Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 158

Map Reference SS58NW

Grid Reference SS5125288432

Unitary (Local) Authority Swansea

Old County Glamorgan

Community Ilston

Type of Site CHURCH


Period 19th Century

Site Description The church of St Nicholas is located just below the south side of the road from Penmaen to Penrice, in a square chuchyard (used as a graveyard) with gate and stile at the north-west corner. It was built in 1892-4, on the site of an earlier church, to designs of architect G.E.Halliday - funded by Miss Olive Talbot - and is regarded as a particularly fine example of late Victorian Gothic Revival design and craftsmanship.
It is constructed of rock-faced pink conglomerate and grey millstone grit with dressings of green Quarella sandstone under slate roofs with all gables coped and carrying finial crosses. Built in Early English style, the church consists of nave with west bellcote, chancel, north-west vestry and south porch. In the angle between the vestry and the north wall of the nave is a chimney. The bell, retained from the earlier building, is dated 1516 and has a cast inscription in Dutch.
Apart from the addition of the vestry, the church follows the form of its medieval predecessor, though contrasting thoughbut in detail and craftsmanship. The interior has miniaturised details throughout. The design retains stonework of the original chancel arch, up to the imposts, though the stonework has been dismantled and reconstructed. Other early stonework remains visible at high level in the chancel arch wall, above the pulpit. The nave is dominated by its enriched oak roof with high collar beams, arch braces carried down below carved cornices to carved stone corbels, two rows of purlins, and two stages of wind braces, with carved bosses. The chancel roof is also massively timbered in oak, with angels on the cornices. A fourteenth-century truss of the earlier chancel is retained, repositioned against the east face of the chancel wall.
Fittings include a carved pulpit with alabaster figures of three great Anglo-Catholic preachers, Keble, Liddon and Pusey, in its panels, and with its own opening through the chancel wall; marble floors throughout; plainly carved altar standing on a white marble podium, part of an integrated design with an alabaster reredos incorporating figures carved in white marble, with stained glass and side silk drapes; the medieval cylindrical stalactite font recovered from the old church and placed on a new plinth; and a medieval water stoup, found in the south wall of the earlier nave, also placed on a new plinth. Stained glass throughout is by Burlison and Grylls of London, to Halliday's design.

Sources: extracts from Cadw Listing description; J.Newman, Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (1995), pp.475-6.

RCAHMW, 12 May 2015

Digital Images

Archive Records