Much Marcle Church

Much Marcle church stands next to the old castle mound known as Mortimer's castle. The church was the religious home of the Ballons, descendants of Earl William Fitz Osbern of Hereford and the Ballon lords of Monmouth, Goodrich and Abergavenny. During 1275 Isolde Mortimer, the probable daughter of Roger Mortimer (d.1282), married Walter Ballon (1225-88) and Roger acquired an interest in Much Marcle.

The earliest surviving portion of the church is now the thirteenth century nave and aisles. In the mid-fourteenth century a new chapel and chancel were built which also included a niche for the tomb of Blanche Mortimer (d.1347). In the fifteenth century a fine, tall tower was built between the chancel and nave, demolishing part of the chancel. It is noticeable that the chancel and nave were not properly aligned. The later tower takes the line of the nave and not the chancel.

Within the large church are several tombs, three of which may be members of the Mortimer family. The building contains much Old Red Sandstone as can be seen in the picture of the nave bellow. The arcades leading to the two side aisles are fine early thirteenth century structures. The font would appear to be older.

In the churchyard is a yew tree thought to date back 1,500 years.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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