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Roman Catholic Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8578 / 51°51'28"N

Longitude: -4.3197 / 4°19'10"W

OS Eastings: 240348

OS Northings: 220234

OS Grid: SN403202

Mapcode National: GBR DF.T568

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.2KPN

Entry Name: Roman Catholic Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9612

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated at far NW end of Street.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthen

History

Roman Catholic church of 1851-2 by Charles Hansom of Bristol, built at the expense of Miss K F Richardson, daughter of General Richardson, with attached presbytery and provision for adding a N aisle and S transept. Altered in 1889 by Albert Vicars with new organ gallery, font, boarded ceiling and painted decoration (now gone). Nave windows of c1892 by Mayer of Munich. The parish was run by the Passionist order from 1889 to 1986.

Exterior

Roman Catholic Church in rubble stone with ashlar dressings, steep slate gabled roofs with coped gables, cross finials and terracotta ridge tiles. Decorated Gothic style. Nave with lower chancel, S porch and ashlar SW spirelet. W end has quatrefoil in roundel to apex over W window set high, 3-light with taller centre light and quatrefoil heads to side lights, and hoodmould on carved crowned heads. Raised plinth continues around 2 large buttresses at right angles at SW corner that carry spirelet. Buttresses are shouldered with ashlar dressings and gabled heads under octagon base to diagonally-set square pinnacle with gables and spire with cross finial. S side of nave has 7 bays. First bay has lean-to S porch with broad cinquefoil-cusped pointed arch, paired boarded doors and hoodmould with carved stone heads. Flight of 6 stone steps flanked by dwarf stone walls. At foot of one is a medieval stoup on pedestal inscribed that it came from the lost chapel of St Barbara, Carmarthen. Porch has chamfered pointed inner door within. The second bay has 3 quatrefoils in pointed surround set high, third and fourth have 2-light windows with quatrefoil in heads and gabled buttress between. Bays 5 and 6 are plainer, as intended for S chapel addition, each with lancet with stone voussoirs beneath raised cement band, [perhaps a roofline), and 3 plainer buttresses, lower one between lights. Bay 7 has single storey link to the presbytery. N side, plain as intended for aisle, has 5 narrow lancets with stone voussoirs between buttresses. Westernmost window is within broad red brick blind arch, perhaps for a porch or chapel, and has slightly taller flanking buttresses. NW buttress has ashlar quoins.
Lower chancel has 2 2-light pointed windows with quatrefoil tracery and hoodmoulds and E window has 3 sexfoils in pointed arch set high.

Interior

Painted stucco interior with boarded timber ceiling of 4 cants. Pointed double-chamfered chancel arch with hoodmould on carved stone heads. N wall has 4-bay arcade with pointed arches, round columns and moulded caps for intended N aisle, and S wall has similar 2-bay arcade for proposed S chapel. Heavy boarded S door beneath W end organ gallery with pipe organ. Stained glass: E window of 1852, life of Christ in 3 sexfoils, richly coloured. Nave S has, from W, Nativity to dead of both World Wars; Annunciation by Mayer of Munich to W. Richards and wife (died 1890 and 1893); St David window of c1990 by Barry Brady; window to Sister Pierre died 1952, Virgin Mary. N side has from W: window to C. A. Blake (d 1911) of St Anthony; late C20 Passionists memorial window of St Paul of The Cross presumably by B. Brady; Annunciation window to J. and W. Regan (died 1906 and 1908), highly coloured, by Mayer; similar window to W. and C. Regan (died 1892 and 1904) signed by Mayer. Chancel side windows with patterned glass. Small octagonal stone font, 1889. Altar, by Hansom, is painted Caen stone with 3 trefoiled arches on coloured marble colonettes, carved spandrels. Highly ornate painted stone Gothic reredos above with 4 canopied niches with large carved figures of St Paul of the Cross, St Winefride, St Patrick and St Bridget, flanking taller niche with brass crucifix. Marble lining to niches, crocketted gables and finials. Ogee-headed piscina on S wall, shelf on N.

Reasons for Listing

Included as an early example in the region of correct revived Gothic, by a leading Victorian designer of Catholic churches.

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