Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf – St Mary’s Church


   The oldest part of the church of St. Mary, that is the nave, was founded in the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth century, a chancel was added and an arch between the nave and the presbytery. During the renovation of 1847, the sacristy on the north side and the south porch were added.


   The medieval church was built of rubble stone. It consisted of a rectangular, highly elongated nave measuring 16 x 5 meters and a rectangular, but shorter chancel, 5.6 x 4.1 meters. Inside the chancel, narrower than the nave, was separated by a pointed arch of an arcade. The entrance to the church led through the pointed portal in the western part of the southern wall of the nave and through the second, semicircular portal in the northern wall. The windows probably had four-sided jambs filled with trefoils and tracery topped with ogee arches. Traditionally, the eastern window of the chancel illuminating the altar stood out, a much larger one, closed with an ogival arch with a drip archivolt, filled with a three-light tracery decorated with cinquefoils.

Current state

   Both porches of the church are early modern additions, although the 14th-century nave has retained its original northern entrance portal and has a southern entrance from the 15th / 16th century. On the southern wall of the nave, on the west side, there is an original window with a trefoil, and on the eastern side of the chancel, a large window from the 15th century has been preserved. The remaining windows were renovated in the nineteenth century, when the northern wall of the chancel was rebuilt and the eastern part of the church was reinforced with buttresses. Inside the chncel, the roof truss was replaced, while in the nave some medieval collar beams and rafters have been preserved, although the whole was renovated during early modern renovations. 

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Salter M., The old parish churches of North Wales, Malvern 1993.
The Royal Commission on The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions in Wales and Monmouthshire. An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Anglesey, London 1937.