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Latitude: 52.006 / 52°0'21"N
Longitude: -4.6768 / 4°40'36"W
OS Eastings: 216365
OS Northings: 237555
OS Grid: SN163375
Mapcode National: GBR CZ.HSQ0
Mapcode Global: VH2N1.WVD2
Entry Name: Church of Saint Mary
Listing Date: 18 June 2004
Last Amended: 18 June 2004
Source ID: 82938
Location: On the N side of the entrance to the drive to Pant y Deri some 2.5km W of Blaenffos.
Locality: Llanfair Nant Gwyn
Traditional County: Pembrokeshire
Anglican parish church rebuilt 1855-7 by R. J. Withers, partly as a memorial to Thomas Bowen of Pantyderi. The previous church was very dilapidated and less than one hundred years old. Withers re-used the walls, all the details and porch are new. There is a survey drawing of 1855 indicating how much of the old was proposed to be kept. The stained glass, made by N. J. Lavers to designs by Alfred Bell, is an early combining of founding members of two important Victorian stained glass workshops: Lavers & Barraud and Clayton & Bell.
Parish church, grey slatey stone with ashlar dressings and steep slate roofs. Nave with W spirelet, chancel, N vestry and S porch. Angular Gothic style with lancet windows, each lancet with cusped head, some with cusped tracery just below head. Steep roofs have iron cross finials, shaped ends to rafters and nave and chancel end-walls have small timbers built into base of gables, echoing wall-plate and vertical struts of rafter roofs within. Short nave has S porch to left and one pointed 2-light window to right, with sexfoil in head and pointed hoodmould. Porch of cut Cilgerran stone with some ashlar random pieces, has steep roof swept out at eaves, iron cross finial and crested ridge tiles. Ashlar pointed doorway with moulded head dying into chamfered jambs with bar and pyramid stop. Cut stone voussoirs. Low side buttresses with ashlar set-offs. Inside porch has scissor-rafter roof, pointed S door with double ovolo moulding dying in to chamfered jambs. Double doors with iron hinges.
W end has mid-buttress carrying bell-turret, faced of cut Cilgerran stone and ashlar, subtly detailed. Plinth, two ashlar set-offs up to level of tops of windows, then short ashlar square section splayed out on tiny cusped arches to 3-sided, then widened with tapered corbels on angled faces, then square with rubble infill, then cut Cilgerran stone square base to timber louvred bell-stage with slated spire broached to octagonal. Bell-stage has simple cusped heads to pair of openings each face. Iron cross finial. Long lancet each side with cusped tracery. Nave N has two paired cusped lancets, the heads slightly ogee, and buttress at NE corner.
Chancel E end has single low buttress to left, ashlar set-off with gablet at foot. Big pointed 3-light E window, each light pointed with cusped tracery, hoodmould over, and Cilgerran stone voussoirs. Chancel N has lean-to vestry to left, with 2-light E window, pointed lights with cusped tracery. Segmental-pointed head to W door, and one small window to right segmental-pointed over traceried triangle light.
White-washed plaster with some ashlar. Collar rafter roof with cusped braces and sloping struts down to foot pieces. W end has centre pier with recess at bottom from bell-rope and re-sited monuments attached above. Ashlar segmental-pointed surround to S door, keeled moulding to head. Ashlar pointed chancel arch, two chamfers, inner one carried on splayed corbel carved with recessed relief of king and bishop, base of corbel with flowers and ballflower. Slate step to chancel. Patterned tile floors with encaustic tiles, some with Bowen lion in blue. Chancel roof similar to nave but braces are curved and there is a more emphasised wallplate. Ashlar pointed N door to vestry, moulded head, bar stop. Slate step to sanctuary, another carrying altar, with reset black stone plaque to Grace Jones of Pantyderi (d 1671). Ashlar segmental pointed reveal to E window and ashlar string-course across E wall at sill level.
Fittings: Heavy ashlar font, round bowl, chamfered in to moulded base, the lowest ring with ball-flower and rosette ornament. Round shaft on steeply splayed octagonal base. Simple pine pews with shaped bench-ends, the 3 left front pews with doors. Pine octagonal pulpit with panelled faces, subtle details. Chancel reading desk in similar style. Altar rails with 3 broad open sections with cusped spandrels and wrought-iron inserts, divided by two narrow framed panels with Gothic piercings. Gothic altar table. C20 organ.
Stained glass: Fine E window of 3 lights, Crucifixion with saints occupying lower part of window. patterned glass above. Made 1857 in memory of Thomas Bowen of Pantyderi 1783-1853, and his wife M. Williams (d 1852). W two lights with patterned quarries, and 4 roundels with symbols of Evangelists. Chancel S window has arms of Bowen of Pantyderi and Williams of Trefach. Chancel N small window has compasses and ?RI initials, mid C19. Chancel S 2-light to vicar of Eglwyswen (d 1920) made by Celtic Studios c. 1960 (moved from Eglwyswen church c. 2000).
Monuments at W end: Top one, late C18 or early C19 oval with sarcophagus on pedestal, to James Bowen of Pantyderi (d 1788); marble sarcophagus plaque to Elizabeth Bowen (d 1820) aged 72; plaque with sarcophagus over to W. M. Williams of Trefach (d 1820) signed by D. Mainwaring of Carmarthen.
Included for its special architectural interest as a small Victorian estate church of definite quality with good detail including stained glass.
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