Eglwyscummin – St Margaret’s Church


   St. Margaret’s church in the village of Eglwyscummin comes from the twelfth or thirteenth century, although the round shape of the cemetery may indicate that the original temple was formed much earlier. It is believed that it was founded by Saint Cynin, a missionary staying in these areas in the 5th century, which in turn the found tombstone of this period testifies. At the beginning of the 18th century, the church was already ruined. The first major repairs and reconstruction of the chancel were carried out in the second half of the 19th century and then at the beginning of the 20th century.


   The building at the end of the Middle Ages consisted of a rectangular four-bay nave, a narrower and shorter, three-bay rectangular chancel and a porch adjacent to the southern wall of the nave. The western part of the nave is wider than the rest and probably dates from the 12th century when it was a simple aisleless church without a separate presbytery. The building was extended eastwards in the 13th century when the chancel was added. In the fourteenth century, the nave was covered with a pointed barrel vault, then the northern wall was thickened inside, the floor was raised and a new entrance on the south side was pierced with a porch protecting it.

Current state

   The church has preserved the layout from the Middle Ages, although the walls of its chancel were significantly rebuilt in the 19th century. Almost all windows were replaced then, except for a small opening in the northern wall of the nave. An early modern addition is also a belfry set on the western gable and a cornice under the eaves. The most valuable monuments are inside. These are the vaults of the nave and porch, and above all, a collection of wall polychromes from the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries on the northern wall of the nave.

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Salter M., The old parish churches of South-West Wales, Malvern 2003.
The Royal Commission on The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions in Wales and Monmouthshire. An Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire, V County of Carmarthen, London 1917.