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St Michael's Church, Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn

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Map ReferenceSN53SW
Grid ReferenceSN5496934707
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
CommunityLlanfihangel Rhos-y-corn
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval

St Michael's Church is situated within a formerly curvilinear churchyard, which has been extended to the south. Its western boundary is delineated by a road. A former outer enclosure is clearly visible in the form of landscape features to the west and historic mapping to the east. The area to the east of the road is currently surrounded by forestry, but historic (1888) Ordnance survey mapping depicts a curvilinear field boundary which mirrors the south-eastern churchyard boundary. The unforested area to the west of the church also has a curvilinear field boundary, whose line is continued by the road for a short stretch (at a point some 70m north of the church the road turns forty five degrees to the north-west, runs some 60m to meet the curvilinear field boundary and follow it for a further 70m, then turns back forty five degrees to the north-east and runs back to rejoin the line of the road). To the immediate south of the churchyard the road turns towards Pant-y-bettws (some 300m to the south-west), whose place name indicates former association with the church. During the medieval period the church was a chapelry of Llanllwni parish, belonging to the Deanery of Stradtowy. Llanllwnin church and living were in possession of the Bishops of St Davids. In 1291 and 1308 moieties of the parish tithes were bestowed upon carmarthen Priory. After the dissolution the two moieties were obtained by the Bishop of Lincoln. By 1833 the church was a parish church. The tithe moieties were restored to the parish in 1883.

The church is a Grade II listed buidling, constructed of limestone and shale rubble with mainly yellow oolite dressings (from around 1850). It consists of four-bayed nave and chancel, three-bayed south aisle, west porch and west bellcote. The nave and chancel may date to the fourteenth century. The porch may be fifteenth century. The octagonal limestone font bowl and stem date from the fourteenth-fifteenth century.The aisle is separated from the nave and chancel by a three-bayed arcade of four-centred arches dating to around 1500. In 1790 the church was noted to be to have glazed windows and no steeple. The church was restored in the 1850s, when the nave's west bay was converted into a vestible. The church was also reroofed and refenestrated, and the doors were rebuilt. The stalls and pews may also date to this time. The church was again restored on 1907, although the work was largely superficial. The vestible was removed, and the vestry screen was inserted after this time. In 1917 it was noted that the font was painted bright blue. The church underwent extensive repairs around 1960.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48
Ordnance Survey, 1888, first edition 25in

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 2 May 2013