Partrishow – St Ishow’s Church


According to tradition, in the 6th century, in the area of the later Partrishow, the hermitage was founded by Saint Ishow (Issui). He also had a well, powered by the water of a nearby stream, which became a place of pilgrimage after being murdered by an random traveler. In the middle of the 11th century, the first stone church was erected from pilgrims’ donations, expanded later in the 14th and 15th centuries. Apparently, in the temple preached in 1188, a well-known chronicler, monk and writer Gerald (Giraldus Cambrensis), during his trip around Wales. The church survived the reformation without damage, its double altars were spared from the order of Edward VI in 1550. The church also successfully escaped Victorian reconstruction and was carefully restored in 1908-1909.


The church consists of a rectangular nave and a narrower, rectangular chancel from the 16th century on the eastern side. Nave comes from the 13th century, although its windows on the south side were made in the perpendicular gothic style in the sixteenth century. The north side of the nave is devoid of windows. On the western side there is a small rectangular, a 13th-century chapel, supposedly located above the grave of Saint Ishow. A porch from the fifteenth century adjoins the nave on the south side. The nave roof truss comes from the 16th century, while the chancel from the nave is separated by a magnificent, oak rood screen from 1500. In addition, in the church has preserved the 11th-century baptismal font and fragments of wall polychromes. On the western wall is a painting depicting the biblical Day of Judgment. Even more impressive is the striking Personification of Time, in the form of a skeleton holding a scythe, hourglass and shovel.

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Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website, St Ishow’s church, Partrishow.
Website, St Issui’s Church, Partrishow.