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St Egwad's Church, Llanfynydd

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Map ReferenceSN52NE
Grid ReferenceSN5583727618
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
CommunityLlanfynydd (Carmarthenshire)
Type Of SiteCHURCH

St Egwad's Church, Llanfynydd, is situated within a curvilinear churchyard, bounded by a road on its south-west side and by the Afon Sannan on its south-east side which was crossed by a footbridge (depicted as a ford with stepping stones on historic (1887 and 1906) Ordnance survey mapping). 

St Egwad's was a parish church during the post-conquest period, belonging to the Deanery of Stradtowy. In 1331 it was a possession of St Davids as a prebend of the collegiate church at Abergwili. The churchyard is entered via an eighteenth century lych gate (NPRN 310052) in its south-west boundary. Historic Ordnance survey mapping depicts the church as St John's Church. In 1917 the church's former (octagonal) font was thought to date to around 1500, and was observed in a neighbouring garden, having been mutilated for use as a flower pot. In 1998 the church was a parish church belonging to the Rural Deanery of Llangadog and Llandeilo.

The church is a Grade II* listed building, constructed mainly of limestone rubble with yellow oolite dressings. It consists of two-bayed chancel, four-bayed nave, five-bayed north aisle and three-storeyed west tower. The tower dates to around 1400, and has a spiral stair turret similar to that at St Cathen's Church, Llangathen (NPRN 96048). The nave and chancel have a squint dating to around 1500, and it is thought they may have been rebuilt when the north aisle was built, around 1500. The rood loft stair projection was added in the early seventeenth century, which is also when the church was re-fenestrated. Bells were noted in 1684, and two bells were noted in 1790.

The church was restored in 1861, when it was noted that stones in all parts of the walls showed unmistakebal traces of fire. Some the windows were rebuilt at this time, replicatng the seventeenth century originals. The nave and chancel were re-roofed, and the church was re-floored and re-seated. The rood stair was blocked and the building's interior was re-plastered. The font also dates to this time. The heating chamber beneath the aisle's east bay is thought to have been inserted around 1900, but has been replaced by a free-standing boiler in the aisle. In 1975, a fragment of floral wall painting was noted on the chancel arch above the modern ceiling (concealed).

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48
Ordnance Survey, 1887, first edition 25in
Ordnance survey, 1906, second edition 25in
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021)