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ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH, HAFOD

Site Details



NPRN 743

Map Reference SN77SE

Grid Reference SN7685473637

Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion

Old County Cardiganshire

Community Pontarfynach

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century

Site Description Hafod Church is the parish church of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn Uchaf. The churchyard entrance gates and piers (NPRN 419270) are thought to have been added in the later nineteenth century. The first church on the site was originally a chapel of ease at Trisant, and was moved to this site around 1620 by the Herbert family, owners of Hafod at that time. In 1833 the living was a perpetual curacy in the patronage of Thomas Johnes, Esq., Hafod. The tomb of Thomas Johnes (NPRN 419269) is situated in the churchyard. In 1998 the church was still a chapelry and the living was a vicarage held with Ysbyty Cynfyn and Llantrisant.

The first church was replaced in 1803. The current octagonal font, in late Perpendicular style, dates from 1792.

The present church, a Grade II listed building, was constructed in 1803 for Thomas Johnes of Hafod, to the designs of James Wyatt. It is on the same site and in the same location as its predecessor, but nothing was retained from the earlier fabric. A 1642 stone was reset into the new church in 1803, but its location is not now known. It is constructed of local slate rubble with grey oolite dressings (from 1888) and is aligned north-north-east to south-south-west. The church is considered unusually large for an upland parish and is cruciform in shape. It consists of two-bayed nave, two-bayed apsidal, polygonal chancel, north and south transepts, three-storeyed north-north-east tower and vestry. The original chancel was small and square-ended and the windows were timber-framed. The tower is thought to have been raised in 1840-1841, for the Duke of Newcastle. The church was restored and extended in 1888, to the designs of A. Ritchie, Chester. A west gallery was removed and the chancel was replaced with the present polygonal apse. The vestry was also added. The church was refloored and refenestrated, and the roof was repaired. There were stained glass windows to the Chambers and Waddingham families of Hafod and a painted reredos to Mrs Davies of Ffosrhydgaled. The church housed an elaborate monument, by Francis Chantrey in 1812, to Thomas and Jane Johnes's only child, Mariamne (died 1811). The church was renovated in 1887, to the designs of Archibald Ritchie. An apse and vestry were added at that time, and windows were replaced. The church burnt down in 1932, and the fire left only the tower and walls. The church was reconstructed by W.D. Caroe. Panelled barrel roofs and new furnishings were added. The transept arches were rebuilt in simpler form. The monument to Mariamne, depicting the distraught couple leaning over their daughter at the moment of her death, was seriously damaged by the fire. Fragments of Johnes's seventeenth century Dutch glass have been reset in the present chancel side lights. A cross-shaped font, thought to be medieval, was stolen from the church in 1989. It was reputedly similar to one at Strata Florida.

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Ceredigion Churches, gazetteer, 48
Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Historic Environment Record
Lloyd, T, Orbach, J and Scourfield, R, 2006, The Buildings of Wales: Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 8 August 2013

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