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Latitude: 52.0362 / 52°2'10"N
Longitude: -4.2522 / 4°15'8"W
OS Eastings: 245608
OS Northings: 239922
OS Grid: SN456399
Mapcode National: GBR DJ.FXKD
Mapcode Global: VH3KR.72VX
Entry Name: Church of St Michael
Listing Date: 23 June 1967
Last Amended: 13 March 2003
Source ID: 15631
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: At the N end of Llanfihangel ar Arth village, set in a walled churchyard overlooking the Teifi valley.
Community: Llanfihangel-ar-Arth (Llanfihangel-ar-arth)
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Probably an early foundation, evidence for which is a Latin-inscribed memorial stone found in the churchyard and now set up in the vestry. The present building has a medieval nave and chancel. The S aisle is a later addition but, although it has been argued to be c1500, the arcades inside are of post-medieval character. The church was restored in the mid C19, and again in 1871 by David Davies of Penrhiwllan, when the porch was added and the present windows were inserted.
An Early-English style church comprising nave with lower and narrower chancel, a S aisle of equal length to nave and chancel, with W bellcote, and S porch. Walls are rubble stone, the roof is slate, with coped gables to the W end. The porch has a coped gable and iron finial, and a pointed doorway with continuous chamfer and boarded door. The aisle has 3 hooded 2-light windows with Y-tracery, with triple-lancet E window. The 3-light chancel E window has cusped intersecting tracery. The N wall of nave and chancel is battered at the base. The chancel has a single hooded cusped light to the N side and a blockwork lean-to boiler room. A shallow projection at the E end of the nave housed a former rood stair in the nave. This has a 2-light Y-tracery window inserted into it, with a similar window further R. The nave has a blocked pointed W doorway and pronounced batter at the base. Above the former doorway a 2-light hooded window and the gabled drip stones of a former double bellcote. The S aisle W wall is set back slightly from the line of the nave, where the original batter of the nave S wall is visible. Two slate tablets record members of Rees family, the earliest being Thomas Rees (d 1825) and the remainder mostly children. An illegible slate tablet is further R. The gabled bellcote projects on a corbel table and has a segmental opening for a single bell.
The interior has modern plaster ceilings. The chancel arch is low, pointed and certainly medieval but has been plastered over, concealing any mouldings that might provide a better indication of its date. The 2-bay nave arcade, in early C19 style, has an octagonal pier and segmental arches with 2 orders of chamfer. The 2-bay chancel arcade has a similar 2-bay arcade but with wide elliptical arches. The S aisle chapel has been converted to a vestry.
The plain octagonal font is late medieval. Plain pews and the pulpit with blind Gothic panels are late C19. The wooden screen in the S side of the chancel is c1900, the communion rail 1968. On the S wall of the vestry is a simple slate tablet to Esther Davies (d 1786) and members of her family, by John Maliphant of Kidwelly. Two windows have stained glass. The E window, dated 1913, shows the crucifixion. In the S aisle is a window depicting the Ascension dated 1995, by Gabriel Loire of Chartres.
The vestry also contains an early Christian memorial stone with Latin text, and a cross-incised slab, perhaps originally an altar stone, brought in from the churchyard (both Scheduled Ancient Monument CM071).
Listed grade II* as a substantially medieval church with post-medieval additions, retaining much of its early character and detail.
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