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St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth, Breconshire

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Gwendoline

Built: 13th century
John Ball (photos 1-8)
Date: 11 May 2009 (1-3); 27 Aug 2008 (4-8)
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Charles Jenkin-Jones (photos 9-10)
Date: 28 Jan 2015
Camera: Canon EOS 40D digital SLR

Note 1: The north transept now used as a vestry has a wide squint passage towards the chancel and probably is a relic of a 13th century cruciform church. In c. 1400 the nave was rebuilt and given a wide south aisle with four arches towards the nave and one more towards the chancel. The porch and west tower are slightly later, whilst the blocked north doorway is Elizabethan. There is a late 13th century cross-slab. A fragment carved with vine-trails has come from a screen. There are several 17th and 18th century tablets to members of the Vaughan and Harris families.
[Source: The Old Parish Churches of Mid Wales by Mike Salter, second edition published 2003 by Folly Publications, Malvern; ISBN 1-871731-62-3]

St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth
St Gwendoline's Church: from the south (above); and the east (below)
St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth

Below West towerSt Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth

Note 2: A large church dedicated to St Gwendoline, sited at highest end of the town. It is set eccentrically in a sub-rectilinear churchyard and may have originated as 'clas' church, though the basis for this conjecture is restricted to architectural criteria. The tower is 15thC, while the body of the church dates from around 1400 but with some re-use of earlier fenestration. The nave and chancel (with a new aisle) were apparently rebuilt c. 1400 with a four-bay nave arcade and a single-bay chancel arcade, though some of the fenestration of c.1300 was re-used. Presumably the south transept was removed at this time.
Bottom part of north nave wall may be original (e.g. late 13thC/early 14thC?), upper part rebuilt, either in early 15thC or later when doorway put in place. Victorian rebuilding also on north side of nave, and north transept. More recent reconstruction work on west side of north transept for its conversion to meeting room. Chancel and south aisle presumed to be early 15thC, but east wall of former partially reconstructed. Porch also 15thC.
[Source: Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website, where further details are available]

St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth
Above Nave and north aisle.

Commemorative plaque to Howell Harris

Right: Part of commemorative plaque to Howell Harris (click on image for complete inscription)

Howell Harris (1714–1773) Born at Talgarth, Harris was one of the main leaders of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century, along with Daniel Rowland and William Williams Pantycelyn. For further details of Howell Harris, see Dictionary of Welsh Biography online, and Wikipedia]

St Gwendoline's ChurchSt Gwendoline's Church

St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth
Above Modern metal bas relief plaque depicting The Last Supper [photo by Charles Jenkin-Jones].

St Gwendoline's Church, Talgarth
Above Hatchment of Gwynne family of Trefeca Fawr [photo by Charles Jenkin-Jones].

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