St Elli's Church, Bridge Street, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Dedication: St Elli
The church was rebuilt in the 19th century except for the west tower [right]. It has transepts and two bay chapels flanking the chancel but the nave is unaisled.
[Extracted from The Old Parish Churches of South-West Wales, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1994, ISBN 1-871731-19-4]
This is the Mother Church of the town. The Church has undergone many restorations throughout its history and is a Grade 2* listed building. The tower dates from the 12th century and houses six bells. The chancel dates to around the 15th century.
[Source: Parish of Llanelli website (accessed 26 Feb 2016)]
St Elli's is the oldest church in Llanelli, built in the 12th century on the site of a 5th century cell, itself built on the site of a pagan shrine. There is a Norman tower and 15th century chancel, with ancient yews in churchyard.
Some time in the 5th or 6th century a monastery was founded at what is now Llanelli, on a spot that had been used for pagan worship. The monastic site would have had a church of timber, but in the 12th century this was rebuilt in stone, forming the basis of the St Elli's we see today.
The oldest part of the current building is the 12th century tower, while the chancel dates to the 15th century. The building was heavily restored in the Victorian period, and again in 1906. On the latter occasion the woodwork was renewed, and the carvers left a series of thirteen mice, each carved with the name of the woodworker. In 1574 Elizabeth I gave St Elli's a silver chalice, which is now used only twice a year, on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.
[Source: Britain Express website (accessed 26 Feb 2016)]
Photography: John Ball (except where indicated)
Date: 29 March 2012
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Above: St Elli's Church, northeastern aspect (photography by Google StreetView, April 2015).
Above: Detail of window above door into west tower.
Above: Chancel and east window (left); north transept (right).
Above: East window, chancel and pulpit.
Right: Monument to Walter Vaughan.
Who ere thou art.
Have regard to the unsullied Ashes of
WALTER VAUGHAN ye Son of JOHN VAUGHAN
of Llanelly Esq;
Descended from the Honorable Family of
Golden Grove, and born to a Plentifull Estate
He had also acquir'd
Soe many Laudable vertues in his life,
That he Deserves to be Remembred
After his Death.
Such was his Integrity.
And Soe equall in the Discharge of his duty
In Severall offices of trust under his Prince,
Soe constant his Obedience to his Parents,
Soe Impatiall his kindnesse to his Relations,
Soe Faithfull his Inclination to his Frinds,
And soe sweetly dispos'd his temper to all sorts
That he died Lamented by all;
Anno Domini 1683
Ætatis Suæ 34
This Monument his most Indulgent
And Mournfull Mother Dedicated
To his Memory
Which nor Death nor time can Extinguish.
Above: Gravestone commemorating the death of "the wife of William Griffiths" and her sons Frederick and William.
It is strange that the wife's name is not included in the inscription.