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Parish Church of St. Martin

A Grade II* Listed Building in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.7758 / 51°46'32"N

Longitude: -4.4624 / 4°27'44"W

OS Eastings: 230213

OS Northings: 211437

OS Grid: SN302114

Mapcode National: GBR D7.ZCRR

Mapcode Global: VH3LS.LMRJ

Entry Name: Parish Church of St. Martin

Listing Date: 30 November 1966

Last Amended: 25 September 1986

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9623

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Set in an elevated churchyard to N of the town centre

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Laugharne Township (Treflan Lacharn)

Community: Laugharne Township

Built-Up Area: Laugharne

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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C14 rebuilding by Sir Guy de Brian to structure of C13 origin; major Victorian restorations 1855/6 and 1873 by R Kyrke Penson, County Surveyor.


3-bay chancel, NE vestry/organ chamber of 1855, crossing tower with transepts, 4-bay aisless nave with NW, SW and SE, gabled porches. Rubble, part coursed, masonry with freestone gable parapets, crucifix finials and window dressings; stepped and angle buttresses, stringcourses, plinths and voussoir lintels. Steep pitched modern slate roofs, swept at eaves.

4-light Perp E-window with hood mould; curvilinear triangular window with trefoiled double cusped mouchettes to E wall of vestry/organ chamber, earlier Gothic windows to N side; stellar pattern windows to SE porch with decorated 3-light window to left. 2-stage tower (lowered in 1873), with advanced and taller stair turret known as the 'King's Seat'; crenellated and corbelled parapets. 2 louvred bell stage openings to each face. 2-light transept windows, cinquefoil window to N gable and advanced Victorian doorway to S. Similar glazing to Nave, closed low porch to N; side moulded arch and foliated stops below multicusped roundel to gated SW porch which retains stoup below figure of St David. To W of this is a faded pedimented monument set into the wall to a mother and her 8 children - dated 1705. 5-light Perp W window.


NW angle of stair turret entered from E side projects into nave; acutely pointed crossing arches with previous roof pitch visible to W and low E.E. cylindrical column to SW angle. Blocked squint retaining C10/11 Celtic cross; credecne and fluted C14 piscina to St Transept. Ornate rood screen and loft of 1909 (former rood loft door blocked by commemorative tablet) and similar pulpit of 1925; C14 reredos and restored piscina/sedilia. Organ by W G Vowles of Bristol installed in 1821, the gift of Admiral John Laugharne, timber casing, foilage and cusping over gilded pipes. Victorian octagonal font with ornate suspended canopy; Victorian glass with the exception of C14 head to eastern window in nave N wall depicting head of Edward III. Bells dated 1729 by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester. The chief interest of this church lies in its specially fine collection of monuments. Mainly C18 and C19 monuments to nave as well as one to Dylan Thomas; classical monument with lunettes on N wall to Admiral John Laugharne (die 1819) and his wife; pedimented monument with volutes to Arthur Bevan on S wall dated March 6 1649 and signed Bn Palmer Fec; marble tablet of 1821 above inner porch depicting classical scene. N Transept, known as Palmer's aisle, retains C14 recumbent effigy of a monk in double cusped recess; several C18 wall tablets and one dated 1690. C18 and C19 floor and wall monuments to S Transept and chancel including 2 dated 1700, at E end 3 variously pedimented monuments with classical and Baroque detail, one surmounted by coat of arms and another ornamented with skulls and putti. The SW porch retains a further two, late C17 examples, one with strapwork architrave. The nave also has to S Wall a large unsigned canvas painting of Jeremiah by Benjamin West (1780's), one of a set of 8 for George III's Royal Chapel at Windsor Castle of which this is the only one to remain in Britain. Opposite blocking the N porch is a wood carving of St Martin made by the Lang's of Oberammergau from where it was brought in 1866. Above is a small painted panel of George III's arms signed "Joseph Lewis painter".

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Churchyard at St. Martin's Parish
    Old churchyard on northern outskirts of Town Centre bounded to N and E by rubble walls.
  • II Clifton House
    Laugharne Township
  • II The Limes
    Set across the slope at the junction with Clifton Street, reached by ramped and iron railed pavement above the road.
  • II Moir House
    Set across the slope, attached to The Limes on the left and Rosetta at an angle to the right; ramped and iron railed path above the road to front.
  • II Rosetta
    Opposite Great House and atached at an angle to Moir House; iron railed walks to front above the road.
  • II* Great House
    At the end of a continuous row of frontages, stepped up from the Vicarage.
  • II Dragon Park
    Detached to the left.
  • II Vicarage
    Slightly canted street frontage adjoining Great House; continuous sequence of frontages to left.

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