All Saints’ Church, Llanfrechfa

All Saints’ Church, Llanfrechfa

This church features a fine example of a late medieval tower. The porch and part of the nave also date from the 15th century. Elsewhere the architecture dates from the 1870s, when the Mitchell family of Llanfrechfa Grange arranged for the church to be enlarged.

Commonly the word llan, denoting an enclosed area, is followed by the name of a saint. Here it’s thought that the suffix brechfa (mutated to frechfa) refers to a speckled field, rather than a person.
To hear how to pronounce Llanfrechfa, press play: or, download MP3 (12KB)

In the churchyard, near the porch, you can see a Victorian cross on what may be a medieval base. It was commissioned by the Mitchells in memory of John Rolls (1807-1870) of The Hendre, near Monmouth. He was Monmouthshire’s high sheriff and helped establish the agricultural event now known as the Monmouthshire Show. His grandson Charles co-founded the engineering company Rolls-Royce.

The church’s east window and many of the fittings date from the 1870s, including the carved screen. Look up to see three carved figures above the screen. These were originally in the private chapel at Llanfrechfa Grange and were carved in Oberammergau, a Bavarian village (in Germany) where craftspeople still produce carvings of Christian figures.

One of the earliest memorials in the church commemorates Charles Griffiths, who died in 1696. He lived at Llanyrafon Manor, now a heritage centre in Cwmbrȃn. Memorials to later members of the family include some of the stained glass window panels.

There are several war memorials in the church, which lost four of its bellringers in the First World War. The church bells are still rung weekly. They were restored and re-hung in 2010.

One of the church windows commemorates Edmund Styant Williams, who died in 1915, and another David Denbury, killed in Iraq in 1991. Click here for our information about the local war dead.

With thanks to Richard Morgan, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, for place-name information

Postcode: NP44 8AD    View Location Map

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