Carmarthen – St Peter’s Church

History

The first information about the Carmarthen temple dates back to the beginning of the 12th century, when it was handed over to the Battle Abbey in England. The present church was erected a little later, in the XIII or XIV century, and then in the sixteenth century expanded and enlarged. During the dissolution of monasteries in the 16th century, the church became the property of the Crown. The Consistory Courts of the Chancellor of the Diocese of St Davids took place there, and bishop Robert Ferrar was also tried in it in 1555. Accused of heresy, he was then burnt on the market. In the 18th century, the church received a new sacristy, some interiors were also transformed and a decorative battlement on the tower was built. In 1816, the church was under the patronage of St David’s College in Lampeter until in the early 1900s it came under the bishops of St Davids. In the meantime, in the 19th century, a thorough renovation was carried out, during which most of the windows were replaced.

Architecture

The church consists of a long, five-span nave in a rectangular shape, a shorter and narrower, three-span chancel on the east side and a northern transept. These parts come from the fourteenth century. At the end of the fifteenth century, a three-level tower was added on the west side, and in the sixteenth century, a very long southern nave, almost reaching the eastern edge of the chancel. Perhaps it absorbed the earlier southern transept. During this period, the walls of the nave and the chancel were also raised, to align them with the new nave and to build the south porch. The inner length of the church from the western part of the nave, to the eastern end of the chancel, has reached 52 meters and is now one of the longest in Wales. The width of both naves is 15 meters.

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bibliography:
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Peter’s church, Carmarthen.
Website wikipedia.org, St Peter’s church, Carmarthen.