Wyeman

Madley Village Church

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2005-11-04
12:10 AM

Madley Village Church

There are photo's of the church here <a href="http://public.fotki.com/Wyeman/colour/digital_colour/village_church/" target="_blank">here</a>

The village of Madley is about 12 miles (19km) from the border between England and Wales (mid Wales).
There has probably been a church here for 1,500 years.
The current building dates from about 1100AD when the Normans built the first stone church but it is thought that there would have been a meeting place/church here from about 550AD, dedicated to St Dyfrig (or Dubricus) the Celtic saint (reputedly born in Madley) who probably founded the first Christian community there.
There is a record in Hereford Cathedral dating from 1318AD which shows that the church was a point of pilgrimage at that time - this would have been a source of much revenue, resulting in a larger than usual rural village church. It was enlarged around 1250 and further additions were made around 1320.
Originally built in the traditional christian shape of a North, South, East, West cross with the altar at the East point of the cross and the current church was one arm (or transept) of the cross; the one pointing East.
There are side doors at the points where the original North/South transepts were.
The extra Chapel built on the South side (Chilstone Chapel) dates from around 1330.

Facts and features of interest ...
The baptismal font is one of the largest in England and is almost 1,000 years old.

On two of the photo's of the outside of the church you can see square holes in the stonework - about 8" (200mm) square. These are "puttock" or "putlock" holes which would have taken the supports for the wooden scaffolding when the church was being built.

The polished wooden structure seen at the top end of the North isle is a small "room". It was the private pew of a rich family, the main body of the church has never had fixed pews. It has a small door through which the family received the bread and wine at Communion. In those days the ordinary (common) people did not receive Communion - they believed that God's blessing depended on them seeing the priest lift up the bread and wine.

Outside near the large Yew tree there is an ancient preaching cross. The Yew tree is 500 years old.

One of the gravestones in the churchyard, dating from 1793 reads:
"Famed little John a terror to many a boxing blade,
But now alas an insult brooks from sexton's dirty spade,
For coward Death waiting the time till Jack was weak and low
The moment seized and spite of art put in his favorite blow."
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