Presteigne Church

The barony of Presteigne was granted to Gwladys Ddu, the daughter of Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and Joan the daughter of King John in 1218, as part of the dower of her husband, Reginald Braose.  Reginald died before 9 June 1228 and in late October 1230 Gwladys married Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore (d.1246). Their son, Roger Mortimer (d.1282), inherited the barony at least partially as his maternal right. Preseteigne church was therefore under Mortimer control from October 1230 onwards.

The original church would appear to be Saxon work as is shown by the herringbone masonry in what is currently the eastern section of the north aisle. Presumably this was part of the original chancel or more likely the nave. The western section of the nave appears to have been rebuilt at a slightly later time. The new nave and south aisle would appear to have been added when under Mortimer patronage after 1230, possibly after the church was destroyed during Prince Llywelyn's campaign of 1231. The expansion of the south aisle and the addition of the tower, chapel and chancel would all appear to be fifteenth century and probably the work of the Mortimers of Wigmore judging from the shield carved into a buttress.  

The suviving windows have unusual triangular heads.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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