Church of St Michael, Myddfai
Description: Church of St Michael
Date Listed: 7 August 1966
Cadw Building ID: 10957
OS Grid Coordinates: 277238, 230139
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9557, -3.7867
Location: Myddfai, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire SA20 0JD
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Situated in rounded churchyard in centre of the village.
Parish church, medieval double nave plan, both of nave and chancel type. The S part is probably earlier, C14 possibly, but all the detail is late C15 to early C16. Some repairs done in 1808 (date on N aisle W window) and 1819 (date on N aisle N wall) but extent uncertain, the churchwardens' accounts record thatching the porch in 1805, stone flags 1806, ceiling and plastering 1808, gallery 1810. A proposed N transept with vault for Llwynywormwood of 1863 by T W A Thompson was not built, but sandstone windows in S wall, W end of N nave and N wall may date from this period. Restoration in 1874 by R K Penson included new W bellcote, W window and furnishings. It cost £800. The roofs were restored in 1886. Restoration in 1926 by C.W. Mercer, mostly repairs, new windows to lean-to N vestry (then boiler-room) and last stone tiles removed from roofs. Repairs 1991 by Roger Clive-Powell.
Stone flagged floors, whitewashed walls, stone arcade between two halves, late medieval panelled barrel roofs to both naves and both chancels.
South nave has roof of 12 bays, longitudinal ribs missing, lateral ribs bead-moulded and stopped before bosses at former intersections. Bosses mostly replaced 1992, some original. S wall has big arched recess with C19 window, the recess originally for the rood stair, lit by the two small medieval windows to left. Plastered pointed chancel arch on plain stone piers with chamfered edges and plain caps. Affixed earlier C19 stone Creed and Lord's Prayer panels, with Ten Commandments panel adjoining on chancel S wall, reeded stone frames. Chancel roof 5x6 panels with run-out mouldings. Small whitewashed Tudor-arched recess on S wall, cambered head to one window reveal, straight head to the other. Between chancels is a broad Tudor-arched opening with double chamfer stone arch, half-octagonal piers, moulded caps and bases. Between the naves a four-bay stone arcade with double-chamfer pointed arches on octagonal piers with moulded bases and caps.
N nave has panelled barrel roof of 16x6 panels, mouldings without stop-chamfers. Medieval stone pointed chancel arch, double-chamfer, on half octagonal piers. N chancel has 5x6 panels to roof. E end divided off as vestry by 1874 screen.
Plain medieval octagonal font in conglomerate stone, on matching splayed octagonal base. A displaced medieval stoup is stored in N vestry.
Fittings: Of 1874 the pine pews, pulpit, reading desk, altar rails and vestry screens. The rails have open quatrefoil panels with wrought iron inserts. Encaustic tile flooring in chancel.
Memorials: In S chancel plain plaque to Rev J Price d 1819 by D Beynon of Cilycwm. E wall very fine marble memorial to Erasmus Williams of Llwynywormwood d 1785 by Thomas Paty & Sons of Bristol, with festooned pilasters, and top urn on finely carved pedestal with scroll abutments. In N nave Ann Price of Williamsfield d 1835, grey and white marble with large well-carved urn, by Thomas & Son of Brecon; Rev Lewis Williams d 1843, also grey and white marble, with cherub head in clouds, by Thomas & Son, Brecon. In N chancel some lettered floor slabs including one to Thomas Rice of Gorllwyn d 1691 and one to Henry Owen d 1727, referring to his Civil War ancestor Bishop Owen. On N wall monument to Magdalen Price of Porthyrhyd d 1829 by J Thomas & Son, Brecon, with small sarcophagus urn. In N vestry plain plaques to Jenkin Phillips of Blaenyddol d 1797 (tablet of 1854 by Noble of London) and Gwenllian Bishop d 1841 by Pollard of Taunton. Slate plaque with cherub head to Elizabeth Jones of Penyrhoc. Marble oval with Greek urn to Magdalen Price d 1831. At W end of S nave J Pryse Bishop d 1892, draped oval plaque, Charles Bishop d1886, scrolled angles, and Lt Arthur Bishop d 1864, plain oval signed J Edwards, London. A fourth to John Bishop 1831 also by Edwards has fallen and been removed.
Hatchment: Painted C19 Holford coat of arms on N nave wall.
Wall painting: Tiny fragments of wall painting exposed on N chancel N wall and to right of S chancel arch. Black letter text on S chancel E wall.
Parish church, rubble stone with parallel slate roofs and stone W bellcote on S nave. Two naves with lower chancels, NW lean-to vestry, later altered to boiler-room, S porch. Original late medieval windows in red sandstone, C19 windows in grey sandstone ashlar.
W end of S nave has pointed 3-light window with Bath stone plate tracery of 1874, purple stone voussoirs. Coped gable and 1874 bellcote corbelled on pointed arch, buttressed sides and stone coped steep gable with single shouldered-arched opening for bell.
Large S porch has slate roof, windowless sides and early C19 round arch, red stone voussoirs, and wrought iron gates. Plastered round vault within, and double C19 doors. Carved memorial to David Jones d 1719 and John Jones d 1739, famous physicians of Myddfai. Nave S has large C19 3-light flat-headed sandstone window with cusped head and hood, then 2 added raking buttresses, then projection for former rood stair with similar inserted big C19 3-light window. Corbelled canted side to upper right, then late medieval flat-headed 2-light with hoodmould under eaves and over single medieval pointed window slightly left. Both presumably lit rood stair. Chancel is considerably lower with battered base, traces of render on walls and heavy rounded stone corbels under eaves. Two late medieval flat-headed 2-light windows with hoods, that to left with 3 grotesque heads carved on hoodmould. Door to left of centre with early C19 red stone voussoirs and keystone to depressed arch. Broad E gable has 3-light late medieval window with flat head and hoodmould.
N chancel has crude but ambitious segmental-pointed late medieval 3-light E window with traceried head and hoodmould. N side has 3-light late medieval segmental-pointed window with hood, less elaborate. N nave has C19 pointed 3-light window with crude Perp-style tracery, datestone of 1819, and one late mediaeval flat-headed long 3-light window with hood. Added lean-to semi-basement store beneath. To right is former vestry, lean-to with continuous roof and 2 red stone recessed depressed arched windows of 1926, 2-light left of door, single to right. Door is boarded with oak lintel. W end has round arched window with purple stone voussoirs dated 1808 on keystone. Inserted crude C19 tracery in grey sandstone, 3-light.
Reason for Listing
Graded I as a largely complete medieval church of a scale and detail unexpected in so rural a location. Unusually intact interior including arcades, complete surviving late medieval roofs and the extensive survival of late medieval window tracery. The double nave form is relatively rare in the county, being more common in Powys.
Lambeth Palace: ICBS records 7501;
The Welshman 24.7.1874 and 11.2.1887;
D B James, Myddfai its land and peoples, 1991.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.Notes:
Situated in rounded churchyard in centre of the village.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.