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Montgomeryshire collections

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Vol. 82 1994

Furnishings and fittings in Pennant Melangell Church

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PENNANT MELANGELL PART 6
Furnishings and Fittings in Pennant Melangell Church
MAURICE H. Ridgway1
The church terrier of 1730 lists the movable possessions of the church as simply 'a new Welch
Bible & Common Prayer a new Communion Table, one new Table Cloth and Carpet one Silver
Chalice, one Pewter flagon & serving Plate, two Surplices, a Pulpit Cloth & Cushions & a Stone
font'. Though most of the surviving furnishings and fittings are commonplace and befitting a
small and remote parish church, Pennant is fortunate in retaining a number of exceptional items
relating to Melangell- fragments of a Romanesque shrine, the later effigy which may be a cult
figure of Melangell, and the frieze from the medieval screen depicting her legend.
The furnishings and fittings, with the exception of the memorials, are described in approxi-
mately chronological order. The wall paintings, Royal Arms and Benefactions board are
described in Part 7, and the shrine is discussed in Part 8.
FONT
A plain circular tapering tub with flattened moulded bands at top
and bottom and a filleted roll-moulding round the centre. The font
is dated by Radford and Hemp to the second half of the 12th
century and has been considered to be contemporary with other
surviving elements of the early churchy It is made from sandstone
similar to the shrine, the south door, and the lancet window in the
north wall of the nave,5 and has been compared to the Norman font
at Knocking Before and after the restoration of 1876/77 the font
was sited towards the north-west side of the nave. It has been
moved to a position on the south side, near the door, during the
recent restoration, the plain and battered wooden font cover made
of oak planks also having recently been replaced. Height 2ft 4in,
diameter at top 28in, diameter of bowl 18in.
Fig. 6.1. Drawing by
Worthington G. Smith
(Archaeologia
Cambrensis 1894).
'Milkwood Cottage. Rhydycroesau. Near Oswestry. SY 10 7PS.
2NLW SA/TERR/497.
3See also drawing by R. Kyrke Penson in Archaeologia Cambrensis 3 (1848), 224
1324], (reproduced in T.W. Hancock. Pennant Melangell: its parochial history and
antiquities, Montgomeryshire Collections 12 (1879), 65), H.H.C. Summers. The ancient
fonts of Powysland Montgomeryshire Collections 32 (1902), fig. opp. p. 162 (drawing by the Revd John Parker). Smith's s
drawing is also reproduced in D.R. Thomas, The History of the Diocese of St Asaph, vol. 2, (2nd edn, Oswestry, 1911), 262.
4CA.R. Radford & W.J. Hemp. Pennant Melangell: the church and shrine, Archaeologia Cambrensis 108 (1959), 87.
5Cf. comment by Hancock 1879 op. cit. (note 3). 65.
6D.R. Thomas, The History of the Diocese of St Asaph, vol. 1, (Oswestry, 1908), 151; Thomas 191 1 op. cit. (note 3), 262.
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