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St David's Church, Betws

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NPRN309909
Map ReferenceSN61SW
Grid ReferenceSN6315911677
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
Description
St David's Church is situated within a sub-circular churchyard, whose north-west boundary is mirrored by a possible outer boundary some 30m further north. st David's was a parish church during the post conquest period, belonging to the Deanery of Stradtowy. In 1291 it passed to Iscennen, Carmarthenshire. The church lay within the lordship of Gower and was in the patronage of the Bishop of St Davids. In 1998 St David's was a parish church belonging to the Rural Deanery of Dyffryn Aman. A small, circular stoup bowl, reportedly unearthed in the churchyard, is now remounted in the porch.

The church is a Grade II listed building constructed with local rubblestone with limestone (medieval) and grey oolite (1872) dressings. It consists of three-bayed nave and two-bayed chancel (with no chancel arch), south porch, transeptal vestry north of the chancel west bay and bellcote. The nave and chancel are thought to date to around 1300. A small, plain semicircular headed piscina beneath one of the south windows is medieval. The south door has a two-centred, roll-moulded limestone surround dating from around 1300. The porch may date to the fourteenth century. The west wall has medieval buttresses at both ends, and its doorway is fifteenth century in style with a chamfered segmental surround. The bellcote may be seventeenth century in date, as stated on a wall plaque, but may date from 1872. A gallery was entered via a door high in the west end of the nave wall, and had an external staircase. The oak collar-rafter roof trusses may date to 1814-16, but were re-used in 1872. Following a fire, the church was restored in 1872 to the designs of John Harries, Llandeilo (designs were also produced by R. Kyrke Penson). A priest's door in the south wall of the chancel was blocked and the gallery removed. The church was re-roofed and re-floored, external buttresses were added throughout and the vestry was built at this time. A recess for a boiler in the vestry west wall dates from around 1950. The roughcast interior dates from the later twentieth century.

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

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 8 January 2013