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St Andrew's Church, Tredunnock, Monmouthshire

St Andrew's Church Dedication: St Andrew

Denomination: Anglican

Built: 14th century onwards

Photography: Peter Williams
Date: 11 October 2007
Camera: Fuji FinePix 2800 Zoom digital

St Andrew's Church
Sketch by Fred J. Hando

Note 1: What a sweep of history is crammed into this church! It spans nearly two thousand years, and the beginning is pagan: D.M.—Dis Manibus—"To the gods of the underworld". That is the invocation on the tombstone affixed to the north wall of the nave, the memorial of Julius Julianus, soldier of the Second Augustan Legion, who served eighteen years and lived forty, and who was buried here "at the charge of a beloved wife" at the dawn of the second century A.D.
The church itself is a Norman foundation, and two narrow lancet windows of the period remain in the chancel. But much that can now be seen speaks to us of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There is the Holy Table, dating from the Commonwealth ministry here of the noted Puritan Walter Prosser; there is the elegant Stuart font dated 1662, replacing one destroyed by that disapproving man; there are the surious pews, rigid to maintain wakefulness. Yet fragments of the Middle Ages do survive, including the broken holy water stoup in the sixteenth century porch, the piscinae for the high altar and the vanished altar before the Rood screen, and the doorway to the long-destroyed loft itself.
The churchyard hints at national history. A grave at the east end of the church is of Eleanor, only daughter of Sir John Franklin, discoverer of the North-West Passage. [Source: Ancient Gwent Churches, by John R. Guy and Ewart B. Smith, Starling Press Ltd., Risca, 1980; ISBN 903434 42 3]

St Andrew's Church

Note 2: Built in a mixture of Gothic Decorated and Perpendicular styles, long-wall entry type. A prominent feature of this Church is the integral tower. Church consisting of a W tower, nave, S porch, chancel and vestry. Chancel arch appears to be 14th c. [Source: Coflein website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed August 2016)]

St Andrew's ChurchSt Andrew's Church
Above: St Andrew's Church, Tredunnock (sketches by Fred J. Hando)

[Hando's Gwent Vol II, ed. Chris Barber, Blorenge Books, Abergavenny, 1989; Journeys in Gwent, by Fred J. Hando, R.H Johns Ltd., Newport, 1951]

Note 3: The small nave and chancel both have Norman windows. The west tower and chancel arch are 14th century, and the priest's doorway, south window, east window with fragments of old glass, and the SW porch are 15th century. The porch outer archway is remarkably low. The altar table of c1600 is panelled with flowers and flaming wheels, and there are old pews and a font dated 1662 with a fluted bowl. On the north wall is an interesting Roman tombstone dug up in 1680. [Source: The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991; ISBN 1-871731-08-9]

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