Building Name

Restoration: Church of St Brynach Henry’s Mote, Pembrokeshire

Henry's Mote, Haverfordwest
Pembrokeshire, Wales

HENRY'S MOTE CHURCH RESTORATION - The excellent work of restoring this ancient Church was brought to successful termination last week, and on Friday overflowing congregations assembled in-the sacred edifice, when the re-opening services were held. The parish is a very interesting one to antiquarians. It contains a Druidicial circle, a tumulus, five or six ancient British encampments, and the holy well and oratory of St. Brynach, to whom the parish church is dedicated. Among the antiquities there have been discovered in the church itself, a Credence and Piscina (both restored to the chancel), the carved base of the old Norman font, and what is thought to have been a stoup, and part of a granite quern besides jambs and mullions from some very old windows, which were built into the walls of, the chancel. The parish is mentioned in the Kemes; records, as one of the parishise of the ancient barony of Kemes (about the time of William Rufus.)

We have been favoured from the Architect's office with the following particulars of the work accomplished.  - The Church in 1882 consisted of Nave, Chancel and South Transept, to which have now been added a Porch on the north-side of nave, and a vestry on the south side of the chancel. It was not originally intended to remove any of the walls, they being fairly upright and in good repair, but those of the chancel proved, on taking down the roofs, to be so badly constructed that it was decided to rebuild them upon the old foundations. The old roofs were of low pitch with timbering of a flimsy description: these have been succeeded by entirely new open timbers of higher pitch, the chancel being waggon-boarded and felted above and the remainder having arched principals and plastering between the rafters, and the whole being covered with Whitland Abbey green slates from the neighbouring Gilvach Quarries, square cast iron piping being used to convey the water from the roofs into the new earthenware drains. The floor of the Church has been lowered to the original level, thus giving 18 inches more height to the walls themselves and better proportions to the Chancel Arch. A transept arch has also been added and others next the vestry, which constituted in fact a restoration of the old hagioscope, the foundations of which were discovered. The pathway leading from the little Churchyard gate has been re-sloped to reach the new level, and the earth has been removed from the walls all round to secure a dry interior. The ugly structure at the West End in which the bell hung was of course removed and a gablet in harmony with the rest of the renovated work erected, surmounted by a stone-cross. New windows in Doubting Stone frames, with trefoiled heads, have been provided throughout, the chancel one being of three and the transept one of two lights, with traceried head, the whole being glazed in square and diamond alternate patterns with tinted rolled Cathedral glass by Mr Ben. Gay, of Bristol. A' new stone door frame and pitch pine door have been provided. A portion of the old open seats have been altered so as to become more sightly and comfortable, and the new ones are made to correspond, the whole being stained and varnished and placed on new wooden platforms, the accommodation being raised from 80 to 139 including the new chancel stalls. The passage, chancel, and porch have been laid with encaustic tiles of subdued colours supplied by Webb's Worcester Tileries Company, those in chancel being partly glazed and in Sacrariuin almost entirely so. The ridges are covered with dark brown crest tiles from Bridgend, with buff terra-cotta crosses from Torrington. All the walls have been re-stuccoed and tinted. Ventilating arrangements have not been overlooked, and one of Porritt's underground stoves has been provided. The beautiful wrought iron altar standards and door fittings came from Brawn & Co., of Birmingham and Herridge. of Cardiff, executed the carving in bold and excellent imitation of natural foliage and flowers. The old Communion Table has been retained and altered, and the whole of the rest of the works, including the pulpit, lectern, and reading desk, have been executed by Mr John Lewis, of Musland, near Wolfs Castle, from the detailed instructions and plans of the Architect, Mr E. H. Lingen Barker, of London, Hereford, and Swansea. The old chancel arch and rood loft brackets have been retained, and credence table, and curious 12th century wedge shaped font cleansed and re-fixed, and above the former an ancient incised cross has been placed that was found during the removal of the Chancel walls. [Pembrokeshire Herald 10 July 1885 page 2]

Reference    Welshman 10 July 1885
Reference    Pembrokeshire Herald 10 July 1885

Henry’s Moat is a hamlet and parish in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in the community of New Moat. It is 7 miles southeast of Fishguard and 9 miles northeast of Haverfordwest.