History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Church of Saint Martin of Tours

A Grade II* Listed Building in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 51.8026 / 51°48'9"N

Longitude: -4.9722 / 4°58'20"W

OS Eastings: 195169

OS Northings: 215733

OS Grid: SM951157

Mapcode National: GBR CK.XRB3

Mapcode Global: VH1RD.RYQH

Entry Name: Church of Saint Martin of Tours

Listing Date: 12 October 1951

Last Amended: 30 November 2005

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 12041

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated in churchyard raised above Church Street and Chapel Lane.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Haverfordwest

Community: Haverfordwest (Hwlffordd)

Community: Haverfordwest

Built-Up Area: Haverfordwest

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

Find accommodation in


Anglican parish church of Norman foundation, said to have been built 1120 in association with the Castle. First recorded in 1256. Nave, S porch and chancel possibly early C14 with added late C14 or early C15 tower and early C16 S aisle, at which time a priest's room was built over the porch. In poor condition in the late C18 and early C19, said to have 'little of its original character' in 1833. The capitals of the chancel arch were chiselled off for a flat plaster ceiling in 1839-40. Extensively restored 1862-5 when the arcade was rebuilt, the roofs were replaced to a steeper pitch, a N aisle was added to the chancel, and all the windows were renewed. The architect was C. E. Giles of London, the clerk of the works Jesse Harvey of the Prendergast paper mills. The work cost £2,000. The spire was rebuilt in 1869-70, under Giles & Robinson architects, 15' higher than previously, at 47'. Edward Laws writing in 1888 claimed that the previous spire replaced or was built on top of a saddleback roof
Noted from the later C19 as one of the few Anglo-Catholic centres in St David's diocese, due probably to the patronage of the de Winton family of Brecon, and the parish was much in conflict with the bishops. Notable successive incumbents were Fr. John Popplewell from 1879, Fr Martin Phelps from 1889 and Fr Arthur Baring-Gould from 1908 to 1953. Fr Popplewell acquired the Father Smith organ of 1704 from St David's Cathedral. The church was frescoed, like Monkton church, in 1895 by C.G. Gray of Cambridge, but these were whitewashed over by Baring-Gould who also ejected a screen and reredos. The S aisle was made into a Lady Chapel in 1909 in memory of Father Phelps.


Parish church, brown rubble stone with slate roofs and coped gables with finials. Nave and chancel with NW tower and spire, parallel-roofed S aisle and lean-to chancel N addition.
Tower is thin and plain in typical S Pembs C15 type, mostly in grey stone, the bottom heavily encased in 1857 in sloping masonry in cut grey limestone. Tower has minimal loops for bell openings and corbelled low parapet. Recessed octagonal spire in grey limestone ashlar, of 1866, with three moulded bands and finial in Forest of Dean stone. Nave has large W window in Bath stone with elaborate late Gothic tracery of the 1860s. Nave S has no window before S aisle with has three-sided stair turret in angle to nave, with slate roof lean-to against aisle W end, the chamfered corner of the tower brought to square with C19 ashlar corbels. Plain C19 pair of pointed lights to W end, lighting priest's room over porch. On S side of aisle, porch has C19 pointed entry with hoodmould, two chamfers, the inner one carried on column shafts with moulded bases and capitals. Squared stone voussoirs in two colours of stone. Within the porch is early C20 wooden screen with three pointed doors and boarded tracery above.
S aisle has three C19 three-light S windows of the 1860s with roundels in heads and E end surround of an original Tudor-arched 4-light window with renewed panel tracery and hoodmould, original stone voussoirs and keystone. Lower chancel has one renewed lancet in S wall to extreme left, the wall of the added S aisle anted in to expose it, and a C19 2-light S window. Large C19 three-light E window with big sexfoil in head, hoodmould and bi-colour cut stone voussoirs. N side has C19 lean-to addition with E end single light, N side door and 3-light. Nave N has three bays divided by two big stepped C19 buttresses. Tower is against first bay, the other two have C19 pointed 3-light windows with quatrefoil roundels in heads, and bi-colour stone voussoirs.


Within porch are two fine C14 Decorated style niches, one each side of the inner door, with trefoiled arches and ogee heads. Arch-braced nave roof and scissor truss chancel roof, of 1860s. Fine tall chancel arch with three groups of small filleted and keel-shaped roll mouldings. The capitals were destroyed in 1840. Sedilia of the C14 with ogee arches on hexagonal shafts with circular bases. Piscina adjoining with ballflower decoration and crocketted ogee surround. Two arches to added S aisle from the nave, one from the chancel. The nave arcades rebuilt in 1860s but in respond of E arch is Tudor-arched squint with carved bowl, possibly a stoup, beneath carved on underside with a Tudor rose. Tudor arch between chancel and aisle.
Fittings: C12 font much retooled, low square bowl with angled corners, on octagonal shaft. Bath stone pulpit, 1860s, with quatrefoils. Stations of the Cross, 1895 from Munich. Gothic porch screen 1903 by H.J.P. Thomas of Haverfordwest, who also designed the Lady Chapel screen in 1909. Organ of 1704 by Father Smith originally at St David's Cathedral moved in 1881 without 5 ranks of pipes, used in the new Father Willis organ at St David's. Moved 1909 from S aisle to W end. Plain open pews.
Stained glass. E window c. 1880. Christ with SS Martin & David. S aisle window 1893 by C. G. Gray of Cambridge to Rev H. Leeds. Gray was a wall-painting specialist and frescoes he added in 1895 are now gone. S aisle second window 1940 by C.C. Powell, of the Annunciation. S aisle third window 1909 by Heaton, Butler and Bayne; S aisle E window, 1921, by Morris & Co, SS Mary Magdalene, Mary, Christ and St John, to designs made in the late C19 by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. W window by Celtic Studios 1988. Late C20 patterned glass in two nave N windows and N lean-to N window.
Memorials: Thomas Lloyd of Danyrallt died 1722: open-pedimented small tablet with shield. Rev. J. Rees, died 1835 and Frances Thompson died 1842, plain tablets by J. Thomas of Haverfordwest.
Sculpture: C13 or C14 coffin-lid with foliated Latin cross. Concrete and glass sculpture of Virgin Mary by Stephen Sykes, 1960s.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as a church of early medieval origins, retaining good C14 Gothic chancel arch, sedilia, piscina and porch niches.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.