Pennard – St Mary’s Church

History

   Church of St. Mary in Pennard was built in the twelfth or thirteenth century. Unfortunately, due to difficulties in using the temple, covered with sand from nearby dunes, the parish was moved inland in the 15th century. It is not known if the church existing until today was built at that time, using elements from the dismantled older temple, or whether the church in the interior was erected as early as in the 13th century. The building was restored in 1847 and again in 1891. At that time, the sacristy was added, some of the windows were transformed, and the interior was modernized.

Architecture

   The late medieval church was of a similar size to the older building. A rectangular nave and a narrower, four-sided chancel were built, which were probably separated by an arcade transferred from an older building. The entrance to the nave was located on the south side, sheltered by a simple porch. The west side of the church was crowned with a small tower, partially embedded in the nave, finished with a parapet mounted on corbels and a battlement. The southern wall of the presbytery received an ogival window with a 13th-century dog-tooth molding, probably from an older church.

Current state

   Relics of the 12th / 13th century church are visible today near the ruins of Pennard Castle. The late-medieval church has been preserved in its entirety, but it is enlarged with an early modern north annex, northern sacristy and a small extension at the tower (sometimes the porch is also considered early modern). Some of windows of the church have been transformed (large windows in the nave with Y-shaped tracery), but the valuable southern, 13th-century chancel window and the late-medieval eastern window have been preserved.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Wolverhampton 2002.

Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Mary, Pennard A Grade II Listed Building in Pennard, Swansea.
Website britainexpress.com, Pennard, St Mary’s Church.