Trelleck – St Nicholas Church

History

   Church of St. Nicholas was erected at the beginning of the 14th century. It is possible that the previous temple was rebuilt and burned down in 1296 (as the date of the fire is also given the middle of the 13th century). However, there is no clear architectural evidence for the 13th century genesis of the temple, stylistically all of its elements can be dated back to the fourteenth century.
  
In 1792 it was noted that during the storm the tower collapsed. The rebuilding, especially the spire, probably took place in the same year. In 1893 and 1903, the building underwent a renovation, which fortunately did not introduce major changes.

Architecture

   The church was built of red and gray sandstone. Originally it consisted of a five-bay nave with two aisles in the form of a basilica, a rectangular chancel on the east side, a four-sided tower on the west side and a porch at the southern aisle, probably added at the end of the 16th century.
   The side aisles were extended with side rooms to the height of the western wall of the tower, which was crowned with a soaring spire, and in its western façade there was an entrance portal and a large, pointed window with a four-light reticulated tracery. At the top of the four-sided part of the tower, a parapet topped with a battlement was placed, of a decorative and representative function rather than a defensive one. The walls of the aisles were supported by stepped buttresses on the bays’ division line, between which narrow, splayed inwards windows were pierced with trefoils (except for the blind extreme eastern bay of the southern aisle). Similar windows were placed in the walls of the central nave (clerestory). In addition, three-light, pointed windows illuminated the side aisles on the eastern side.
   Inside the church, the chancel was separated from the nave by a low, moulded arcade with an almost triangular top, while the aisles were separated by pointed arcades based on octagonal pillars. No part of the church was vaulted and everywhere, despite the use of buttresses, wooden ceilings were used.

Curent state

   Most of the church visible today is the result of the work of medieval builders, with the exception of the spire of the tower rebuilt at the end of the 18th century and the chancel rebuilt in the 19th century, when the chancel arch was also slightly raised (but its moulding is similar to the original). Despite the reconstruction of the presbytery, the original piscina in the southern wall has been preserved. What is unique in Wales, most of the church’s many windows have original jambs, not replaced in the 19th century, not counting those placed in the chancel. On the other hand, the entire ceiling in the nave, aisles and the presbytery part was replaced.

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

Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Nicholas A Grade I Listed Building in Trellech United (Tryleg Unedig), Monmouthshire.
Website wikipedia.org, Church of St Nicholas, Trellech.