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St Maelog's Church, Llandyfaelog

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Map ReferenceSN41SW
Grid ReferenceSN4148511876
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St Maelog's Church is situated within a curvilinear churchyard, measuring nearly five acres, at the confluence of a number of routeways. The church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Kidwelly. It was in the gift of the Lords of the Manor of Kidwelly, who conferred it upon Ewenny Priory in 1139. In 1355-1356 it was transferred to New College, Leicester, but was appropriated by the Bishop of St davids in 1139. The patronage subsequently fell into private hands. In 1833 the living was in the patronage of the trustees of the late patron, John Mellor Esq. At that time there were both a formal chapel of ease and an extra-parochial chapel within the parish. In 1998 St Maelog's was a parish church belonging to the Rural Deanery of Cydweli. The old Vicarage is situated within a rectilinear parcel of land (now wooded) adjacent to the north-western section of the churchyard boundary. The churchyard is bounded by the road on its south side. A notable grave is that of the Rev. Peter Williams (1723-1796), Methodist cleric and author of the popular 'Beibl Peter Williams'.

The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of limestone and Old Red Sandstone rubble. It consists of three-bayed nave, two-bayed chancel, two-bayed north chapel, north transept (parallel to nave), south transept (parallel to nave), west porch (now heating chamber), south porch and triple bellcote. The chancel is thought to date to the thirteenth century. The chancel arch has a blocked, truncated medieval loop above it, which would have lighted the rood loft. A squinch, within the angle of the nave's north wall, may be associated with a former rood stair. The nave's south wall has an internal tomb recess, with a moulded, two-centred head, dating from the fourteenth-fifteenth century. The nave and transepts are thought to be later additions, possibly dating to the fourteenth century. The transepts are unusual, in that they run parallel (rather than transeptal) to the nave. The south porch is thought to date to the fifteenth century. The west porch dates to the earlier sixteenth century. There was a double bellcote with two bells in 1672 and 1684. The church underwent abandonment and dereliction before it was restored in 1825. The triple bellcote and external butressing to the chancel's east wall may date to this restoration. The arch between north transept and chapel was unblocked and rebuilt at this time. The church was again restored in 1867-1870, to the designs of R.K. Penson. It was re-fenestrated, re-roofed, re-floored, and re-seated and the interior was re-plastered. The south porch was also partially rebuilt. The west porch was converted to a heating chamber around 1900. The red brick chimney stack in its north wall dates to this time. The oak panelled reredos and free-standing stalls date to the earlier twentieth century. The octagonal font also dates to the twentieth century. The roofs were reslated in the early 1990s.

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 12 February 2013