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Church of St David/Eglwys Dewi Sant

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8567 / 51°51'24"N

Longitude: -4.3168 / 4°19'0"W

OS Eastings: 240542

OS Northings: 220106

OS Grid: SN405201

Mapcode National: GBR DF.TCVD

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.4L6H

Entry Name: Church of St David/Eglwys Dewi Sant

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9520

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated in large churchyard with entrance between Nos 5 and 6 Picton Terrace.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthen

History

Anglican parish church first built in 1835-7 by Edward Haycock, opened 19/1/1837. Thomas Rowlands of Haverfordwest was the builder. The original church was a rectangular box on a N-S axis with tower to the front. It was consecrated by Bishop Thirlwall on 3rd February 1841. The church became the Welsh church of the town, and was much enlarged under the Rev. David Archard Williams (1796-1879), later Archdeacon of Carmarthen, prominent figure in the town development in the mid to later C19. In 1853-5, a new nave was built by R. K. Penson, on an E-W axis retaining the old church as transepts with the organ where the altar was at the N end, but without a chancel. John James of Narberth was the builder. Penson made a grand design for further rebuilding with new transepts, chancel and a large central tower and spire, not executed. The new work was badly roofed and needed reroofing in 1873, the cost of which precluded the proposed chancel. But in 1882 plans by Middleton & Son were approved to alter the E end as a memorial to Archdeacon Williams, the transepts were temporarily walled off and a short chancel projection added, to cost £600. The work was completed in 1886, and included new pulpit and font, made by W. Davies of Carmarthen. Restored in 1913 when Penson's very large W window was mostly rebuilt, a panelled ceiling inserted in the nave, canopied W end stalls inserted, all by E.V. Collier. Altar rails from Christ Church was moved to St David's in 1913. There were alterations in the 1938 by W.E. Anderson that removed the N transept (possibly then extending the N aisle across) and rebuilt the S transept as a much smaller vestry, leaving little but the tower of the 1835 church.
Haycock intended that the tower be a terminal point to Lammas Street, but houses built to the SE obscure this. There is a very large walled churchyard with burials from the earlier C19, at the top end grave of Billy Jenkins killed in 1940 aboard HMS Kelly, in the famous action under Louis Mountbatten. The burial ground had iron gates by the Coalbrookdale Foundry of 1860.

Exterior

Anglican parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs. Almost detached tower S of chancel, nave and aisles with S porch. Tower is of purple and grey sandstone, and this seems to have been the material of the 1835-7 church, with similar stone surviving in the base of walls elsewhere. The later work is in local brownish sandstone with ashlar dressings, Bath stone to nave, Doulting stone to chancel.
S tower is relatively plain, 2-stage with diagonal angle buttresses, stepped 3 timbres, single louvred lancet bell-openings, corbelled parapet with stepped battlements and string course between levels. Tudor-arched S door with hoodmould and moulded spandrels, and double ledged doors. Hoodmoulded lancet above, blank ashlar hoodmoulded clock face on second stage, bell-opening, and clock. The big 3-stage centre buttresses to E and W may be remnants of the transept S wall demolished in 1938, but it is not clear if the diagonal NE and NW buttresses were added then, as this side would presumably have been within the church. Link to main church of 1938 has 2 plain lancets E and connects to chancel S aisle presumably of 1938, with pair of similar lights. Chancel has S and N traceried 2-light windows of 1885, triple layered plinth and big E 5-light window with roundels, of 1885. Gabled buttresses. N chancel aisle on site of former N transept has plain E lancet, plain door and 2 lancets N.
1853-5 nave and aisles and S porch have steep roofs and coped gables. High nave W end with exceptionally large 4-light Decorated Gothic W window with rose over 2 2-lights. Flanking buttresses and lean-to aisles with 2-light W window to N aisle and single light to S aisle. Nave of 5 bays is clerestoried with alternating 2-light and large round traceried windows, N aisle has 5 buttresses and 4 3-light windows, traceried with alternating details. Hoods with carved head stops. S aisle has paired lancets left, porch and 3 similar 3-light windows with buttresses. Porch has double ledged doors in moulded pointed arch with hoodmould and corner buttresses. Traceried paired square side lights.
Stone boundary wall.

Interior

Broad and tall nave has 5-bay painted Bath stone arcades with pointed arches and alternate round and octagonal piers. Hoodmoulds with head stops. Nave roof with thin arch braces to tie-beam trusses, on corbels, and boarding of 1913 (concealing plaster panels with embossed fleurs de lys). Lean-to aisle roofs. Chancel arch of 1886 on triple granite colonettes on corbels, 2 bay arcade each side, 3-bay chancel roof on corbels.
Ashlar carved font on polished marble columns, 1886, with screen of 1913 by Collier around. Ornate stone pulpit with openwork front, of 1886. Canopied timber stalls along W wall, of 1913 by Collier. Choir stalls of 1860s moved from Christ Church. C19 pine pews presumably of 1850s, timber rails with Gothic trefoil piercings and iron inserts, presumably 1850s by Penson. Carved stone reredos of 1915 by H.F. Davies of Carmarthen, of 3 quatrefoils. Figures of Evangelists above in marble surrounds added by a Belgian refugee, M. Clobert.
Stained glass: E window of 1961, Christ in Glory, by C. R. Blakeman of London, S aisle fourth window, 1988 by Celtic Studios.
Memorial plaques to G. Vigor (d 1847) by Tyley, to Rev. D. Williams (d 1858) with pediment, and J. Hancocke (d 1858) by Edwards & Co.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a prominent C19 suburban church with landmark tower. The establishment and subsequent history of enlargement, trace the growing importance of suburban development in this area.

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