof and fittings were replaced at that time, giving the building a Victorian character. Fortunately, the free-standing belfry avoided reconstruction, it was only renovated in 1938.

Architecture

   The church was built of red and gray local stone. It consisted of a single rectangular nave and a narrower and shorter chancel. On the north side, a wooden porch was added on a stone base from the 15th or 16th century. On the north-eastern side of the chancel, a free-standing belfry was erected in the Middle Ages. It received a hip roof and two-step, square walls separated by an offset. Inside, the walls were plastered and painted.

Current state

   Only the western wall of the nave and the western part of the chancel have survived from the original building, but the layout of the walls probably repeats the original, medieval appearance of the church. Inside, the original priest’s portal from the 14th century and the chancel arcade have been preserved. The medieval furnishings of the church include a fourteenth-century baptismal font and a rood screen from around 1450-1500, the three segments of which are rearranged to separate the sacristy.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of Mid-Wales, Wolverhampton 1997.

Website britainexpress.com, Bronllys, St Mary Church.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St. Mary. A Grade II Listed Building in Bronllys, Powys.
Website cpat.demon.co.uk, Church of St Mary , Bronllys.