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Church of St Non

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llannon, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.7559 / 51°45'21"N

Longitude: -4.117 / 4°7'1"W

OS Eastings: 253974

OS Northings: 208475

OS Grid: SN539084

Mapcode National: GBR GT.NG48

Mapcode Global: VH4JM.L4B8

Plus Code: 9C3QQV4M+95

Entry Name: Church of St Non

Listing Date: 3 March 1966

Last Amended: 12 January 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11871

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In the centre of the village in a churchyard with stone wall and iron railings and gates to road at west; stone wall to minor road at north.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Llannon (Llan-non)

Community: Llannon

Locality: Llannon Village

Built-Up Area: Llannon

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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A mediaeval church, the nave of the C12/C13. Chancel and west tower probably additions, the church then widened in the C15 by the addition of a south aisle, the west wall of which contains a late Gothic window. Remarks which have been recorded upon observations during maintenance work suggest a lost crypt in the vicinity of the chancel. There is a surviving crypt beneath the aisle also.

In the early C19 the nave and aisle were converted into one large re-roofed chamber, producing what has been described as 'a comfortable house of worship of the conventicle type' (RCAHM); the windows were renewed generally, and buttresses added. In the south angle of the chancel and nave a small additional room was formed for heating apparatus, not bonded to the adjacent masonry. This work was done in 1831-2 by Edward Haycock, architect, of Shrewsbury.


The church consists of a wide tall nave, the single chamber incorporating the previous nave and south aisle. It is built on sloping ground, and the height of the east end is conspicuous. The chancel is on the axis of the original nave and consequently appears to be offset to north. Likewise the tower is apparently at the NW of the nave, but actually also on its axis. There are crypt openings on the south side of the nave.

The (largely mediaeval) masonry is of local rubble throughout, with slate roofs. Larger selected blocks of freestone of similar appearance are used for the dressings of doors, windows and angle-buttresses. Around the church at low level, apart from the north side and chancel, is a square string-course which follows the slope of the adjacent ground. The nave gables are coped both at east and west. There are diagonal buttresses at the east end of the nave and chancel. The nave and chancel roofs are low-pitched. There is the base of a lost cross at the east apex of the nave gable. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

The tower is well-proportioned, square, with restored crenellations, and incorporates a restored west door. The outline is slightly battered throughout its height and conspicuously battered below the low-level string course. It is crenellated at the top, with flat copings and a strongly projecting string course; below these restored details there is original corbelling at the base of the parapet. The porch within the tower is vaulted. There is no stairs turret, the vice (in the south-west corner) being contained entirely within the wall thickness. There are louvred belfry openings to all faces, under equilateral arches. In the lower stages there are slit openings plus one small C19 window over the door. The west doorway has a C19 four-centred arch of two orders. The doors are double, framed, with four boarded panels to each leaf.

The nave has three windows each side, all C19, in simplified Perpendicular style. Weathered hood moulds. Beneath the low string course are openings on the south side, for family mortuary vaults. The east window is also C19, of three lights with tracery; the lower part has been walled up. A two-light C15 trefoil-headed window survives in the west wall of the former aisle.


The church is entered through the porch beneath the tower at the west. A timber screen partitioning a vestry marks the position of the division of the nave and former south aisle. The flat ceiling extends from side to side of the nave and aisle without interruption, in six bays divided by cross-beams (which are the tiebeams of the roof trusses) There is a ceiling ventilator in each end bay. The nave between the blocks of pews is paved in terrazzo tiles. The walls are plastered, the only decoration being a staff bead at each window. The pulpit is carved in Gothic style (1930).

The chancel arch is chamfered and two-centred. The stones of this arch are exposed. A small hole has been left in the masonry to the right of the arch to show that one of the pier stones has a chamfer on the right also. Below this, also to the south side of the chancel arch is a lower arch, perhaps that of a tomb recess or a former crypt. There are corbels on the arch face towards the nave: the corbel stones have C19 tooling marks.

The chancel is in Gothic style and contrasts with the plainness of the nave. It has a four-centred ceiling divided by ribs into eight panels, springing from the cornice, The panels are pointed at the apex and at the cornice. The east window has a decorative surround. The altar table is framed in oak with trefoil inserts in the heads of the panels. Carved altar rails (c.1931). Panelled and carved choir stalls. carved reredos (c.1929).

The glass is all post-war. The east window shows Christ with St Non and St David (1948). The east window of the aisle shows St Cecilia and an angelic choir (1951). The nave windows are plain with coloured edges, given by parishioners c.1955.

The wall monuments have been collected in the chancel. The earliest is a floor stone of 1787, displayed on the wall. A memorial to John Thomas of Lletty Mawr, JP, DL, 1812, is surmounted by a carving of a mourner and tomb. There are two similar monuments to members of the Goring Thomas family, dated 1821 and 1838: reeded Tuscan columns on a bracketted shelf with an entablature. Also against the north wall is an unusual glazed wall-tile memorial to members of the Goring Thomas family whose bones were re-interred, early C20: good hand-painted lettering on a grey background.

There are four bells, cast by Rudhall of Gloucester, 1753.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a substantially mediaeval church with fine tower, interesting and unusual for the manner of its pre-ecclesiological adaptation in the early C19.

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