St Cynfelin (also known as St Matu) is reputed to be the founder of St Mary's Church in Welshpool, during 'the age of the saints in Wales' in the 5th and 6th centuries.

The church was originally built c. 1250, but only the lower courses of the tower now remain from that date. The current building is largely as rebuilt or restored in 1871 by George Edmund Street. The nave was rebuilt in the 16th century, and with the whole building was substantially restored in 1871.

The 15th century chancel ceiling may have come from Strata Marcella Abbey, about five miles away, and a stone in the churchyard is said to have been part of the abbot's throne. A memorial in the church commemorates Bishop William Morgan, translator of the Bible into Welsh, who was the vicar from 1575 to 1579.

The churchyard contains seven Commonwealth war graves, of five British soldiers of World War I and a soldier and airman of World War II.



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Founded: c. 1250
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Jamie Capewell (3 years ago)
Beautiful place x
Su Prendergrast (3 years ago)
Unusual church
Leslie Medlicott (3 years ago)
It as been 3 year's since I was in there
Chris Forest-Potter (4 years ago)
Good acoustics. Not sure if their is disabled access as steps to front of building. Disabled toilet facilities. Kitchen facilities
Eliot Collins (4 years ago)
The oldest remaining part of this medieval church is the base of the tower, date of around 1250. Much of the rest was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and then restored in the 18th century after Owain Glyndwr's uprising in early 1400s and a fire in 1665. Unusually, the chancel and nave are off-set. Inside are many intricate stone carvings, including the pulpit and two tombs of Earls of Powys. The church is on a hill and most entry points are up flights of stairs. There is a single vehicle entry point but the church itself still has steps into the porch.
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The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.

The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.

According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.

The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.

The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.

With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.