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St Ffraid's Church, Llansantffraid

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Map ReferenceSN56NW
Grid ReferenceSN5124767492
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St Bride's Church is situated within a chuchyard consisting of a curvilinear boundary with one straight boundary wall on its east side. The church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Ultra-Aeron. In 1158 Roger de Clare granted the church to the Knights Hospitaller of Slebech. In the later twelfth century the grant was confirmed by Rhys ap Gruffydd. In the later thirteenth century King Edward I tranferred the church to the Bishop of St Davids. In 1833 the church was in the patronage of the Bishop of St Davids. The tower features a possible Sheila-na-gig. Exposed building remains (stones walls and cobbles) in the cliff above River Peris where it reaches the beach (some 200m west) may be associated with the church. The remains may be part of the remains of 'great building' metioned by Leland in the sixteeth century, which he suggested may have belonged to the nunnery.

The church is a Grade II* listed building, constructed of local rubble stone. It consists of three-bayed nave and chancel and three-storeyed west tower. The square, limsestone font, with band of incised rosette mouldings, is twelfth-thirteenth century in date. It is similar in style to that at St David's Church, Henfynyw (NPRN 418342) and St Bledrws' Church, Betws Bledrws (NPRN 418245). The remains of a rood screen was noted in 1810, elements of which were recently recognised reused as ceiling beams in the tower. The tower dates from the early sixteenth century and is not typical of the region. The east half of its north wall has a square spiral stair turret projecting from it, entered via a two-centred doorway. All its windows date from the sixteeenth century. The tower's barrel-vaulted ground floor connected with the nave through a two-centred arch. The church was entirely rebuilt (except for the tower) in 1839-1841 by David Francis, Llanon, in the preaching house tradition. The tower's doorway is thought to have been blocked at this time. The west gallery was erected in 1865 paid for by the Morgan family of Alltlwyd. Two square were doorways inserted, one at ground floor level and the other into the west gallery above. The font was moved to its present location in 1929. The vestry screen, pulpit, alter rail and chancel fittings also date to this time.

Sources include:
Cadw, Listed Buildings Database
Cambria Archaeology, 2000, Ceredigion Churches, gazetteer, 48
Meyrick, S.R., 1907,The HIstory and Antiquities of Cardigan, pg 263

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 7 Janary 2014