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St Mary's Church, Haverfordwest

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Map ReferenceSM91NE
Grid ReferenceSM9519515571
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval

St Mary's church, Haverfordwest is a substantial building the earliest part dating from the end of the 12th century. The nave, south porch and chancel are 13th century, possibly incorporating older fabric. In the 15th century the north aisle and the north-east chapel were combined and enlarged, the north-west tower was added and the nave heightened. The tower had a lead-clad timber spire, removed in 1802 as a danger to Kensington House in Tower Hill. The interior was said to have been damaged by prisoners after the French invasion of Fishguard. The decorated arcades and chancel arch are of stone from Caen, and have been described as cathedral quality. Among the many the stone carvings are portrait heads and figures directed at the 'foreign Welsh', for example an ape playing a Welsh harp. A bench end near the chancel arch depicts St Michael slaying the dragon, originally carved abroad, it may be from the Priory by the quay.

Sources: CADW listed buildings database; T.J. Hughes, Wales's Best One Hundred Churches, 2006.

RCAHMW, 13th November 2007.

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