Marros – St Lawrence’s Church


   Church of St Lawrence, chapel of ease belonging to St. Martin’s church at Laugharne, was built at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. From this period the aisleless nave come from, it is possible that the northern sacristy (transept) was also established at that time. In the fourteenth century the southern porch and in the the fifteenth century the tower on the western side were added. In 1769 the church in Marros obtained the status of parish.  It was restored in 1844 and in the years 1895-1898.


   The church was built of limestone rubble. Initially, it consisted of a 13th-century four-bay, rectangular nave without an externally separated chancel. Presumably in the fourteenth century, the entrance in the southern wall was preceded by a porch, inside covered with a barrel vault. The nave was most likely covered with an open roof truss.
   In the fifteenth century, on the west side of the nave, a three-story tower about 21 meters high was added, located slightly asymmetrically in relation to the older part. It was placed on a battered plinth with a cornice, and topped with a very high paraptet on protruding corbels and a battlement. On the south-eastern side, it received a turret with a staircase, which, along with a parapet and eastern window, was added in the 16th century. The ground floor of the tower was opened onto the nave, while its upper storey was heated by a fireplace in early modern times. The tower was also a clear terrain mark for the ships passing in the area, its massive silhouette stood out against the background of a small church.
   The northern transept of uncertain dating, was possible originally a side aisle running from east to west, also served as a sacristy. It was erected on a quadrilateral plan opened to the nave with an arcade, located directly opposite the entrance to the church, and it was lit only by one window from the north.

Current state

   The church visible today was significantly rebuilt in the early modern period. The tower is closest to its original appearance, but during renovation works, the original entrance to its spiral staircase was blocked, and a new entrance was placed in the western wall. All the windows were transformed in the nave, except for the late Gothic opening in the eastern part of the southern wall. The floor, plasters and equipment were also replaced.

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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.

Website, St Lawrence’s church, Marros.