SO2459 : Lady Chapel in St Stephen's Church

taken 11 months ago, near to Old Radnor, Powys, Great Britain

Lady Chapel in St Stephen's Church
Lady Chapel in St Stephen's Church
Since 1777 this chapel in the south aisle has been dominated by William Tyler's huge pyramidal monument to Thomas Lewis of Harpton, which blocks the east window - see Bill Nicholls' exterior photo of the SO2559 : End of the South Aisle. The Revd Jonathan Williams, in his 1859 History of Radnorshire, comments that "for symmetry of form, elegance of workmanship and liveliness of expression" it "equals the best that Westminster Abbey contains". For a closer view see Alan Murray Rust's SO2459 : Church of St Stephen, Old Radnor.
Church of St Stephen, Old Radnor
The Cadw listing describes the church as 'One of the finest medieval churches in Wales'. The fabric is essentially 15th century, although some earlier work survives from the church sacked by Owen Glyndwr in 1401/2. There were subsequent 19th century restorations, that of 1882 including rebuilding of the east end of the chancel, although the east window may follow the original design. It is the only authentic dedication to St Stephen in Wales, although it is thought that this may be a Norman confusion of the Welsh St Ystyffan with St Stephen the Martyr. Despite being in Wales, the church comes within the Diocese of Hereford, indicative of the complex nature of the Marches.

The church consists of a continuous nave and chancel, with north and south aisles, west tower and south porch. The aisles extend as chapels alongside the chancel. The north aisle is slightly narrower of the two, the roof being a continuation of the nave roof. The south aisle has a separately ridged roof. There is an unusual unity of its Perpendicular style compared with other medieval churches due to the limited time-span of its construction.

The exterior of the church has no particular features to note, but the interior is different. A significant amount of late medieval timberwork remains. This includes the roofs to the nave and south aisle, contemporary with the building, the fine late 15th century chancel screen stretching the full width of the church, and the organ case, dating from the early 16th century and the earliest surviving organ case in the British Isles.

There are a number of fine monuments to the Lewis family of Harpton Court, and several other items of furnishings that are described with their pictures.

The church is Listed Grade I.
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SO2459, 152 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 30 June, 2017   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 5 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Primary Subject of Photo
Chapel Interior 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 2499 5908 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:13.4877N 3:5.9729W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 2498 5908
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Image Type (about): inside 
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