Stackpole – St James and St Elidyr’s church

History

The church of St. James and St Elidyr in Stackpole was built in the 12th century, in area with strong English colonization since the times of the Norman conquest. Regarding the English heritage, it is mysterious that the church was dedicated to Saint Elidyr or Elidor. The name may, however, refer to Elidor de Stackpole, a Norman knight who founded a settlement here. Perhaps it was the custom of commemorating the founder as a saint patron. Under the dedication of Saint James church was known only from the eighteenth century. In 1851, the building underwent a Victorian renovation by Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the most-recognized architects at the time.

Architecture

The church consists of a long, rectangular nave with dimensions of 17 x 6 meters and rectangular chancel on the eastern side with dimensions of 6.5 x 4.5 meters. The transepts were added to the nave from the north and the south, and at the northern wall of the presbytery, the sacristy, topped with a mono-pitched roof. Very large diagonal squints passages connect each transept with the presbytery. On the south side of the church, a porch and a chapel (Lort Chapel) were erected. At the end of the northern part of the transept there is a tower, located so unusually in order to use the higher ground level in that place. The tower has a typical local form with parapet placed on the corbels and a stair turret in the north-west corner. It only lacks usually erected battlement. Its above-ground storey has a vault open to the northern part of the transept. Inside the chapel and in the transept original vaults from the 14th century, a small piscina from the fourteenth century in the southern transept and holes for viewing (hagioscopes) in the chancel arch, have been preserved.

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bibliography:
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, St. Elidyr’s Church A Grade I Listed Building in Stackpole, Pembrokeshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St James and St Elidyr’s church, Stackpole Elidor.