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St Bride's Church, Llansantffraed, Cardiganshire

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Bride

Built: 15th century (tower); 19th century (remainder)
Photography: Edward Llewellyn-Jones
Date: 30 March 2011
Camera: Sony DSC-WX1 digital

St Bride's Church, Llansantffraed
Above: Northern aspect of St Bride's Church.

Note 1:
The original construction of a church on this site is unknown. Tradition associates it with St Non, the mother of St David who is said to have lived in the connected village of Llanon. Some early documents relating to the Church are dated to the 13th century. There is a list of incumbents that starts in 1546. An illustration of the church dated 1808 suggests a late Norman style or possibly later. The present building dates from a complete rebuild between 1838 and 1840 except for the tower. The church was again restored in 1994 when the tower had the mortar renewed using the same ancient formula; the slate cladding on the south was also renewed. The slate cladding (see image 3, below) is typical of the area because of the prevailing south wind. The interior of the Church is characteristic of non-conformist chapels having a relatively low flat ceiling and rear gallery which includes the organ.
[Source: Edward Llewellyn-Jones, 2011]

Note 2:
The 15th century west tower adjoins a 19th century single chamber containing old box pews and having a slate-hung south wall.
[Source: The Old Parish Churches of South-West Wales, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1994; ISBN 1-871731-19-4]

Note 3:
St Bride's Church consists of an imposing medieval west tower and a unified nave and chancel built in 1839-41. The church, together with an estate, was granted to the Knight's Hospitalers ... between 1158 and 1164. Foundations exposed nearby in the cliff above Peris river where it reaches the beach may belong to a grange or hospital. The 14th century tower has a strongly battered base below a string course. ... The nave and chancel is a boxy three-bay structure in the preaching house tradition. It is partly slate hung, with Perpendicular style windows. A gallery was added in 1865. The font is 12/13th century and elements of a screen noted in 1810 were recently recognised reused as ceiling beams in the tower.
[Source: The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Coflein database (NPRN 96045)]

Below: Altar, viewed from nave.
St Bride's Church, Llansantffraed

Note 4:
Llansantffraed Parish Church is in the Rural Deanery of Glyn Aeron, in the Diocese of St. Davids, and part of the Church of Wales. It has been listed by Cadw as a particularly important building of more than special interest which is why it was given a Grade II status. It stands within a conservation area that includes the old village of Llansantffraed and is some 350 m from the sea.
[Source: Llansantffraed History Society website, where further details and images are available]

St Bride's Church, Llansantffraed
Above: South-eastern aspect, showing slate-clad south wall.

Further information and an aerial view are available on the Church Plans Online website.
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