Skenfrith – St Bridget’s church

History

Construction of the church of St. Bridget in Skenfrith began at the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, during the reign of English king John. Its consecration was made in 1207. In the fifteenth century, the temple was greatly enlarged, by the addition of side aisles and embellished with wall polychromes. The first major repairs were carried out in the seventeenth century, another in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Architecture

The church was built of Old Red Sandstone. It consists of a rectangular nave and a narrower and shorter, rectangular chancel, which were the earliest elements of the temple. On the western side a four-sided, squat tower was built, now reinforced with a powerful, contemporary buttress. The walls of the tower are almost 1.5 meters thick, and the whole gives the impression of performing also defensive functions. The tower is topped with an unusual timber dovecote. In the fifteenth century, side aisles were added from the north and south, the length equal to the main nave. Each of them was covered with a separate gable roof. The entrance on the southern side was preceded by a porch. Inside, the greatest treasure of the church is a mantle or cape, which probably comes from the late fourteenth century. It is made of red velvet, with an embroidered image of the Mother of God and royal lilies. A 13th-century piscina and a baptismal font have also survived.

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bibliography:
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Bridget A Grade I Listed Building in Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Monmouthshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Bridget’s church, Skenfrith.