St Mary's church is believed to have been founded by Harold Godwinson, later the last Saxon King of England. If so, his motives appear more tactical than spiritual; part of his attempt to extend his influence into the territory of the Welsh princes.

There is evidence, however, that there may have been an earlier church on the site, possibly dedicated to St David. The churchyard is almost round, an indication it may have been founded by the Celtic church.

As use of the Welsh language gradually declined, the parish was one of the first in Radnorshire to stop using the Welsh prayer book and bible around 1700. 

Later, the village also had two thriving chapels – the Wesleyan built in 1838 and the Baptist opened in 1842. both now private homes. Today Gladestry is a thriving agricultural community, nestled at the tip of the western edge of Hergest Ridge.  It is blessed with great walks and enviable landscapes.

St Mary's today is Grade 1 listed and retains several original features despite a restoration in 1910. These include an outstanding pyramidal tower, a 16th century oak roof and a 13th century priests door in the south wall. We endeavor to maintain the historic building so that all may benefit.




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

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User Reviews

Eliot Collins (3 years ago)
St Mary's Church in New Radnor in a 19th century build, terraced into the steep slope of the castle earthworks. It lies on the site of at least one older church, the 14th century octagonal font is all that remains of those predecessors. The church itself is fairly simple. A narrow cruciform structure with a tower at one end and an apse at the other. The interior is rather plain. In the south transept are two medieval effigies, the 13th century tomb covers of Prince Einion o'r Porth and Matilde de Mortimer. In the March of 1188 in the presence of Gerald of Wales and Archbishop Baldwin, Prince Einion was one of the first in Wales to take the Cross and pledge himself for the First Crusade. Matilde de Mortimer lived in New Radnor Castle from the age of four. Interestingly, her effigy was recycled in the 19th century, and features the grave inscription of a member of the Pugh family who died in 1824.
Steve Porter (3 years ago)
Well maintained, but a bit of a scramble to get up to it! Also gives Access to the castle mound.
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