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St Mary's Church, Bayvil

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NPRN225
Map ReferenceSN14SW
Grid ReferenceSN1016440621
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
CommunityNevern
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodMultiperiod
Description
St Andrew's Church is situated within polygonal churchyard just south of Bayvil Farm. The churchyard has a well abutting its external north-eastern corner, which is fed by an adjacent spring. In 2003 a soilmark was noted, appearing to represent the rounded north-west corner of a rectilinear banked and ditched enclosure. The enclosure may underlie the churchyard and be early medieval in origin. 80m south-east of the church is circular enclosure measuring c.70m diameter with a possible segmented ditch. It was surveyed and excavated in 2014, yielding prehistoric pottery. The team noted that a number of potential standing stones had been removed from the field in the 1970s, which may have been associated with the enclosure. The church is some 300m north of Trefael burial chamber (NPRN 304084). The church was first mentioned in documents of the 12th century, when it was granted to St Dogmael's Abbey. At that time it was dedicated to St Andrew, although an alternative dedication to St Mary is also recorded.

The current church is said to date from c.1812, but is probably of the 1830s. Built to designs of David Evans it is considered a scarce rural example of an unaltered Georgian Anglican church. The building is constructed of rubble stone, possibly incorporating earlier masonry. It has a slate roof with west double blue lias stone bellcote. The church consists of a single chamber with entrance in the west gable wall. Twelve-pane sash windows have Gothic tracery to the upper panes; cambered heads to the upper sashes; slate sills and blue lias cut stone cambered voussoirs. The pre-Victorian interior is little altered with plastered walls, slate floors, box pews, three-decker pulpit and simple timber chancel rails and altar table. The font is late twelfth century, of square, cushion type. The church was restored in c.1980 by Roger Clive-Powell and is now in the care of Friends of Friendless Churches.

Sources include:

Cadw listed buildings database
Dyfed Archaeological Trust, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer
T.J. Hughes, Wales's Best One Hundred Churches, 2006
T.Lloyd, J.Orbach & R.Scourfield, Buildings of Wales: Pembrokeshire (2004)

RCAHMW, 8 November 2017