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St David's Church, Blaenporth

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Map ReferenceSN24NE
Grid ReferenceSN2626248783
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St David's Church is situated within a curvilinear churchyard which is entered at the west side of its southern boundary. Historic Ordnance Survey mapping depicts a well some 10m west of the entrance path (some 20m south-west of the entrance gate). Indications of curvilinear features, possibly describing a circuit in the region of 120m east to west by at least 85m, have been noted about the north of the current churchyard of St David's church (NPRN 308996). A motte and bailey castle, Castell Gwithian (NPRN 93916), is sited some 200m to the east-north-east. Castell Gwithian is thought to have been established around 1110 and the two sites are likely to have been contemporary. The church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Sub-Aeron. At that time it was in the patronage of St Davids as a prebend of the collegiate church at Abergwili. The church was transferred to the collegiate church at Brecon after the dissoution. In 1833 the church was a perpatual curacy in the patronage of St Davids. The octagonal font with square base came from St Mary's Church, Cardigan (NPRN 306605).

The form of the medieval church is not known. In 1918 a medieval bell, inscribed ' SANCTE PETRE ORA PRO NOBIS' hung in the tower of the present church. The church was rebuilt around 1800, with nothing retained from the earlier fabric. In 1841 the churchyard is known to have been smaller than the present one, occupying its western half.

The church was rebuilt in 1856-1859, to the west of the former building. It was constructed to the designs of R.J. Withers, London. The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of squared slate rubble. with yellow oolite dressings. It originally had a transeptal south tower and tall, slated spire. The church was renovated around 1920 to the designs of W.D. Caroe. The spire was removed at this time and replaced with a crow-stepped crenellated parapet, of the same pattern as the those at St David's Church, Blaenporth (NPRN 308996) and St Gwynin's Church, Llanwnen (NPRN 400402). St Gwynin's Church, Llanwnen (NPRN 400402) and St David's Church, Llanarth (NPRN 400370). The storehouse was added in the twentieth century. The tower was demolished in the 1870s and its communicating arch was blocked. The church temporarily closed in the 1990s, as it had become unsafe, but reopened in 1997.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Ceredigion Churches, gazetteer, 48

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 25 November 2013