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St Gwynno's Church, Llanwinio

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Map ReferenceSN22NE
Grid ReferenceSN2610726472
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCarmarthenshire
Old CountyCarmarthenshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH

1. St Gwynno's Church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Carmarthen, and was a possession of the Cistercians of Whitland Abbey. After the dissolution the advowson fell to the Crown but ended up in private patronage. in 1833 the patron was a Mrs Howel. The church is situated within a pentagonal churchyard, and an inner smaller circular enclosure, defined by a bank, surrounds the church. An outer enclosure is thought to be represented by a boundary bank some 45m south-west of the churchyard. A further possible larger enclosure is visible in the outer field pattern. Its boundaries are thought to have possibly been represented by re-used Bronze Age standing stones, represented by the field names `Parc Maen' (stone field) and `Parc Maen-llwyd' (grey stone field). The field name `Parc-y-ffin' (`boundary field') may also refer to this enclosure, and the boundary at this point is noted to be up to 2m high in places. During the 1845 rebuild an early Christian inscribed stone, bearing a Latin and Ogham inscription, was identified whilst excavating the new foundations. The stone is now in private ownership.Within the St Gwynno's churchyard is the Llanwinio Churchyard Cross (NPRN 304195), comprising of a two-stepped cross base and a rectangular stone cross-shaft.

The pre-1845 church building had a porch in 1672, and two bells in the sixteenth century. Only one bell was present in 1683. The church was rebuilt in 1845, in the same loaction, and probably on the same site and as its predecessor.

The current church is constructed of slate rubble stone and consists of two-bayed nave, chancel and vestry. The church was altered in 1926-1927 to the designs of W.S.P Cotterall, Coomb and Cilsant Estate Office. The vestry was added at this time and the chancel floor was raised. The church was partially re-seated and a new alter and panelling were installed. In 1922 the interior and exterior of the building had been painted.

Sources include:
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Carmarthenshire Churches, gazetteer, 48
Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Historic Environment Record

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 28 January 2013


2. Against the south-west external wall of the church porch is a carved stone slab depicting the upper half of a male figure with one hand over his torso and the other holding an hourglass. The slab originally came from Eglwys Fair a Churig, Llanglydwen.

The stone which was discovered in 1846 while digging foundations for the new church was moved to Middleton Hall around 1852 and was donated to the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society in 1919. It is currently held in Carmarthen Museum.

Sources include: Thomas Lloyd, Julian Orbach, and Robert Scourfield, The Buildings of Wales: Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion (2006), p. 338; Dyfed Archaeological Trust, HER, PRN: 17353; Nancy Edwards et al., A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales. Vol. 2 South-West Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), pp. 264-267.

A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 10.08.2022