Haverfordwest – St Martin’s Church

History

   St. Martin parish church is considered the oldest temple in Haverfordwest, founded around 1120 in connection with the construction of the nearby castle, ten years after the town was founded. It was mentioned in written sources in 1256. In the fourteenth century it was thoroughly rebuilt, and additionally enlarged in the fifteenth century by a tower and at the beginning of the sixteenth century by a side aisle.
    Like many other medieval churches in the nineteenth century, it was in poor condition. Victorian renovations were carried out in the years 1839-1840, when, unfortunately, the original capitals of the chancel arch were destroyed. Further works were carried out in 1862-1865. At that time, the roofs, inter-nave arcades, window jambs were replaced and a northern aisle was added at the chancel. In 1869-1870 the spire on the church tower was rebuilt.

Architecture

   The original church consisted of a rectangular nave orientated towards the sides of the world, slightly narrower and lower, also a rectangular chancel on the eastern side and the southern porch. Since the 15th century on the west facade of the nave there was a four-sided tower, typical Pembrokeshire construction, with facades pierced only by small slit holes, topped with a parapet on protruding corbels and a high spire. At the beginning of the 16th century, the church was enlarged by an oblong southern aisle, located asymmetrically by the nave and chancel.
   Inside, the church was decorated with many 14th-century architectural details: niches with crowns of  trefoil and ogee arches in the porch, sedillia topped with ogee arches mounted on six-sided shafts with cylindrical bases, piscine with decoration in gothic crockets and a tall, pointed shaped chancel arcade separating the main nave from the chancel.

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bibliography:
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of Saint Martin of Tours A Grade II* Listed Building in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
Website haverfordwestcivicsociety.org.uk, St. Martin’s Church.