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ST MARY'S CHURCH, HERBRANDSTON

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 421953

Map Reference SM80NE

Grid Reference SM8707007668

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community Herbrandston

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description This medieval church was significantly altered in the eighteenth century and restored in 1902-4 by C. Ford Whitcombe of Worcester. It is built of red sandstone and roofed with two different types of slate – thick greyish slates on the nave and chancel and north Wales slates on the tower. The church consists of a nave, chancel with projecting bays on the north and south, north and south centrally-placed porches, and a short, broad western tower. The northern porch is larger and has been converted into a vestry. Its door has been blocked and replaced by an early-twentieth-century lancet. There is also a blocked priest’s door in the south wall of the chancel. There is an empty bellcote on the eastern gable of the nave, between the nave and the chancel. The fifteenth-century tower was lowered sometime between 1740 and 1770, as a 1740 estate map shows a taller, low-battlemented tower and the extant bell frame bears the date 1770. There is also a projecting stair of thirty-five steps which has been roofed over. The tower is capped with a nineteenth-century close-eaved half-hipped roof and has a two-light flat-topped traceried window which was replaced in 1904. Inside the church there are two small carved medieval corbels, one over each porch – a mitred head over the south and a female head over the north. To the right of the vestry is a recess containing a fourteenth-century incised tomb slab with an effigy of a head in relief on a cushion below which is a cross or sword. The font is similar in form to that at Rudbaxton (Nprn 308935) with a twentieth-century bowl on a medieval scalloped base. Other notable fittings include the carved-oak reredos produced by John Coates-Carter in 1927.

(Sources: Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire: County of Pembroke (RCAHMW: 1925) Vol. II: 121-22; Cadw site report)
A.N.Coward, RCAHMW, 13.04.2018

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