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Church of St. Peter

A Grade II Listed Building in Lampeter Velfrey, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.7981 / 51°47'53"N

Longitude: -4.6767 / 4°40'36"W

OS Eastings: 215523

OS Northings: 214439

OS Grid: SN155144

Mapcode National: GBR CZ.XSQQ

Mapcode Global: VH2P6.W2GD

Entry Name: Church of St. Peter

Listing Date: 21 June 1971

Last Amended: 15 October 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 6055

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: At the E end of Lampeter Velfrey village, in a circular churchyard surrounded by a stone wall. Iron gate and cobbled path from gate to porch.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Lampeter Velfrey (Llanbedr Felfre)

Community: Lampeter Velfrey

Locality: Lampeter Velfrey Village

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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The circular shape of the churchyard and its elevation above the surrounding ground suggest the early establishment of a church at this location. Much of the masonry of the present building is mediaeval and there are remnants of several early windows. The arcade columns, separating the aisle from the structurally undifferentiated nave and chancel, may be C13. The church as surviving, however, owes most to its C19 restorers. The nave with the chancel and S aisle are perhaps two phases of construction, with the N transept also in a later phase than the nave. There were two C19 restorations: the first in 1837, during the time of the Rev. William Seaton, and the more important in 1860-2, in the time of the Rev. Richard Lewis.

In the 1837 restoration the church was extensively repaired, re-roofed, plastered and re-floored. About £700, including ICBS grants of £150, was spent on work for which John Davis of Narberth was surveyor. The old internal layout with its box-pews and a raking section of floor at the W was retained, and a new pulpit was constructed standing against the first column of the aisle arcade. The windows were given round heads with ventilators 'the better to accord with the rest of the building' in place of the former square heads. It was recklessly proposed at this time to remove two of the columns of the arcade; whether or not this occurred is an unresolved problem. If it did, the arcade was restored to completeness in Seddon's subsequent work.

In 1860-2 extensive work was carried out by J P Seddon, of Seddon and Pritchard, architects, Llandaff. This was a thorough restoration which included all the main windows and the arcade. The second and fourth columns of the arcade appear to be C19 masonry, these being the positions where columns had been marked as 'to be taken away' in the 1837 plans. External buttresses were added at E and W to resist the thrust of the arcade; they incorporated internal rainwater pipes. The W end and the S wall of the aisle including the porch were rebuilt, the roofs rebuilt at a higher pitch, and a large bell-turret added at the W gable of the nave. The box pews were removed and ordinary pew seating installed.

At the time of inspection (1996) the W buttress was temporarily dismantled.


The church is oriented slightly S of E, and consists of a nave with chancel under one roof and a S aisle of almost equal height and width. There is a N transept and a S porch. The church is built of uncoursed masonry in limestone and gritstone. Steeply pitched slate roofs, with crested ridge tiles and coped gables to the nave cum chancel and porch. Plain ridge tiles and pointed roof verge to the aisle. There is a conspicuous C19 bell turret at the W of the nave. C19 buttress(es) in line with the internal arcade.

Some small early windows survive, mostly blocked: a square-headed window to the N transept; a very small square-headed opening at the N of the chancel, close to the transept; in the same wall, further E, a high-level pair of trefoil lights; and in the S aisle wall, a pair of small, high-level windows with four-centred arches, roughly repaired. The other windows of the church are C19, of Seddon's restoration, in Decorated style: two trefoil-headed lights with trefoiled roundel above. The E window is of three lights with a larger ornate top roundel. Seddon's eye-catching bellcote over the W wall of the nave terminates with four steeply pitched gables.


The arcade is C13 or C14 in character, but restored by Seddon, and consists of five arches. It has circular columns with simple mouldings and caps of cushion type. From the nave there is a step up to the chancel and another to the altar. The nave and chancel roof is of ten bays with arch-braced collar-beam trusses. The S aisle roof is of common rafters with crossed collars. The N transept, which houses the organ, has a canted timber ceiling and the porch has common rafters with collars.

The nave floor is of limestone flags. In the chancel and sanctuary there are Minton encaustic tiles, including a reredos. C19 pulpit against the N side and C19 pews. The choir stalls have carved fronts. Gothic carved altar on a white-painted plinth, plain timber altar rails.

There are four stained glass windows, including the nave W window, a South Africa war memorial of 1900.

The church has a good collection of mural monuments, including, against the S wall: an early C17 chest-tomb memorial to the Philipps family of Lampeter Velfrey parish, with no lettering but four heraldic displays; a Baroque monument in yellow limestone with broken and open pediment, with cherubs' heads, damaged; a memorial to the Rev. Edward Philipps, rector, 1793, in the form of a white marble sarcophagus-end on a black marble ground, erected by Mary Dorothea (his daughter), relict of Nathaniel Phillips of Slebech; a white-marble memorial to Richard Willy of Treffgarne, 1807, within a black marble surround of pilasters, shelf, brackets, entablature, with low-relief draped urn at head.

The font is square, tapered beneath, on a square pillar, with a black slab step.

Reasons for Listing

A substantially mediaeval church which has undergone a well-detailed C19 restoration, and which contains a good set of memorials.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II War Memorial
    In a recess formed in the S wall of the churchyard, facing the village street.
  • II Telephone Call-box to SE of St Peter's Church
    On S side of main road through village; to SE of St Peter's Church and opposite School Room.
  • II Derry Cottage
    At N side of the road to Whitland near the crossing of the Avon Cwm, 1 km E of Lampeter Velfrey village. Small front garden with hedge, iron gate and cobbled path to door.
  • II St. David's Parish Church
    Situated in a small churchyard on ground sloping to the S, reached from the village by a lane S via Plas Crwn and Cwmllan. Isolated from present-day settlement.

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