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St Llawddog's Church, Cilgerran

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Map ReferenceSN14SE
Grid ReferenceSN1906043075
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
St Llawddog's church is situated within a quadrilateral churchyard at the west edge of the village of Cilgerran, some 500m west of Cilgerran Castle (NPRN 95037). The site may be early medieval in origin. The church was mentioned in the 1291 Taxatio. Cist graves found in the churchyard in the 19th century contained 13th century coins. An early medieval inscribed stone, Cilgerran 1 (NPRN 304083) stands in the churchyard.

Although the church is a medieval foundation, only the fifteenth-century tower betrays its origins, the rest resulting from a rebuilding of 1853-5 by Benjamin Ferrey of London, itself replacing a church of 1836-7 by Daniel Evans. It was this latter, of poor quality and lasting only 15 years, which replaced the medieval church notable for its oak roof, chancel window and carved rood screen.

The present church is built of Cilgerran stone with slate roofs, coped gables and stone cross finials, and with tracery in Bath stone and some moulded slate. It consists of nave with south aisle, chancel and plain vaulted west tower; the north vestry and south organ chamber were added c.1865, the west doorway in the twentieth century. The church is seen as the best example in the county of correct Ecclesiological Gothic, the detail all in English Decorated style. Inside, the walls are plastered. The three-bay arcade with octagonal piers, chancel arch and widow reveals are all in Cilgerran stone under rafter roofs uninterrupted by trusses. Internal features include an ashlar Bath stone pulpit with marble shafting (JE Thomas, 1855), ornate octagonal font in Bath stone, reredos (1877 by EB Ferrey) and encaustic tiles in the chancel. Stained glass is by Wailes c.1854-5 (east window), O'Connor c.1854-5 (south aisle), Ballantine 1860 (nave north windows), JG Howe c.1855-60 (chancel windows) and Celtic Studios c.1970 (two of the south aisle windows). In the churchyard is a pillar stone of the fifth-sixth centuries (NPRN 304083).

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings database
Dyfed Archaeological Trust, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire
T.Lloyd, J.Orbach & R.Scourfield, The Buildings of Wales: Pembrokeshire (2004).

RCAHMW, 28 June 2017