Cilycwm – St Michael’s Church

History

   The Church of St. Michael in Cilycwm was probably erected at the beginning of the 14th century, as it did not appear on the list of temples from 1291. At the end of the fourteenth century, a tower was added to it, and in the fifteenth century it was enlarged by a side aisle. In the eighteenth century, some of the windows and roof truss were replaced in the older nave and chancel, while the interior was covered with wall polychromes. In the 19th century and in the years 1905-1909, the building was renovated.

Architecture

   In the fourteenth century, the church consisted of a rectangular, five-bay, aisleless nave, without an externally separated chancel. At the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century, a slender, four-sided tower with a vaulted porch in the ground floor was erected on the west side of the nave. It had small slit openings and was topped with a prominent parapet on corbels and battlement. An unusual spiral staircase leading to its upper floors was placed entirely inside the nave. In the second half of the fifteenth century, the building was enlarged by a rectangular southern aisle of the same width as the nave. It was separated from the older nave by five arcades mounted on octagonal pillars.

Current state

   Despite early modern renovations, the church has retained a lot of its medieval, historic substance, and has not been enlarged by any modern annex. In its southern aisle, a medieval roof truss, an octagonal baptismal font from the 15th century and most of the original window openings have been preserved. The windows in the chancel and the older nave were renew in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of South-West Wales, Wolverhampton 2003.

Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Michael A Grade I Listed Building in Cilycwm, Carmarthenshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Michael’s church, Cilycwm.