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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58 reviews
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  • August 11, 2017
    Superb - simply superb! For anyone interested in Church history including pagan stories, how to communicate stories to folk unable to read or write - this is the place. There is a lovely 'Children's g...  more »
  • August 4, 2017
    Very beautiful, a local lady gave us a talk on some of the features. Although I feel that you can walk around and in the church for all of 20/30 minutes. The mound behind does have stunning views of t...  more »
  • July 2, 2017
    Wonderful little old church, with an amazing history and very well preserved stone carvings, some with Saxon and pagan origins. The font is incredible. Really not to be missed and so close to Hereford...  more »
Google
  • May 28, 2017
    Lovely little church renowned for its Norman carvings.
  • May 22, 2017
    Nice little church, the grounds are also impressive. Check out the little red box in the main door way behind the hinges!
  • January 6, 2017
    Stunning Church. Worth seeing.
  • July 15, 2016
    Worth visiting for the carvings alone.
  • October 5, 2015
    It's amazing it survived so long in such condition

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