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Church of St Luke or St Llonio

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 52.049 / 52°2'56"N

Longitude: -4.2276 / 4°13'39"W

OS Eastings: 247344

OS Northings: 241299

OS Grid: SN473412

Mapcode National: GBR DK.F40D

Mapcode Global: VH3KK.NRXL

Entry Name: Church of St Luke or St Llonio

Listing Date: 23 June 1967

Last Amended: 24 June 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9378

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In an isolated position away from Llanllwni village and on an elevated site directly above Afon Teifi.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Llanllwni

Community: Llanllwni

Locality: Maesycrugiau

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Nave and chancel are medieval, and retain a medieval chancel arch and early medieval font. The tower was added in the early C16. The nave was rebuilt in 1811 and heightened in a restoration completed by 1878, when the chancel windows were restored and a N vestry was built on the site of an earlier schoolroom. Internal restoration in 1934, by W E Ellery Anderson, architect of Cheltenham, included construction of the present nave and chancel roofs.


A hilltop church combining Tudor-Gothic and early C19 Gothic styles, comprising nave, lower and narrower chancel, and W tower. The tall tapering 3-stage tower is the main entrance. It is battered at the base and has a higher NE turret. The W doorway has a pointed arch with continuous chamfer, double doors of 1934. The C16 2-light square-headed W window has cusped lights and hood mould. The N side has a narrow window in the middle stage and N and W faces have small belfry windows in simple dressed surrounds. The S side is blank but the arch of a former belfry window now blocked can be seen. The embattled parapet is on a corbel table.

The 3-window nave has simple pointed windows of 1811. The chancel S wall has a 2-light square-headed window, with sunk spandrels, to the L, and a single-light window in a dressed surround to the R. The 3-light square-headed E window has sunk spandrels and hood mould with head stops. A gabled N vestry has an end stone stack, 2 pointed E windows and pointed W doorway with door replaced in 1934. The nave has only 2 pointed windows on the N side, and a shallow raked buttress at the E end.


The church is entered through the tower, which has a pointed tunnel vault. The pointed nave doorway has double doors of 1934, above which is a blocked window abutting the apex of the tower vault. The nave has a king-post roof on corbelled brackets, of 8 narrow bays. The simple pointed chancel arch is medieval, and to its L is a narrow pointed doorway, formerly providing access to the rood loft. The chancel has a boarded ceiling to a collar-beam roof. A wide opening on the N side opens to the vestry and organ chamber. To its R is the wide splay of a former narrow window, now opening into the vestry. Flanking the altar are roughly hewn stone ledges, at different levels, medieval and probably intended for statues. The C20 communion rail has iron uprights to a wooden rail.

The plain square font, still lead-lined, is C12 or C13. Pews incorporate roundels with quatrefoils. At the E end of the S side is a larger family pew for the Mansels of Maesycrugiau. The polygonal wooden pulpit is of 1934.

There are numerous wall tablets. In the chancel E wall is a classical wall monument with draped urn over an inscription panel flanked by inverted torches, to John Thomas (d 1810), by R Walker of Bristol. The E wall also has a Gothic memorial comprising an inscription panel flanked by clustered shafts and surmounted by a sarcophagus, to Thomas Saunders (d 1816) and family of Perthyberllan. Monuments in the nave are simpler. Above the family pew is a simple panel to members of the Bowen family (d 1808-58). In the S wall is an elliptical panel framed by a thick slate border, and set in a square panel with pediment, to Richard Jones (d 1817). The nave N wall has memorial tablets commemorating the dead of 1914-18 and 1939-45.

The family pew has a window depicting St Francis, by Charles Powell of London, dated 1936. The chancel E window depicts the Virgin Mary and Child, of 1868.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* as a medieval church with strong external character provided by the fine C16 tower, and good interior detail.

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