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Church of St Ismael

A Grade II Listed Building in Rosemarket, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.7346 / 51°44'4"N

Longitude: -4.9659 / 4°57'57"W

OS Eastings: 195297

OS Northings: 208146

OS Grid: SM952081

Mapcode National: GBR G7.SS33

Mapcode Global: VH1RS.WN2N

Entry Name: Church of St Ismael

Listing Date: 22 March 1999

Last Amended: 25 February 2004

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21507

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In churchyard towards S end of village, backing onto ancient fort.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Milford Haven

Community: Rosemarket

Community: Rosemarket

Built-Up Area: Rosemarket

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Anglican parish church of C12 origins, heavily restored. Rosemarket was a Norman settlement and the church is referred to in the C12 when given to the Knights Hospitaller of Slebech. Described as ruinous in 1640, in 1674 Sir John Stepney was ordered to repair the chancel, the work completed before the 1683 visitation. Sir S Glynne in 1856 described the N porch as of rude construction, the arch deformed, the inner N door arch as ill-shaped and obtuse and the transept arch rude and obtuse. The belfry was a shallow oblong tower with 2 openings (like St Ishmaels) and the W window overgrown. The chancel arch was low, rude and obtuse and the windows mostly wretched except the C15 N transept N window (which oddly he calls square-headed). There were rood steps on the N of the chancel arch and stone benches within the chancel.
Restoration was initiated after Sylvanus Brigstocke became the first resident vicar for many years, in 1856. A ground plan of 1856 shows no N transept E window, the squint walled at the chancel end, box pews, and 3-decker pulpit on S side. Nave restored 1859 by R K Penson for £545 with heavy ashlar copings and some plain plate-traceried S windows, and in 1868 E H Lingen Barker rebuilt the bellcote which was formerly flat-topped like that at Hasguard. In 1889-91 T P Reynolds reroofed the chancel and transept, rebuilt the chancel arch and added fittings. He found the 2 openings flanking the chancel arch (perhaps originally like those at Johnston) but replaced them as plain rectangles. His work cost £300. In the 1859 restoration a carved grave slab to Jordan Walter of the late C14 was found, now lost.


Parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs, nave with W bellcote and large N porch, N transept and low chancel. Nave, transept and porch have ashlar C19 shouldered gable copings. W end has projection in centre with battered base, cambered-headed plain opening and 2 C19 set offs in upper part under grey stone C19 gabled bellcote with ashlar copings and cross finial. One triangular-headed bell-opening. Nave N is windowless and has large rubble porch with broad arched opening with rough stone long voussoirs, uncertain date possibly post-medieval, the big gable all rebuilt in C19. Within is narrow round arched door with rough stone voussoirs, possibly C12-13, and stone benches. Corbel on each side. N transept has small C15 2-light pointed N window with hoodmould, uncusped panel tracery. Relieving arch stones in wall above. E side has inserted, possibly reused ashlar ovolo-moulded 2-light mullion window with arched heads to lights, of C17 type but possibly a C19 copy. Nave S has 3 1859 plain windows in ashlar with stone voussoirs, one single lancet and two 2-light windows with roundel over, perhaps inserted in earlier pointed openings with rough stone voussoirs, the middle window in former door. Big C19 2-step low buttress at SE corner. Plain chancel is mostly rebuilt on S and E, windowless to S, very plain red brick stepped triple lancet at E. N side has old masonry and rubble stone lean-to squint passage with plain slate roof in angle to transept.


Plastered whitewashed walls, C19 roof of 6 arch-braced collar trusses with raking struts above collars and boarding in roof. C19 coloured tile floors. Cambered headed W window, arched reveal to arched N door, round arch to N transept with 4 corbels around, 2 above, one low on left, one high on right.
Transept has very small square recess in W wall and square recess in NE angle. Two corbels set closely one above other in E wall, another on S wall left of arch. C15 N window in taller cambered-headed reveal (answering perhaps to voussoirs on outside wall), C19 ashlar cambered head to E side window. Very wide cambered-headed opening in corner into squint passage through to chancel. Squint has plastered roof probably a cambered stone vault. Plastered round chancel arch rebuilt in 1890 flanked by two 1890 rectangular openings with grey stone chamfered lintels and sills. A small medieval niche or recess high in gable right of centre. Chancel has 1890 roof with 3 scissor trusses on corbels. Broad segmental arch on N to squint passage, with one corbel over. Tall narrow C19 pointed arched recess in S wall against chancel arch, perhaps an alteration of a medieval feature.
Fittings: C12-13 bowl font of cushion type with incised lines defining lunette each side, retooled in C19. Square shaft chamfered at angles and stepped chamfered base. Plain painted grained pine pulpit with diagonally boarded panels on wine-glass stem, c1860. Late C19 altar rails with cast-iron standards, twisted below with scrolls above. Pitch pine pews of 1890 with quatrefoil panel in bench ends. Pitch pine late C19 chancel stalls. C20 plain timber panelled altar and reredos.
Memorials: Marble plaque to Rev S Brigstocke (d 1875) by T Jones. Brass plaque to W Davies JP (d 1908). Marble plaque to Rev M L Jones (d 1898), by J Havard.
Stained glass. E 3-light window of Risen Christ, 1962 by Celtic Studios. W window has dove roundel of 1991.

Reasons for Listing

Parish church of C12 origins with substantial medieval fabric and unusually large squint passage, on key site in village, backing onto ancient settlement.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II* Rosemarket dovecote
    In the centre of a field known as Pigeon Hay some 100m NE of the crossroads near the Church of Saint Ismael.
  • II Cartshed at Great Westfield
    On the W side of the farmyard just S of the house at Great Westfield.
  • II Great Westfield
    Situated at the end of a drive some 1.2km E of the Church of Saint Ismael at Rosemarket.
  • II Scoveston Fort
    Some 600m NW of Little Honeyborough and approximately 1km NE of Waterston.

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