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ST LLAWDDOG'S CHURCH, CENARTH

Site Details



NPRN 309895

Map Reference SN24SE

Grid Reference SN2703441499

Unitary (Local) Authority Carmarthenshire

Old County Carmarthenshire

Community Cenarth

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century

Site Description St Llawddog's church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Emlyn and appropriated to St Davids Cathedral. In 1833 the living was still in the patronage of the Bishop of St Davids. In 1998 St Llawddog's was a parish church belonging to the Rural Deanery of Emlyn. It is situated within a curvilinear churchyard, immdeiately north-east of the A484 and some 100m north-east of Parc-y-domen motte (NPRN 304127), a Scheduled Ancient Monument. A Latin inscribed stone is located near the western churchyard boundary, adjacent to the south-west corner of the church building. It is noted to have originally been located in a nearby field and was reportedly moved to its current location in 1894. St Llawddog's well (NPRN 418381) is situated some 140m west-north-west of the church.

The medieval church may have been sited immediately south of the present building. In 1844 it was described as some 50ft long and 25ft broad, with 230 sittings. In 1855 it was described as being comprised of nave, chancel and transeptal south chapel. The chancel arch was descibed as pointed, with a projection in its south wall. There was also a pointed west door and a western double bellcote.

The current church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of local slate rubble. It was built in 1872, to the designs of Middleton and Goodman, Cheltenham, and has not been substantially altered. The current font is late twelfth to early thirteenth century in date, and was removed from St Tysilio's Church, Llandisiliogogo (NPRN 400361) in the nineteenth century. It has a circular bowl with wave-moulding and four human masks in relief, and is similar to the fonts at St Sulien's Church, Silian (NPRN 402554) and St Patrick's Church, Pencarreg (NPRN 418382). Measurements are given as 52in circumference, 14in external diameter, and 12in depth. The four masks (one is a pair, making five in all) are described as being equidistant and enclosed within a serpentine moulding. Two of the masks are described as rising slightly above the edge of the font, whilst the other three heads, one of which droops slightly to the left, do not reach the edge. The Church's original font had a square bowl with scalloping, and is thought to date to the thirteenth century. In 1913 it was visible in the garden of the Vicarage, but was subsequently removed to St John's Church, Sarnau, and later to St Michael's Church, Penbryn (NPRN 105363).

Sources include:
Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1901, VI, i, 155.
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 5 February 2013

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