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St Gwynin's Church, Llanwnnen

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Map ReferenceSN54NW
Grid ReferenceSN5331047280
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
St Gwynin's Church is situated within a roughly curvilinear churchyard, bounded on its west side by the B4337. Its original dedication was to St Gwnnen. During the medieval period the church was a chapelry, belonging to the Deanery of Sub-Aeron, and is thought to have always been a possession of the Bishop of St Davids. In 1833 the living was a discharged vicarage consolidated with St Sulien's Church, Silian (NPRN 402554) (with two thirds of tithes paid to the Bishop and the other third to the vicar).

The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of local rubble stone. It consists of two-bayed nave, two-bayed chancel, three-storeyed west tower and vestry. The nave is thought to probably be twelfth century in date. The chancel is thought to have been rebuilt in the thirteenth-fourteenth century. A stoup is medieval in date. There is a blocked medieval door. The tower's second stage has a small medieval human figurine within a recessed stone. In 1810 there was a carved rood-screen in the chancel arch and the rood loft steps were visible. The tower, added in the nineteenth century, has a crow-stepped crenellated parapet of the same pattern as those at St David's Church, Blaenporth (NPRN 308996) and St Gwynin's Church, Llanarth (NPRN 400370). The church was restored in 1877, to the designs of R.J. Withers, London (who also designed St Sulien's Church, rebuilt in 1873). The vestry was added and the nave and chancel partially rebuilt. All present openings (neo-gothic with yellow and grey oolite surrounds) also date to this time, as does the tower's corbelled and crenellated pararpet and pyramidal slate roof. The vestry has a blocked fireplace in its south-east corner, whose chimney is thought to have been removed in the early twentieth century. The nave floor was relaid at this time, above the disused heating chamber.

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

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 9 September 2013

The arms on the shield above windows at the bast of the tower are of Sir Rhys ap Thomas (1449 - 1525, chief Welsh supporter of Henry VII). Glass of the windows was designed and fired at Highmead by Colonel Herbert Davies Evans.
From field notes written by Arthur Chater to accompany black and white photographs taken in April 1963.
RCAHMS, 6th December 2019