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St Dogfael's Church, Meline, Eglwyswrw

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Map ReferenceSN13NW
Grid ReferenceSN1180438750
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
Period19th Century
St Dogfaels church is located at the end of a narrow lane off the north side of the A487. The church stands within a curvilinear churchyard delineated on its east side by a stream; itself a tributary of the Nant Duad stream which delineates the south-western half of Castell Henllys inland promontory fort (NPRN 94989), some 175m to the north of the church. Use of Castell Henllys persisted through the Roman period and into the early medieval period, and it is likely that the two sites functioned as a paired secular/ecclesiastical site. St Dogfael's Well (NPRN 32501) is some 10m west of the churchyard boundary. During the medieval period the church was a parish church belonging to the Deanery of Cemais. In the 14th century the benefice was in the gift of the welsh community, but by 1577 it was appendant (as a rectory) to the Barony of Cemais, the lord of Cemais, and the free tenants of the parish who has the right of alternate presenation to the living: a patronage which continued into the 20th century.

The church is a Grade 2 listed building, constructed in 1863-5 in a simple High Victorian design by R.J. Withers on the site of the demolished medieval church. It is constructed of tooled sandstone with some Bath stone dressings under slate roofs with terracotta ridge tiles. It consists of nave and apse-ended chancel under a single roof, iron-cross finial to apse, small south-west bellcote sunk into gable, north vestry with battered chimney, and gabled south porch. Inside, the three-bay nave roof is of arch-braced collar type but modified to give a shouldered profile below collars echoed in the windbracing of side panels, the polygonal chancel roof with timber ribs is closed with plaster panels. The flooring is in simple coloured tile and slate, stepped five times from chancel arch to the communion table. Fittings include pine pews and pine pulpit with vesica shaped panels; large ashlar reredos with tile panels using best five-colour tiles; and in the vestry a diagonally-set Gothic fireplace and moulded-stone locker. Stained glass includes work by Lavers & Baraud (1865).

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Pembrokeshire Churches, gazetteer, 48
Cambria Archaeology, 2003, Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Pembrokeshire gazetteer
T.Lloyd, J.Orbach & R.Scourfield, Buildings of Wales: Pembrokeshire (2004), p.284.

N Vousden, 11 October 2018