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Church of St Cennych (aka St Gwynog)

A Grade II Listed Building in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.6971 / 51°41'49"N

Longitude: -4.0841 / 4°5'2"W

OS Eastings: 256059

OS Northings: 201878

OS Grid: SN560018

Mapcode National: GBR GV.84T0

Mapcode Global: VH4JV.5L7T

Entry Name: Church of St Cennych (aka St Gwynog)

Listing Date: 12 January 1999

Last Amended: 12 January 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21095

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: On a hilltop site east of Bank Road in the centre of Llangennech village, 150m north of the B4297 (Afon Road). Stone wall to front, part with cast-iron railings and gates between plain ashlar piers.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Llangennech

Community: Llangennech

Locality: Llangennech Village

Built-Up Area: Llangennech

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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A Victorian/Edwardian Gothic-Revival church in the Decorated Style, constructed in two phases and completed in 1908. The architect was E M Bruce Vaughan of Cardiff. The faculty for the restoration and enlargement of Llangennech church was granted in 1900, and the estimated cost was £2000.

In the first phase of the restoration, in 1900-01, the old porch and south and west walls of the nave and aisle were removed, and the north wall reduced to a little above ground level. The present nave and aisle were constructed. In 1907-08 the old chancel and vestry were demolished and the present chancel and vestry (including organ chamber) constructed. The tower is also thought to have been added at this time.

The work amounted to a complete rebuilding, apart from the retention of a little of the wall on the north side of the nave. There is also a re-worked font of uncertain origin, and one early C19 wall monument. Otherwise nothing remains of the earlier parish church.


Tall nave with west tower and a lower north aisle. The aisle is separately roofed but of identical length. The nave and aisle were both extended east at the same width and height to form the vestry with organ chamber and the chancel. The masonry throughout is of local stone, rock-faced and laid in small regular courses; the arrises are chiselled square. On all sides except the south of the nave there is a plinth of similar masonry, with an offset course in Bath-stone. Corner buttresses of slight projection to the nave, chancel and tower with plain offsets and sloping tops. Slate roofs with red tile ridges and a very slight coping plus small cross-finials at the gables. Octagonal chimney rising from the east wall at the junction of the two roofs. Ornate cast-iron hoppers on each gable between aisle and nave. The west tower, on the nave axis, incorporates the porch. It is of three-stages, crenellated and crowned by a wrought-iron weathervane. There is a high string course at roof level with plain gargoyles at each corner. Small crossed corner buttresses with offsets die into the wall below the ringing chamber, but are resumed at the corners of the bell chamber, which is of reduced size. There are tall two-light belfry openings to each face of the tower, glazed above and with louvres beneath, with a label mould linked to an all-round string course. Small single-light windows to the storey beneath. Above the west door is a traceried window of three trefoil-headed lights beneath a large cinquefoil. The west door is under a pointed arch of two orders, with the outer order deeply moulded and standing on a single colonette each side with round cap and base. The porch side door to the south has a single-order equilateral pointed arch, with deep mouldings terminating short of the plinth. The windows are in the Decorated style, in Bath stone, without label mouldings, of 2, 3 and 5 lights.


The interior consists of a long and wide nave entered through a porch which is the base of the tower; north aisle; large chancel with organ and vestry at left. The porch is paved with plain encaustic tiles and has a timber ceiling with crossed beams framing the bell hatch. The inner doorway to the nave is of two orders, with a simple moulding on the inner arris; double boarded doors. Four-arch arcade to the north aisle, and a very wide and high chancel arch. The latter has Early English corner mouldings and stands on circular moulded brackets. Eight-bay nave roof with arch-braced collar-beam trusses. Pine pews. Two steps up to the chancel. Finely carved altar in late Gothic style; the front of five panels including an intricate IHS within a roundel at the centre. Vine frieze above the panels. Reredos with three main panels, the centre having a bracket to hold the cross (donated 1905). The carved panel at left depicts the Good Shepherd, that at the right a Crucifixion with a recumbent soldier clutching the foot of the Cross. Gothic panelling at each side extending to the chancel corners. At left is the organ, presented by David Evans of Llangennech Park, 1908, with a Gothic case, and the doorway to the vestry: equilateral arch, moulded arris. Boarded door with prominent wrought iron hinges. At right beneath the first window is a triple seat (not fully separate sedilia). The chancel is paved in encaustic tiles, plain generally but glazed within the sanctuary. Simply carved choirstalls in Gothic style with pierced backs. The glass of the east window shows five figures of Christ in the main lights, with winged cherub heads in the tracery lights above; in memory of D. Evans, 1909. At south of the chancel the first window is of 1914, to the memory of two children of the Evans family. The second window is plain but with the arms of T J Margrave esq., undated. In the nave the first window shows three figures of Christ, including one after Holman Hunt; also to Evans children, 1914. The fourth window is an Evans memorial of 1955, with the Ascension. The other windows are plain. At the north of the aisle the first is an Evans memorial with St Anne and St Mary, the fourth is of 1964 to members of the Phillips family of Cwminbwch, with scenes of agriculture. The wall monuments include a Roman Doric memorial to D Evans, 1903, at the left of the chancel; and a white marble monument with an urn at the head in low relief, in memory of the Rev. John Thomas, d. 1838, at the right of the chancel. Small tablet to H Bevan of the Artillery Company, 1916. In the nave is a pedimented marble monument to J Williams and E Williams, both churchwardens, d. 1923 and 1926, and a tablet to Nurse Evelyn Davies, who served in the parish from 1941-49. The carved oak pulpit in Gothic style is by Clarke of Llandaff, 1929. Oak war memorial with roll of honour fixed to the west wall. Near the NW corner of the nave is an old font, standing on an octagonal base. The font is square, but has been re-tooled and its original shape is no longer apparent.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a well-detailed simple exercise in Gothic Revival, in a church of urban scale which is a prominent feature in the village.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Capel Salem
    At the junction of Bank Road with Afon Road (A4297) in the centre of Llangennech Village. Stone perimeter wall with iron railings to Afon Road; large graveyard to the north.
  • II Bethesda Capel Bach
    At the south-east corner of the graveyard of Bethesda Chapel, in Llangennech village 150m north of St Cennych's Church. Wrought iron gates with wrought iron railings on a plinth wall facing the street
  • II Bethesda Chapel
    In Bank Road in Llangennech village about 150m north-west of St Cennych's Church. Large graveyard with stone wall and wrought iron gates to street.
  • II Hen Gapel (also known as Tynewedd Chapel)
    Situated in a walled and gated burial ground, overlooking the Loughor valley, on the S side of the minor road which leads W off the B4306.

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