St Patrick's Church, Pencarreg, Carmarthenshire
Dedication: St Patrick
Photography: Richard Parry-Jones
Date: 6 October 2011
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi digital SLR
Note 1: St Patrick's Church is situated within a curvilinear churchyard. The church is depicted as St Micahel's Church on 1889 Ordnance Survey mapping, but is depicted as St Patrick's Church on 1905 Ordnance Survey mapping. The church was a parish church during the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Stradtowy. The advowson is thought to have originally belonged to the Crown, but was granted to Strata Florida Abbey by Richard II, on codition that the abbot and convent pray for the soul of his father, Edward the Black Prince. At the dissolution the advowson felll to the Crown, but subsequently found its way into private patronage.
The church is constructed of shaly rubble stone and consists of three-bayed chancel, two-bayed nave, west porch, vestry (north of chancel west bay) and boilerhouse. The nave may predate the chancel, but both are thought to date to around the thirteenth or fourteenth century. A low, square-headed doorway (leading to a slightly curving stair) in the southern stop of the chancel arch formerly led to a rood loft. A former north transept is thought to have been added in the fourteenth century. The porch may be fourteenth-fifteenth century in date. A semi-circular headed stoup adjacent to the west door is medieval in date. In 1705 the upper oart of the north wall was reportedly bulging to the extent that collapse seemed likely. The church was restored in 1878, to the designs of R.J. Withers, London. The rood screen and rood loft were removed at this time, and the west doors were rebuilt, with the south door being removed. The vestry was added and the aumbrey inserted in the chancel. The church was entirely refenestrated, reroofed and refloored with underfloor heating flues. The boilerhouse was added in the twentieth century.
[Source: Coflein database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed 15 Mar 2016)]
Note 2: In the church of 1878 is a Norman font bowl with four carved heads thought to represent Christ as a youth, as a man, as the Crucified One, and the Glorified One. [Source: The Old Parish Churches of South-West Wales by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1994; ISBN 1-871731-19-4]