Cwmyoy – St Martin’s Church


Construction of the church of St. Marcin in Cwmyoy may have started in the twelfth century, however, most of its corpus comes from the thirteenth century. Probably not long after the erection, due to the land subsidence, the tower and chancel began to tilt in opposite directions, which led to numerous renovations trying to remedy the collapse of the building. Victorian reconstruction from 1887 added buttresses to the nave and chancel and to the tower. Further renovations took place in 1991.


The church consists of a long rectangular nave, a narrower and shorter rectangular chancel on the east side, a west tower and a porch on the south side. Due to the unstable foundation, the chancel and the tower have tilted, the tower is deviated from the vertical by as much as 1.8 meters. It has three floors, a parapet on corbels and decorative battlement. The oldest window from the twelfth-thirteenth century has been preserved in the nave on the north-western side, the window on the south-eastern side comes from the 13th-14th century, and the three-light central window of the southern wall, probably from the sixteenth century. A two-light window in the eastern wall of the chancel was created in the fourteenth century. The interior due to the tilts has an unusual appearance, the floor is uneven, the corners of the walls do not have straight angles, and the ceiling is twisted. Despite the problems with statics, in the temple survived however the medieval roof truss. Inside the nave there is also a stone cross from the thirteenth century with a sculptured Christ with an unusual cap with three crosses.

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Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website, St Martin’s church, Cwmyoy.
Website, St Martin’s Church, Cwmyoy.