St Mary’s Church

. St. Mary’s was the parish church until it was abandoned due to flooding in the 1840s and replaced by St. David’s. The low western tower is possibly 13th century although with later windows. There is a timber bell-stage. The ruinous nave originally had a south aisle. There are two doors through the south wall and a piscina. Inside is a mausoleum for the Price family of Newtown Hall and outside, the grave of Robert Owen (1771-1858) the social reformer who was born in Newtown and died at the Bear Hotel. The monument is by Alfred Toft of 1902 with a portrait of Owen and labourers. It has railings in fine Art Nouveau ironwork.

St Mary’s, Newtown

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Situated on the banks of the Severn, the old church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built of stone from the river bed and consisted of a double aisle surmounted by a wooden belfry at the North West angle, typical of Montgomeryshire churches.  It has been dated as 13th century.

During the next century a carved wooden rood screen was erected between chancel and nave, the work of craftsmen known as the “Newtown School of carvers”. Other examples of their work exist at Llanwnog and Llananno.  When the church was finally abandoned in 1856 the screen was removed to the Rectory and stored there until it was eventually used to construct the Lady Chapel in the new parish church and dedicated by the Bishop of the Diocese in July 1938. The old font was also taken to the new building.custom_image

In the body of the church stands a mausoleum erected over the tomb of the Pryce family in 1900.

The church was subject to constant flooding from the nearby river which weakened the fabric and led to its decay and eventual abandonment; although mission services were held in the Tower during the summer months for about 10 years prior to the turn of the century.

2011 photo
custom_imagephoto pre 2000,
Alongside the South wall stands the Tomb of Robert Owen (1771-1858), the social reformer and educationist, a native of the town.  In 1902 the co-operative movement erected the railings and bronze plaques around the Tomb as a memorial to him. The churchyard gates were given by his son, Mr. Dale Owen.By the 1930′s the building had become very dilapidated, the roof had collapsed and the burial ground overgrown, but around 1938 the incumbent and a number of other public spirited townsfolk set up a committee to restore the Tower and lay out  the grounds as a public garden using public subscriptions to finance the work.  On July 27th, 1978 the area was formally handed over to the Town Council on a 99 year lease who undertook to carry out regular maintenance to provide this quiet oasis in the town centre.
custom_imageTo the South East lies an area occupied till the late 1930′s by a row of small black and white cottages and adjacent to them stood a large tannery. This was demolished in 1983 and the site used to develop a housing complex to be named St. Mary’s Close. Architects : Mid Wales Development Corporation. Builders : Evans & Owen, Caersws.In the body of the church stands a mausoleum erected over the tomb of the Pryce family in 1900.

.one of 3 windows to the tower.

headstones placed inside what would have been the church itself thye only stones readable are the ones made from slate.

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