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St David's Church, Llanllawer

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Map ReferenceSM93NE
Grid ReferenceSM9867735972
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
CommunityCwm Gwaun
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St David's Church, Llanllawer is situated within a quadrilateral churchyard, which encompasses a spring. The current churchyard lies within a larger, circular enclosure identified by aerial photographs. The circular enclosure measures some 95m in diameter and Its southern half appears to be mirrored by the footpath which passes to south of the current churchyard, but would have been within the circular enclosure. It appears to encompass Llanllawer Holy Well (NPRN 32485), also known as Ffynnon Gapan, some 40m north-east of the church. In 1925 Ffynnon Gapan was referred to as being within the enclosure of `Ymyl yr eglwys' or `the churchyard precincts?. The well reportedly had a reputation for its miraculous healing powers, and was reputedly particularly effective in curing sore eyes. First edition Ordnance Survey mapping depicts a circle of orthostats (c.600m diameter) surrounding the churchyard.St David's Church was a chapelry during the post-conquest period, belonging to the Deanery of Cemais. It is home to four medieval cross-incised stones (NPRN 276032), thought to date from the 9th to 11th centuries. Two are incorporated into the churchyard wall, with the other two incorporated into the present church building. The pattern of one of the latter includes a linear Latin cross with a lozenge shaped ring at its upper end, and with stones at St Tecwyn's Church, Llandecwyn (NPRN 43903), St Tanwg's Church, Llandanwg (NPRN 43901) and St Sulien's Church, Silian (NPRN 402554) is one of only four examples in Wales. In 1998 the church had been redundant for some years.

The form of the medieval church building is unknown. It was entirely rebuilt in 1860, on the same location as its predecessor, but retaining nothing from the earlier fabric. The current church is constructed of limestone and slate rubble. It consists of two-bayed chancel, wider two-bayed nave, vestry (north of the chancel) south porch and west single bellcote. There is a re-used stoup, known as ?The weeping stone?, set within a niche in the north-west angle of the nave. It is filled by a spring which permeates up through the church walls and is said to have never run dry.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48
Cambria Archaeology, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer
Edwards, N, 2007, A Corpus of early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales: Volume II

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 30 May 2013