Llangybi – St Cybi’s Church


   The church in Llangybi was probably founded in the 13th or 14th century, with a tower added a little later than the nave and chancel. In the fifteenth century it was rebuilt, from this period windows come, in the style of perpendicular gothic. Its equipment was replaced around 1700, but the building itself was not thoroughly renovated until 1909-1910, when the southern sacristy was also erected.


   The church initially consisted of a rectangular, longitudinal nave and a lower and shorter chancel, more or less of the same width. The chancel in the east was closed with a straight wall. The tower on the west side, slightly embedded in the nave, built on a square plan with a sloping plinth, was probably added at the end of the Middle Ages. It obtained two floors above the ground floor and was topped with a decorative battlement with a parapet mounted on a moulded cornice.
   The entrance portal to the church was originally located in the western part of the southern wall of the nave, located to the west of two large Gothic, pointed windows. A similar window was also found in the eastern wall of the chancel and on the north side in the nave, next to the late Gothic three-light window in the four-sided jamb. In the southern wall of the chancel, a three-light window topped with trefoils was pierced. Most of the windows, if not all, were topped with moulded hoods repeating the archivolts shape. Among them, the hood of the eastern chancel window was distinguished, mounted on corbels carved in the shape of angels holding shields. The tower was illuminated by Gothic two-light windows on each side on the top floor (topped with ogee arches). The first floor was pierced only with slit openings, while the ground floor was separated from the first floor with a cordon cornice. Below it, in the western wall, was placed the main entrance leading to the undertower porch.
Inside the church, a wide, moulded arcade with a segmental arch separated the nave from the chancel. In addition, both main parts of the church: the priestly part (chancel) and the part intended for lay people (nave), were separated by a wooden partition of the rood screen. It had a balcony at the top, accessible by moulded, narrow portals with double-sided archivolts, leading to the stairs. These stairs were created in the thickness of the wall, protruding from the nave, both in the north and south. It was quite an unusual solution, because usually in rural churches in Wales, the stairs to the rood screens led only from one side. The interior of the porch in the ground floor of the tower was separated from the nave by a pointed portal, accessible from the east by a few steps.

Current state

   The church has retained the walls of the original building and elements of architectural details from the late Gothic period, while the southern windows in the nave were thoroughly renovated in the 20th century, and one of the windows in the chancel was transformed. The sacristy on the south side is a completely modern element. Inside the church, medieval wall polychromes from the mid-15th century have been preserved, partially covered by inscriptions added in the 17th century.

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Salter M., The old parish churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Malvern 2002.

Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Cybi A Grade II Listed Building in Llangybi, Monmouthshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Cybi’s church, Llangybi.