Touching place

S. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, KERRY, POWYS

Judging by the circular churchyard, this is an early site; there’s probably been a church ded-
      icated to Saint Michael and All Angels at Kerry for a millennium or more, certainly by 1176, when a rededication took place after a major rebuilding. The Bishop of St Asaph came for the rededication ceremony, and then proceeded to claim the church for  

          his own diocese, it having hitherto been in St David’s, and an unholy row developed. The Archdeacon of Brecon, Giraldus de Barri (better known as the historian Giraldus Cambrensis) took exception, excommunicating the Bishop to the sound of the church bells. Three chunky circular pillars remain in the north arcade from the Norman church of 1176, and some of the walls are probably contemporary, though a south aisle has been lost. Many of the interior furnishings survive from the later Middle Ages, notably a late 15th c font with the Instruments of the Passion, as well as contemporary roofs. The church was sympathetically restored by G. E. Street and his son Arthur Edmund, from 1881.

From the outside, the church looks like many in the Marches (ND June 2014), with a massive stone tower topped by a timbered belfry stage. The body of the tower is probably 13th-14th c., but tree ring dating a few years ago established a felling date of winter 1525/26 for the wood of the bell stage. The floor of the bell chamber was strengthened with more wood in 1567/8.

Map Reference: SO147901

Simon Cotton

2020-06-10T13:41:18+00:00 May 2020 Articles|