St Mary's Church

Brecon, United Kingdom

St Mary's Church is a parish church in Brecon. It appears to have been built as early as the latter end of the 12th, or beginning of the following century, but the present structure is not of that early date. The eastern window of the chancel is Gothic of the middle age, and the prevailing style of its architecture indicates that it was not erected till after the year 1015. None of its decorations or pillars date to antiquity. Not a single monument, figure, or inscription is preserved within its walls. The present steeple, which is about 27 m in height, was built in the reign of Henry VIII; it has a peal of eight bells, cast by Rudhalls, of Gloucester, the treble being the gift of a Thomas Lloyd, of Brecknock, though another sources states they were all given by a Mr. Walker, of Newton.

In 1805, the body of the church consisted of two aisles, and on the north-east was the shoemakers' chapel, from which was a door into the vestry, but since the erection of houses close to the windows both these places became so dark that want of room only compelled the inhabitants to occupy the seats in one, but the business usually transacted in the other was transferred to the Town Hall. The principal entrance was under part of the gallery, in which an organ was placed about the year 1794. A reredos was provided for this church, and the Ten Commandments were placed in the chancel.

The Consistory Court for the archdeaconry was held once a month, under the southern door. This part of the building was divided from the other, where divine service was performed, by a slight partition and railing, about the year 1690, to prevent (it was alleged) the country people who attended the court for the appointment of churchwardens from strolling into the church and stealing the prayer books. In 1805, it was repaired and improved, the aisles boarded, and two buzaglos placed there, principally at the expense of the Rev. Richard Davies, who was the archdeacon of Brecknock, and who also erected several new seats in the chancel. No persons were recorded as being buried here, nor does tradition recognise an interment within this church, yet during alterations two stones were removed, evidently sepulchral. In the wall of the north aisle were some marble tablets, upon which are inscribed the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, and the Ten Commandments, presented by Mr. Walker, of Newton, and upon the wall of the chancel were two tablets recording all the benefactions to this town, as well as to the parish of St. John's, except Mrs. Rodd's.

In 1857, this church was further restored, and re-opened on 21 October of the same year. The two tables recording the benefactions were popularly believed to have been pulled down and destroyed. It was later discovered that they were only removed from the church to the vestry's walls. The register dates from the year 1685.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kathryn Hooper (3 years ago)
A nice place for a break and a snack, very friendly staff and excellent food, we were really glad to find this on our day out in Brecon!
Graham Kelley (3 years ago)
More of a community centre than church but does the cafe side very well with good quality food.
Ben Braine (3 years ago)
Visited the cafe here. Good good, sensible prices. Peaceful place to eat and chat.
Melanie Woodbridge (3 years ago)
Love the cafe here. Play area to keep my child occupied while I have a drink and a few minutes peace perhaps!
Jason Cooper (3 years ago)
Nice large Church building. Good value restaurant inside. Gluten free options are available.
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