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St Padarn's Church, Llanbadarn Fawr

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Map ReferenceSN58SE
Grid ReferenceSN5991081010
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
CommunityLlanbadarn Fawr (Ceredigion)
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval

St Padarn's Church, Llanbadarn Fawr, is a fine, large thirteenth century church, featuring an aisless nave with transepts and central tower. It was extended around 1475 and was substantially restored in stages from 1867 to 1884 by John Pollard Seddon. Two medieval crosses are preserved within the church (NPRN 308695). All Saints Church, Llangorwen (NPRN 400456) was constructed in the 1840s as a chapel of ease to St Padarn's Church.

The late-medieval chancel roof survives above Seddon's nineteenth century roof. Tree-ring dating results with site description reported in Vernacular Architecture 42 (2011):

x. LLANBADARN FAWR, Parish Church of St Padarn (SN 5991 8101) Chancel roof
Felling dates: Spring 1489, Spring 1490, and Winter 1490/91

St Padarn's is a large cruciform parish church with central tower of C13th origin. The roofs were renewed in the C19th apart from the wagon roof over the chancel. This roof was formerly boarded or plastered (as slots in the principals show) and is finely finished with bosses at the intersection of the moulded principals and purlins. This roof retains complete sapwood and a felling date of 1491 was obtained. A window inscription naming William Stafford Abbot of Vale Royal (1476-1516 with interruptions) confirms that the chancel was reconstructed at this time. Description in Thomas Lloyd et al., The Buildings of Wales: Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion (2006), pp. 494-7. Dating commissioned by RCAHMW. (RF Suggett/RCAHMW/July 2011).

Addition (April 2019): repair and cleaning of the mosaic floor in the crossing is in progress. The mosaic floor of 40 square meters is directly under the tower and extends into the north and south transepts and the first chancel step. The floor was laid during the 1870s as part of the restoration of St Padarn's by John Pollard Seddon. The design of the actual floor was set out by a mosaic contractor named Jesse Rust, of the Vitreous Mosaic Company, London, whose trademark was the use of recycled glass tesserae interspersed with regular encaustic tiles. The dark (rather than white) mortar employed at Llanbadarn provided a frame for the different elements of the design. The renovation of the church coincided with Seddon's reworking of the Old College building, and it is likely that Jesse Rust was involved in the mosaic artwork there. Michael Darby's V & A Catalogue of Seddon's architectural drawings notes the close association between Rust and Seddon, and establishes that Seddon designed the front of Rust's Manufactury on the Albert Embankment (p.99). Information from Mr Brian Wiley, churchwarden, who has coordinated the restoration work.

Paintings of figures (lost), plus a painted screen (lost), a Royal Arms Charles II (lost), and texts (lost) overpainted (1)

Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 31, 73 (Rhydyfyrian), 110, 261, 286, 292, 296.



application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsBilingual exhibition panel entitled Dyddio Eglwysi Canoloesol yng Nghymru. Dating Medieval Churches in Wales, produced by RCAHMW for the Royal Welsh Show, 2011.
application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsBilingual exhibition panel showing the doorway to Llanbadarn Church, produced by RCAHMW for the Royal Welsh Show, 2010.