St Fagans – St Mary’s Church

History

   The church in St. Fagans was erected in the 12th century, although it was first recorded in documents in 1301. In the 14th century it was rebuilt and enlarged. In the fifteenth century, the porch was added and a roof truss was replaced. In the 17th century, the tower was rebuilt, which was additionally raised in 1730 during the then renovation. The whole building was restored in 1859-1860 and enlarged by a northern nave and sacristy. Since then, no major changes have been carried out, only in 1985 the tower was repaired and in 1991 the chancel was improved.

Architecture

   The medieval church consisted of a rectangular nave and a rectangular chancel on the eastern side. From the west, a four-sided tower, lower than today, was added. At the end of the Middle Ages, a porch was added at the southern entrance to the church. The original Romanesque windows were splayed, semicircular, small openings. Gothic windows were quite narrow, but high, topped with strong pointed arches. In the late Gothic period, the elevations were pierced with large pointed windows filled with two and three-light traceries with arcaded framing set on consoles in the shape of carved heads, mascarons and various beasts.

Current state

   The body of the medieval church is noticeably enlarged today due to the addition of the northern aisle, sacristy and elevation of the tower. In the western part of the southern wall of the nave, a pointed, single-light window from the fourteenth century has been preserved, but a similar window in the eastern part of the south wall is already an early modern copy. The original windows with renovated traceries have also been preserved in the walls of the chancel, where you can also see the sedilia and piscina inside, as well as the roof truss dating back to the 15th century.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Wolverhampton 2002.

Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin A Grade II Listed Building in St Fagans, Cardiff.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Mary’s church, St Fagans.