Ballidon All Saints sits in a tightly enclosed churchyard in the middle of a wide, open field. This bucolic setting, in which sheep and cattle graze, is an important archaeological site from the Early-Late Medieval period.
Priests at Hodgeston were fortunate in being provided with a finely carved tripartite seat (known as a sedilia) to repose on during the service. But this seat is rather special – it dates from the 14th century, was probably paid for by Bishop Henry de Gower (1328-47), and carved by the same craftsmen he employed at St David’s and Lamphey.
Standing in isolation at the end of its raised grassy causeway, and said to have been founded by St Peulan himself in the 6th century, Llanbeulan church dates from the 12th century and retains a rectangular Norman stone font of great significance – and much scholarly debate.
The remnant of a medieval village, in soft clunch and dating from the 14th and 15th centuries – Caldecote retains an elaborate canopied stoup, a fine font, and is host to a Fuchsia Festival each Summer.
Llandawke St Odoceus was rescued from dereliction in 2006 and is found just off the tourist trail – a short drive from Laugharne, home of Dylan Thomas, with many fine beaches, castles, and picturesque walks nearby.
St Mary used to be a wayside church, hugging the edge of the Great Cambridge Road until this was diverted. It is now a well-kept secret – the only sign leading to it reading simply ‘Byroad’. It passed to us after the heroic group that took it on when it closed sought a long-term solution.
The rare medieval rood screen at Llanelieu, on which you can still see the ghostly outline of the cross removed at the Reformation, is much admired by visitors and architectural historians alike. But did you know it also features in Andy McNab?
St Mary’s is listed Grade I and was taken into care by the Friends in 1982 after the church authorities had proposed converting it into a house. It retains a fascinating series of monuments to the Catesby and Sheddon families.
A fascinating medieval church in a picturesque setting overlooking Caernarfon Bay, St Baglan’s has pre-Christian origins – evident both in its large churchyard and early inscribed stones set in the doorway – and an evocative 18th century interior.
St Mary’s was in a sorry state when the Friends took it on in 1975 , and chronic movement has led to severe cracking in the nave and chancel. We have carried out an extensive programme of underpinning and conserved the fragile mural paintings in the nave.
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