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St David's Parish Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Betws, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.787 / 51°47'13"N

Longitude: -3.9853 / 3°59'7"W

OS Eastings: 263161

OS Northings: 211679

OS Grid: SN631116

Mapcode National: GBR DW.YQ3G

Mapcode Global: VH4JH.WB0Y

Plus Code: 9C3RQ2P7+QV

Entry Name: St David's Parish Church

Listing Date: 25 October 1990

Last Amended: 29 May 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11166

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated on SE side of Amman Valley, approx. 0.5m SE of Ammanford. Triangular shaped churchyard adjacent to Betws Rd. Sited diagonally to road.

County: Carmarthenshire

Town: Ammanford

Community: Betws

Community: Betws

Built-Up Area: Ammanford

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Site apparently dates to the early Christian period. Medieval church, possibly C13-15, with C17 roofs, restored in the C19. Substantial restoration in 1872, following a fire, by J Harries of Llandeilo. Plans were produced by RK Penson, but were not utilised, at least not in original form. Vestry, EE style windows, doors, and buttresses, all of 1872. During restoration, a nail-studded door was removed which contained a date of 1662.


Small rectangular building with nave and chancel, 1872 gabled N vestry, and medieval S porch. Walls are random-rubble, hammer-dressed masonry, local stone, with ashlar dressings and copings. Roof has graded sandstone tiles, with crested terracotta ridge-tiles, and exposed rafter-ends at eaves. Coped gable parapets have cross-finials, with weather-cock on bell-cote. Grouped and single leaded lancet windows, with cusped-heads. Construction breaks visible around some windows indicate alterations. Gables have angle buttresses, single nave buttresses. South porch has a voussoired pointed arch. Porch roof has a single, oak, collared roof-truss, with cusping over collar, and curved extended feet, probably medieval. Pointed inner door, with roll and cavetto moulded, red-sandstone dressings, possibly C17. Small stoup on right side of the door. S nave wall has 2 single-lancets with a twin lancet to right of porch. The W end has a double door in a voussoired cambered opening, and a part-blocked round-headed voussoired opening over, of uncertain date, with modern circular light. Three sets of twin lancets in N wall, and twin lancet with roundel over, in N vestry. Single E vestry door with pointed-head, and flat-chamfered dressings. N chancel wall has a twin lancet, while E chancel window is 2-light with bar tracery, and there are 2 sets of twin-lancets in the S chancel wall.


Cement-rendered walls. No chancel arch. Fifteen bay roof to nave and chancel. Nave has oak, arch-braced collared trusses, with unconventional cusping over collars, and chamfered purlins, possibly C17. Chancel roof is similar but possibly later. Both roofs have notches for a removed plaster ceiling and removed ridge-purlin. Stoup and piscina niche are possibly medieval. C19 square font. S nave wall has 2 two-light windows, with rich dramatic coloured lights, by John Petts of Llanstephan, 1971 and 1976. N wall 2-light by B Tobias Evans of Celtic Studios 1961, 'The Charge to St Peter'. E chancel window has a rich coloured work, 'Light of the world' by Sir Lawrence Lee, 1960, designer of glass at Coventry Cathedral. C20 oak wainscoting in chancel, and oak Gothic panelled altar and reredos. C20 oak lectern and pulpit. The organ is pitch-pine with two cases set on opposite sides of the choir.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a sole example of medieval church in Betws area, retaining much of its pre-C19 fabric, including surviving ornate roof. Important also in relation to the history of the church in Wales.

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