Church of St Mary and St David, Kilpeck

The Church of St Mary and St David is a Church of England parish church at Kilpeck in the English county of Herefordshire, about 5 miles from the border with Monmouthshire, Wales. It is famous for its Norman carvings.HistoryThe church was built around 1140, and almost certainly before 1143 when it was given to the Abbey of Gloucester. It may have replaced an earlier Saxon church at the same site, and the oval raised form of the churchyard is typical of even older Celtic foundations. Around the 6th and 7th centuries the Kilpeck (Welsh:Llanddewi Cil Peddeg) area was within the British kingdom of Ergyng, which maintained Christian traditions dating back to the late Roman period. The possibility of the site holding Roman and even megalithic remains has been raised, but is unproven.The plan of the church, with a nave, chancel, and semicircular apse, is typical for the time of its construction, the Norman period. It was originally dedicated to a St David, probably a local Celtic holy man, and later acquired an additional dedication to Mary from the chapel at Kilpeck Castle after it had fallen into disrepair. At the time the current church was built, the area around Kilpeck, known as Archenfield, was relatively prosperous and strategically important, in the heart of the Welsh Marches. The economic decline of the area after the 14th century may have helped preserve features which would have been removed elsewhere. However, it is unclear why the carvings were not defaced by Puritans in the 17th century. The church was substantially repaired in 1864, 1898 and 1962, and its unique features were protected and maintained.
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Church of St Mary and St David Reviews
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  • Kilpeck Church (St Mary and ST David) is very well worth a visit.It's a bit off one of the Abergavenny to Hereford roads and easy to miss if you are not looking for it. As other reviewers have said it...  more »
  • This is a truly unique church and well worth a visit. The row of corbels is fascinating and I'd love to know what each figure symbolised. They include a world famous sheela na gig (also of interest to...  more »
  • Incredibly interesting and beautiful. Quiet unique. My only worry is that I have seen the doorway sculptures, in particular, deteriorate over the past 50 years. Porches are great protectors and the Ki...  more »
Google
  • An architectural wonder! Celtic stone carvings adorn the church doorway and windows and bell tower. There is also the remains of a castle in Kilpeck with a small walk round if you have a dog. If you love history visit the place.
  • lovely historic place nice stone carving
  • Stunning! Curious, mysterious and clearly loved by those who built it. Castle earthworks can also be visited next to it.
  • I love this church so much I keep returning.
  • Lovely little church renowned for its Norman carvings.
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