St David's Church, New Road, Newtown, Montgomeryshire
Photography (1): Shirley Frost
Date: 28 June 2008
Camera: Fuji FinePix F601 Zoom digital
Photography (2): John Ball
Date: 18 June 2009
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Dedication: St David
Note 1. The parish church of St. David's was built 1843-47 to a design by Thomas Penson, County Surveyor, at a cost of £4600. In 1874-75 David Walker of Liverpool carried out renovations including the removal of galleries and the replacement of Pensonís apse with a yellow brick chancel. The church, in all its detail, and the surrounding wall are of buff brick resembling a 13th century abbey. The church consists of nave with clerestory, aisles, chancel porch and tower. The small lancet windows and large Decorated east window light the painted internal stonework. The screen of about 1500 of the Newtown School that originally stood in the now-ruined St Mary's was moved here in 1856 and part of it now surrounds the Lady Chapel in the north of the nave.
[Adapted from Town Trails - Places of Worship on the Official Newtown Website]
Note 2. The foundation stone for St David's Parish Church was laid on October 27th 1843. It was a replacement house of worship for what was St Mary's Church or 'the old church' as it is known today. Due to the wool and tunnel boom of the mid nineteenth century the population was growing and a larger church was needed. lt was finally finished and consecrated by the Bishop of St Asaph on September 13th 1847.
From the outset nearly, the building was plagued by damp and poor drainage for rain water. It turned out that during the construction the clerk of works had voiced his concerns over defects in the building of the pinnacles but there was a dispute between the architect and the builder over something and everything else was overlooked and the voice of the clerk of works was ignored. Over the years large sums of money have been raised and spent on repairs, maintenance and renovations of the church in an attempt to get rid of the damp which was causing damage throughout the building. But it was all to no avail and finally in June of 2006 the Health and Safety department of the church insurers stated that unless certain repairs were carried out immediately, the church could no longer be classed as safe for the public. Complete repairs were costed out as being in the area of half a million pounds and there was no way at all that this vast sum could be raised. So with a dwindling congregation and an enormous sum of money to be raised, the Parish Church Council with a heavy heart decided to close the church. The last service was held on Sunday 21st June 2006 and the doors were closed.
The church contained a number of articles of historic interest, some brought over from St David's. Currently all efforts are being made to rehome these in a sensitive and appropriate manner.
[Adapted from an article on the Newtown, Llanllwchaiarn and Aberhafesp Churches website]
Note 3. In January 2010, St David's Church was still for sale (for £150,000), advertised on-line by estate agents MMP (Morris Marshall & Poole). The sale details included the following statement:
The Graveyard is not included in this sale and it will be necessary for maintenance contractors to have vehicular access through the gates in the Eastern boundary. Members of the public will also have access to the Graveyard on foot at reasonable times.
[See Homes on View website]