Erected in Uzmaston in the thirteenth century, the church of St. Ismael was dedicated to the son of Budic, the king of Armorica. Ismael came to Wales and became a disciple of Saint David, after whom he was consecrated as a bishop and later beatificated. In 1230, the church was granted to the Order of Knights Hospitaller in Slebech. In the years 1837-1839, the building was extended westwards, and in 1844 the roof was replaced. In the years 1870-1873 and again in the 90s of the twentieth century, it was renovated, combined with a thorough reconstruction.
The church consisted of the nave, chancel, northern aisle and a small tower in the north – eastern corner of the northern aisle. The medieval church had also northern and southern annexes of various sizes and shapes, in the form similar to transepts. The interior of the church was illuminated by Gothic single and double-light windows with trefoils. Traditionally, the most distinguished was eastern window of the chancel, illuminating the altar, filled with a three-light tracery.
The church was significantly transformed in the early modern period. During the 19th century reconstruction, the north aisle replaced the northern transept, and the southern one was reduced to a small outbuilding. Also the porch is an early modern addition. Most of the medieval substance has now a tower with a preserved window in the style of English Decorated Gothic with tracery. Medieval windows (possibly reset) are also located in the southern and eastern walls of the chancel, and in the diagonal passage between the chancel and the tower. Inside, there are several medieval corbels in the chancel and a baptismal font from the 12th century.
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, VII County of Pembroke, London 1925.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of Saint Ismael A Grade II Listed Building in Uzmaston, Boulston and Slebech (Uzmaston, Boulston a Slebets), Pembrokeshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Ismael’s church, Uzmaston.