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St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw, Glamorgan

(Michaelston-y-fedw parish crossed the Monmouthshire-Glamorgan border, but the church was actually in Glamorgan)

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Michael

Built: 13th century
Restored: 1999 and 2005
Photography: John Ball
Date: 25 September 2010
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR

St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Above: Eastern aspect of St Michael's Church.

Note 1: It is believed that this church dates back to around the 4th century, and was possibly a military post of some kind for the Romans.
[Source: Newport City Council website]
Built in a mixture of Gothic Early English and Decorated styles, both gable and long-wall entry type. A prominent feature of this Church is the integral tower.
[Source: Coflein database (NPRN 301789)]

Below: Southwestern aspect.
St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

Note 2: The wide 13th century nave and chancel form one block, although there is an original chancel arch between them. There are pilaster buttresses on th side walls, triple east lancets, and other single lancets in the side walls. Later 13th century additions are the south porch and west tower with an embattled parapet upon a corbel table. The tower doorway is a later insertion. A south chapel witha floor high above that of the church was added in the late 16th century. The font with a snake on the shaft and flowering foliage on the bowl is probably Norman, and there is a foliated cross slab plus a fragmentary pre-Reformation altar slab.
[Source: The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991; ISBN 1-871731-08-9]

St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Above: Northeastern aspect.


Right: Window and sundial on wall of 16th century south chapel.
  St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Above: The nave, chancel and east window.

Below: The southeastern corner of the chancel.
St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

Note 3: The stained glass window over the Altar is late 19th century and was presented by Mrs Kemys Tynte in memory of her late husband, Colonel Charles Kemys Tynte. The centre light depicts the Ascension; the south light depicts St Michael and (possibly) the warrior saints: St Maurice, St Thomas, St Gereon and St Barbara, the patron saint of Artillerymen. The north light shows St Cecilia and the martyr St Agatha.
[Source: Michaelston-y-fedw.com, the parish website]

St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Above: The nave, and base of west tower, viewed from the pulpit.

Note 4: The pews are late 19th century and replaced the high pews that stood there since the time of a fire that gutted the Church in the 15th century. After this fire a Vestry was built outside the North wall of the Chancel.
[Source: Michaelston-y-fedw.com]

Below: The roof of the nave, restored between 1999 and 2005.
St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
16th or 17th century font.

The stem, decorated with a serpent, is of Flemish design. The bowl is decorated with foliage.

  St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Wall-mounted slab

The slab records the benevolence of Rev William Edwards and Mrs Margaret Vaughan. The poor of the Glamorgan side of the parish seem to have fared better than those of the Monmouthshire side.


St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw
Above and Below: Three of several 18th century tombstones set into the floor of the church.
St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw   St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

Below: Wall-plaque marking the death in 1854 at Marseilles, of the eldest son of Sir Charles Morgan (Lord Tredegar).
St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-fedw

Note 5: A number of members of the Kemys family of Cefn Mably lie to rest at the church, including Nicholas Kemeys who defended Chepstow Castle against the Roundheads.
[Source: Newport City Council website]
The family vault below the church contains generations of the Kemys family, erstwhile owners of Cefn Mably. The decline of this family and their once grand home was the subject in 1930 of a sonnet by the renowned Welsh-language poet, W J Gruffydd.
[Source: WalkingWorld.com website]

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