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ST PETER'S CHURCH, BONT-GOCH (ELERCH)

Site Details



NPRN 400453

Map Reference SN68NE

Grid Reference SN6841586458

Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion

Old County Cardiganshire

Community Ceulanamaesmawr

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century

Site Description St Peter's church is situated on the south side of a minor road through the village, set back within a rectangular churchyard used as a cemetery.
It was built in 1865-8 to designs of William Butterfield for the Rev. Lewis Gilbertson, Vice-principal of Jesus College, Oxford, whose family lived at Cefn Gwyn, Elerch, and is seen as a distant outpost of Oxford Movement ideals in remote country.
The church is constructed of coursed rubble stone with sandstone dressings (ashlar flush, traceried, windows, sandstone quoins and corbels), the rubble stone since rendered over on the south, west and east walls, and steep slate roofs with crested ridge tiles. The design is complex, based on a play of solid geometry building-up pitched roofs from the lowest vestry to the crowning tower pyramid, as if in response to the hilly location. It consists of nave and chancel with rectangular crossing tower, shallow south transept, large hipped north porch, and north transeptal stair-tower linked to a north-east vestry. The nave has the tallest roof, south transept slightly lower, chancel lower again, then the north stair tower hipped roof slips below tower sill course. A further gradation takes the eye from this hipped roof down to the hipped porch roof to the far right. Particularly fine is the north-east sequence, the hipped stair-tower having a very tall wall-face chimney corbelled out from an otherwise flush wall that runs east with the roofs graded down from hip to lean-to (over the tower door) to lower lean-to over the vestry. This last returns the movement upward by being continuous with the chancel roof.
The plastered interior is aisleless with four-sided rafter roofs, the line uninterrupted by trusses. The chancel floors are stepped in graded fashion with increasingly rich use of coloured and encaustic tiles subtly set in stone borders. Encaustic tiles are also inset in the ashlar reredos. The font is a massive tapered square bowl in grey fossil marble, with rounded angles, and shaft with marble columns. Furnishings al;so include a range of Gothic woodwork by Butterworth with the use of simple punched detail. Stained glass includes work, in the east window, by Alexander Gibbs (1868).

Sources:
Extracts from Cadw Listing description.
T.Lloyd, J.Orbach & R.Scourfield, Buildings of Wales: Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion (2006), p.467-8.

RCAHMW, 10 July 2015

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