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St Tybie's Church, Llandybie

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Map ReferenceSN61NW
Grid ReferenceSN6182015540
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval

St Tybie's Church is situated within a very large churchyard, measuring some 240m in length and up to 56m in width. The church was a parish church during the post-conquest period, belonging to the Deanery of Stradtowy. It fell into the hands of King Edward I, and in 1284 he granted the advowson to the Bishop of St Davids as a prebend.

The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of limestone and sandstone rubble with yellow oolite (1853-1857) dressings. It consists of four-bayed chancel, two-bayed nave, two-bayed south chapel, three-bayed south aisle, south porch, west porch, three-storeyed west tower (in angle between nave and south aisle), transeptal vestry (south of south chapel east bay) and transeptal boiler house (north of nave west bay).

The nave and chancel are thought to be fourteenth century in date. The south chapel and south aisle are thought to be later fifteenth century in date, and are contemporary with the oak wagon roofs. The tower dates to around 1600, and its facework is in coursed and squared Old Red Sandstone and yellow sandstone rubble. The tower is similar in style to the contemporary tower at St Teilo's Church; Llandeilo Fawr, Llandeilo (NPRN 100867). The porches are known to have been added before 1732.  A ceiling was added around 1700 (since removed).  Wall paintings comprise recoloured C17th wall tablets and a Royal Arms in iron dating to 1814.

The 1823 renovation of the tower is recorded on a plaque on its wall. The church was restored in 1853-1857, when the current porches, vestry and boiler house were constructed. There is a disused fireplace in the south-east corner of the vestry. The east wall was partly rebuilt at this time. A nineteenth century altarpiece includes decalogue, creed and paternoster. The vestry was rebuilt in 1912, and the roof partly restored.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, pp. 48
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 35.