Building Name

Restoration: Llangwm Church Pembrokeshire

1881 - 1882
Pembrokeshire, Wales

RE-OPENING OF LLANGWM CHURCH. This church, dedicated to the Welsh Saint Hierom, was re-opened by the Archdeacon of St. David's on Thursday, and those only who can recollect what it was prior to its restoration, will be able to appreciate the complete change that has taken place, both as regards its exterior and interior. Anything more hideous and ungainly than the former, or more miserable, cold and comfortless than the latter, can scarcely be imagined, and yet it underwent very considerable changes in 1839, including re-roofing and partial re-seating. The parish clerk was an institution in those days, and a very important one too, judging from the throne erected for his use against the North Transept pillar. Scarcely of less importance was the venerable Rector, for whom a gigantic Pulpit and Reading Desk had been provided the other side of the passage-way, while the congregation generally had to stow themselves away as best they could, either on ricketty benches and dangerous forms, or in high straight-backed, narrow-seated pews, placed so closely together that proper and comfortable worship became an utter impossibility. Then there was a Western Gallery, which was difficult to mount into and positively dangerous to stay in long when there. A clean sweep, however, has been made of all these things a suitable Lectern in the Nave and Reader's Desk with Choir stalls in the Chancel have been supplied and comfortable open seats on wooden platforms in Nave and Transept, raising the accommodation from 123 to 183. The ancient font bowl has been cleaned and placed near the entrance on a suitable stone base, instead of the old one of plastered brick, and a beautiful stone and marble Pulpit has been erected by Dr. Beattson, in memory of his "wife who was a daughter of the Rector, its bookboard being supported by a white marble angel figure in the attitude of resignation, the carving of the capitals of the columns (each of which is of a differently coloured Irish or Devonshire marble), being executed from the wild flowers that grow in the sheltered lanes of the locality with such profusion. All the seats are of pitch-pine, and are placed on boarded platforms ventilated from the outside, and the passages are laid with encaustic tiles; those in the chancel and sacrarium being of richer design, a portion of the latter glazed, the steps in all cases having glazed tile fronts. The roofs are all pitch-pine of open description, felted and boarded beneath the slates the door is also of pitch-pine with ornamental ironwork, and the copings, crosses, and traceried windows are all new, the latter having glass in diamond leaded quarries with narrow tinted margins. A stone western bell cot takes the place of the former brick one; the south transept has been screened off as a Vestry, and a new porch added on the south side. All the carved stone- work belonging to the North Transept, which appears to have been an addition at the early part of the 15th century, has been left untouched with the exception of cleaning down, the lower portion of the richly carved panelled fronts of the De la Roche monuments having been exposed to view by the removal of the soil which covered it. The base of the interesting arcade separating the Transept from the Nave have also been uncovered, while the traceried window in the. East wall has been opened and repaired in a conservative manner and glazed. There is a very curiously carved stoup and credence table combined in this wall which has been carefully preserved and cleaned, a remark that applies also to the arcade before-mentioned, its corbelled and doubly recessed arches. …  The contractors, Messrs. Balcombe and Price, of Pembroke Dock, appear to have carried out the work in a very careful and praiseworthy manner, under the direction of the architect, Mr. E. H. Lingen Barker, of London, Hereford and Tenby, and we are informed that the total outlay would have been kept well within £900 —a small amount for so large a result—had it not been for a change in the roofing that was made after its completion, which delayed the work, and cost nearly £100, a change that both Rector and Architect did their utmost to prevent. [Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser 5 May 1882 page 2]

Reference           Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser 5 May 1882 page 2