St Cynidr & St Mary's Church, Cantref, Breconshire
Dedication: St Cynidr & St Mary
Built: 19th century church with 16/17th century tower
|Exterior: John Ball
Date: 12 June 2014
Camera: Nikon D50
|Interior: Susan Brook
Date: 18 August 2013
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45
Note 1: St Mary's church lies in the small village of Cantref some 3km to the south-east of Brecon. The church is a 19thC structure but the tower is earlier, thought to be around 1600 in date. It contains little of pre-Victorian origin, the only medieval furnishing being a font of perhaps 12thC date. It is set in a rectilinear churchyard containing a fairly standard collection of memorials.
Tower claimed to be very early 17thC: architecturally it is undiagnostic but is certainly earlier than the nave. The latter together with the chancel and porch were built in 1829 and renovated in 1867, the only trace of the earlier church being a projecting foundation course at the east end.
[Source: Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website, where further details are available]
Right: Tower, viewed from the west.
Above: Cantref Church – north-eastern aspect.
Below: North wall, porch and tower.
Note 2: Only the pyramidal roofed west tower of circa 1600 and the tapered 12th century font survived the rebuilding of 1829 and a later remodelling in 1867 by C. Buckeridge.
[Extracted from The Old Parish Churches of Mid Wales, by Mike Salter, published 2003, Folly Publications, Malvern. ISBN 1-871731-62-3]
Left and Above: Interior photography by kind permission of Susan Brook, editor of Where We Belong II / Ein Cynefin II, published by Llanfrynach and Cantref Women's Institute, 2011.
Below: One of many ancient yew trees in Cantref Churchyard.
Below: Late 18th century tombstone of 20-year-old Richard Pritchard (Cantref Churchyard).
Above and below: The graves of the family of David and Ann Williams tell a sad story (see below).
The inscription on the large headstone reads:
In Loving Memory
Son of DAVID and ANN WILLIAMS
who died April 27, 1883
Aged 7 months
their son who died Feb 26, 1889
aged 2 years.
Suffer the little children to come unto Me.
Also of DAVID GLYN, son of
T & M NICHOLLS & grandson of the above
who died Jan 4, 1922, aged 2½ years
He shall gather the lambs with his
arm and carry them in his His bosom.
On the child's headstone are the initials D.J.W. and D.G.N. (David John Williams and David Glyn Nicholls)