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St Caron's Church, Tregaron

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St Caron's Church is situated in an elevated position in the centre of the town, and is thought to possibly be located on the site of a bronze age barrow. It stands within a roughly circular churchyard, in which there were formerly three cross-incised Early Christian Monuments. A sixth century stone with Latin inscription was formerly built into the church's south wall. The church was a parish church duting the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Ultra-Aeron. By 1339 a third of the tithes were appropriated to Strata Florida Abbey. In 1406 the benefice, in the patronage of the Bishop of St Davids, was assigned as a prebend to the collegiate church of Llanddewi Brefi. In 1833 the living was a discharged vicarage in the patronage of the Bishop of St Davids. At the dissolution, Strata Florida Abbey's three bells were sold to the St Caron's Church (although there is now only one bell dating to 1889, with its predecessor only dating to 1859).

The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of local rubble stone with yellow oolite (1877) dressings. It consists of five-bayed nave and chancel, two-storeyed vestry/boilerhouse (south of chancel) and three-storeyed west tower. The heptagonal font, with lobate angles, is twelfth century in date. It sits on a circular stem and square base. The tower dates from around 1500 and has medieval openings. Its barrel-vaulted ground floor connects with the nave via a plain, two-centred arch. The tower's south wall has a line of blocked internal sockets, associated with the former later eighteenth century gallery staircase. The church roof was rethatched in 1805. The tower received a new pinnacle in 1810, and was repaired in 1820. The east window was replaced at around this time. In 1826 all windows were replaced with sashes. The church was rebuilt around this time, in the non-conformist tradition but on it's medieval foundations. Its main entrance is thought to have been at the west end of the nave's south wall.

The church was restored in 1877, to the designs of A. Ritchie, Chester. The north wall was rebuilt slightly to the north, the vestry/boilerhouse was added and the south door was blocked. The tower openings were partially rebuilt and the church was reroofed, refloored, reseated and refinished.

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Ceredigion Churches, gazetteer, 48

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 22 October 2013