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St. David's Parish Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanddewi Velfrey, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.8106 / 51°48'38"N

Longitude: -4.6939 / 4°41'37"W

OS Eastings: 214392

OS Northings: 215870

OS Grid: SN143158

Mapcode National: GBR CY.X2CN

Mapcode Global: VH2P0.LRDC

Entry Name: St. David's Parish Church

Listing Date: 15 October 1997

Last Amended: 15 October 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18982

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: 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.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Llanddewi Velfrey (Llanddewi Efelffre)

Community: Llanddewi Velfrey

Locality: Cwmllan

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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A church probably of C12 origins, in which much of the mediaeval fabric survives. There was a documented restoration in 1715-37, and it is possible the chancel was rebuilt in 1757, when the Rev. Griffith Jones was vicar, on the evidence of a poorly legible stone on the W wall. £700 was also spent on repairs completed in 1861.

The external character of the church owes most, however, to an extensive restoration in 1893. All windows, the doors, the W wall with bellcote and the entire roof were restored. Some original interior features were retained.


The building consists of nave and chancel with a N aisle. There is an open-fronted S porch with a light iron gate. Coped gables, with a bellcote for two bells over the W gable. At eaves there are decorative corbels at intervals to support a large cast-iron rainwater gutter. Modern tile roof.

The windows date from the 1893 restoration and are single or double trefoil-headed lights with label moulds. The E window is of three lights, in the Decorated style. The bellcote over W of nave is also from the late C19 restoration. It has decorative corbels and a military-style crossed loophole to the W and a string course above the gable coping. Paired lights, with louvres, to W. Finial cross on the bellcote gable top.

A memorial slab on the E face is to John Thomas of Trewern, d.1730; skull and crossed horns. Another inscribed stone on the E face is C18, nearly illegible, and appears to commemorate an C18 rebuild of the chancel.


Nave with slightly narrower chancel raised up two steps and a N aisle to the chancel and to one bay of the nave. The roofs are C19, four bays to the nave and two to the chancel. The trusses have arch-braced collar beams with posts and V struts over the collars. The arch-braces rise from corbels well below wallplate level. Single purlins at each side.

When inspected (1996) the internal plaster was all removed for renovation: the appearance of the internal stonework, of some archaeological complexity, suggests the C19 external restoration was largely achieved through re-facing rather than rebuilding. The unrestored mediaeval interior elements include the aisle arcade and the chancel arch. There is a single segmental arch from nave to aisle, chamfered on nave side. In the chancel are two well-formed late mediaeval four-centred arches with rounded hollow chamfers. These arches are of two orders on the aisle side, the upper order being segmental. They bear on a single round column with simple cap and cable moulding. Octagonal impost piers. The chancel arch is pointed, wide and irregular.

There is an interesting grotesque carving at N side of the aisle arcade: a two-tier corbel with a face on each tier. The faces are primitive in character but dissimilar. The corbel is so integral with the late mediaeval arches that it is perhaps to be regarded as rustic rather than early.

Most of the windows have stained glass. The font is square, on a modern base. There are plain and encaustic tiles with the arms of Richard Lewis, Bishop of Llandaff (formerly vicar of Llanddewi Velfrey).

Two memorials, both dated 1816, carved by James Smith of Portland Road, London. One is to Eleanor Lewis of Henllan: the young lady on her deathbed with an angel pointing to heaven. The other to David Lewis, also of Henllan: Mourning figure at right beside a pillar with draped urn. In the N aisle, against the E wall, is a curious memorial to Rhys Beynon (of Trewern), d.1872, which appears to incorporate a glass photograph.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a church retaining its mediaeval form and much of its early fabric.

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