Lamphey – St Tyfai’s Church

History

   The beginnings of the Christian temple in Lamphey date back to the early Middle Ages. In the period after the Norman conquest, the local church served as a parish. In the 14th century, a Gothic nave, chancel and transept were erected on the site of this original building, and at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries a porch and a tower were added. The church was renovated in 1826, when additional sitting places were added, and again refurbished in the mid-nineteenth century, when a partial reconstruction was made.

Architecture

   The medieval church consisted of a three-bay nave (5.5 x 11 meters) and a two-bay chancel on the eastern side (5.5 x 6 meters), although the latter was not externally distinguished and the whole was covered with a common gable roof. In addition, the church had a small northern arm of the transept with a squint passage connected with the chancel, southern, also modest, arm of the transept, southern porch and a four-sided tower on the west side. The tower received a slender form, great height, and it was crowned with a parapet and battlement typical of late medieval Welsh churches, mounted on corbels protruding from the facades of the walls. From the north-east side, it was also equipped with a protruding communication turret.

Current state

   The church has retained the medieval layout, despite thorough construction and renovation works from the 19th century. Most of the thirteenth-century substance has survived in the northern arm of the transept, and the tower of the fourteenth / fifteenth century is also in good condition. Inside the chancel, you can see the original architectural details: a piscina and two lancet windows. The Romanesque baptismal font has also been preserved.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of South-West Wales, Malvern 2003.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Tyfie and St Faith A Grade II Listed Building in Lamphey, Pembrokeshire.

Website coflein.gov.uk, St Tyfai’s church, Lamphey; St Faith and St Tyfei, Lamphey.