“The Finest Roof in Wales” – Cilcain Church

Over the past few months, David Allen has been documenting the carvings of St Mary’s Church, Cilcain. Described as ‘the finest roof in Wales” by one historian, it looks even finer now the lanterns have been relocated, allowing us to see the angels in their full glory for the first time.

We don’t know where the roof came from – despite the Basingwerk story, the roof doesn’t fit any part of Basingwerk Abbey with remaining foundations.

The brilliant carvings – probably dating from about 1450 – depict all manner of strange things: though Mr Simpson’s article seems to be sure what each carving represents, we are not so sure.

David’s brilliant photographs can be seen at


but if you go to the link at the top of this page headed “Local History” you can see the full text of a lecture on the church roof, illustrated with small versions of David’s photographs.

We hope to display some of these pictures permanently in the Village Hall, together with the winning photographs in the “Cilcain Life’ category of the show photographic competition, thus beginning a permanent gallery of village life.


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This website is designed to offer access and information to users of Cilcain Village Hall.
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