St Mary used to be a wayside church, hugging the edge of the Great Cambridge Road until this was diverted. It is now a well-kept secret – the only sign leading to it reading simply ‘Byroad’. It passed to us after the heroic group that took it on when it closed sought a long-term solution.
The rare medieval rood screen at Llanelieu, on which you can still see the ghostly outline of the cross removed at the Reformation, is much admired by visitors and architectural historians alike. But did you know it also features in Andy McNab?
St Mary’s is listed Grade I and was taken into care by the Friends in 1982 after the church authorities had proposed converting it into a house. It retains a fascinating series of monuments to the Catesby and Sheddon families.
A fascinating medieval church in a picturesque setting overlooking Caernarfon Bay, St Baglan’s has pre-Christian origins – evident both in its large churchyard and early inscribed stones set in the doorway – and an evocative 18th century interior.
Made special by its interior, medieval St Mary’s retains a complete circuit of 19th century scraffito decoration by Heywood Sumner, depicting the Benedictine – it is unique in Wales and listed Grade I. The architect for the 19th century rebuilding was John Dando Sedding.
The tiny little church at Llancillo, vested with us in 2007, is probably the most difficult of all our buildings to find – but the search is worth it. The key hangs in the porch but the door is only locked to keep out the sheep.
St Mary’s is both peculiar and picturesque. Set in to the chalkland of the Cranborne Chase, the design combines a late medieval tower with a nave, transept and apse built …
St Figael (St Migael) would not be here now but for the Reverend Edgar Jones. Edgar adopted the building when it closed and saw it through the thick and thin of Welsh weather before we were able to take it into permanent care in 2007.
One of our newest vestings in Wales, St Michael is late medieval in origin and notable for its two rather battered effigies – one to Ann Martel who died in 1270, with a greyhound at her feet, and the other, supposed to be her husband, John, in chainmail with his sword and tunic.
Old St Luke, which sits in the same churchyard as the Victorian church that replaced it, was one of our very first vestings in 1974. It has survived against the odds, not least because it is one of the most loved of all our churches – with an active group of Local Friends.