St. ANDREWS CHURCH

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Large 13-15th century church with architecture dating to the 9th century.

Presteigne’s Welsh name – “Llanandras”, means the holy place of St. Andrew. It has been a place of worship on the site since before the Norman Conquest.

The present building is an outstanding medieval church with some remnants of the old Saxon and Norman structures remaining, and considered the finest in Radnorshire. The Church is Grade II listed.

It has a 16th century tapestry, an early 14th century nave and font, and a coffin lid from 1240.

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The present building can be traced back to early Norman times, and was possibly damaged by Welsh raiders in the 11th century. The church was extended to its current length in the late 12th century, when a self-standing tower was erected. Another enlargement followed in the 14th century, adding the existing nave and a south aisle which connected the tower to the rest of the building.

Further alterations were made at various times, and restoration works in the 19th century and 1920s had a major influence on what we see here today.

When the Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920, Presteigne remained in the Church of England – although the parish church is in Wales. Part of the parish lies over the border in Herefordshire.

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PRESTEIGNE TAPESTRY – This Flemish tapestry, woven in circa 1510, depicts Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. It is one of three versions of the same scene and one of only two pre-Reformation tapestries still hanging in a church in Britain.

The Tapestry was donated to the church In 1737 where it was used as the altar piece until the 19th century.  It has recently (1999) undergone specialist conservation work and can be seen, framed, and hanging on the north wall of the church.

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The churchyard is perhaps best known for the poignant memorial to Mary Morgan, who was hanged, aged 16, for the murder of her baby.

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