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St John The Baptist's Church, Ystrad Meurig

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Map ReferenceSN76NW
Grid ReferenceSN7039067660
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
CommunityYstrad Meurig
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St John the Baptist's Church is situated within a curvilinear churchyard delineated by roads on its south and east sides. The church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Ultra-Aeron. Its current dedication is thought to originate from the acquisition of the church by the Knights Hospitaller around 1158. In the early nineteenth century a grammer school was founded within the church, which by 1803 had moved to a newly-built schoolhouse within the churchyard. By 1833 the church was a chapelry belonging to Ysbytty Ystwyth parish.In 1898 the church became a parish church again. In 1875 the church's original bell was reportedly discovered in Llanwnws bog, although it was also claimed to have belonged to St Gwnnw's Church, Tynygraig (NPRN 268121).

The pre-1898 church consisted of nave only and was altered for use as a school before 1803. The east window had been blocked and replace with a fireplace and chimney. It was disused and ruinous by 1878. At this time it was reportedly used as a playground for the neighbouring grammar school. The church was demolished and rebuilt in 1898, in the same location and on the same foundations as its predecessor, but retaining nothing from the earlier fabric.

The present church is constructed of local coursed rubble-stone with red Forest of Dean sandstone dressings, to the designs of Arthur Baker, Harold Hughes Architects, Bangor. It consists of two-bayed chancel, four-bayed nave, west porch, vestry (north of chancel west bay) and west (combined) chimney-stack and bellcote. The octagonal fonts dates from 1898. The church has an underground heating chamber, with floors suspended over heating ducts.

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

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 15 April 2014