St Tegfedd's Church, Llandegfedd/Llandegveth, Monmouthshire
Dedication: St Tegfedd
Built: 12th century with 14th and 19th century additions
The nave may be as early as c.1100. It has a small north window and a round arched west doorway. The chancel is also Norman, but later. It retains one original window and the priest's doorway. One nave window is contemporary. There is a 14th century south window and there is old woodwork in the west porch and coved roof. The church was heavily restored in the 19th century and the blocked NW doorway led to a vestry added then but subsequently demolished.
[Source: The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991, ISBN 1-871731-08-9]
Photographs 1 and 2: Steve Veysey
Camera: Fuji FinePix 6900 Zoom digital
Photographs 3 to 7: John Ball
Date: 24 March 2010
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Built in the Early English style, long-wall entry type. [Source: Coflein database (NPRN 307347)]
Visit to St Tegfedd’s Church
This week I drove out from the foothills of Cwmbran past the Crematorium and out towards Llandegveth to see for myself...
In the very ancient porch, after entering the gate, there were two items of interest .There was a wind-hole on each side looking out to the fields (see below) and also on each side of the door was the head of a monk or priest from earliest times, with a Roman tonsure. The pictures show that the faces are quite worn, possibly as they were outside the first stone mediaeval church on the site. Tegfedd’s church would have been of wood or mud and wattles more likely but may have been also built of stone, that is the chancel-sanctuary area...
The lectern had come from a nearby church and stood before a large Norman (restored) arch which led into the chancel. It is likely the chancel (and sanctuary) would originally have been the first stone chapel and Martyrum in pre-Norman times. We know Harold Godwinson entered and took over Gwent just before he had to fight for his crown at Hastings, so the first stone church may have been built over the site by the Christianised Saxons, but possibly also the local British to commemorate their Martyr.
[Source: Mary in Monmouth's Blogspot, where further details and photographs are available]
Above: 'Wind-holes' in each side of the ancient porch.
Above: Belfry, porch, and south wall.
Below: North wall, belfry and porch.
Right: West entrance door inside porch.
The parish church is dedicated to St Tegfedd, a female saint said to have been martyred by the Saxons. It was founded in the 12th century and was restored in 1875-6, when the ancient doors and Norman and Early English lancet windows were replaced in the walls 'as near as could be known to its original form' as noted on the chancel arch. Inside is a medieval vestments chest and an odd feature: a small fireplace, perhaps to warm a family pew, or, it has been suggested, for baking the Communion wafer. Two bells hang in a niche over the porch, and on the back wall hangs the parish bier.
[Source: Llangybi Fawr Community Council website]