ST LUCIA, BETWS LEUCU, CEREDIGION
Dyfed PRN 5130
RB No. 3619
NGR SN 6071 5821
Not listed (1998) Not listed (2021)
19th century church; 0% pre-19th century core fabric. On site of, and in same location as, medieval church?.
A 3-cell church, small. Consists of chancel, 2 bays; nave, 4 bays; south porch; vestry (south), 1 bay; all 1870s. Construction is in coursed local rubble. Slate gable roofs. All openings are from the 1870s, neo-gothic, with yellow brick surrounds; western bell-turret, small, with low spire, 1870s.
Roofs, floors and finishes: 1870s.
Condition – good.
Archaeological potential – good. No physical evidence for earlier church; no an external cutting or a drain; floor levels raised?, with non-intrusive void?.
Structural value (pre 19th century) – poor. 0% pre-1870 core fabric.
Group value – low.
St Lucia, Betws Leucu, is a 3-celled church, of small size. It was (re)built in the 1870s on the same site, and in the same location as its predecessor (Clive-Powell, 1991), but retaining nothing from the earlier fabric.
The present church consists of a 2-bayed chancel, a 4-bayed nave, a south porch and a single-bayed vestry south of the chancel. Construction is in local, roughly coursed rubble. There is no dressed stone; the openings are neo-gothic and the lights are all simple lancets, normally single but with a triple-lancet east window, with yellow-brick surrounds, all from the 1870s. There is a small, square bell-turret over the west end, rendered, with a low slated spire, from the 1870s. The roofs are slated gables; the vestry has a slated lean-to roof. The floors are suspended except in the porch.
The form of the earlier church is not known. It is shown on the tithe map of 1845 as a simple rectangular structure in the same location as the present church (NLW, Betws Leucu township, Tithe Map, 1845). The present church was built in the 1870s and appears to be more-or-less unaltered.
There is no physical evidence for the earlier church. There is neither an external cutting nor drain. Floor levels may be raised above the substrate, with a non-intrusive void. There are no external memorials.
The church was not listed in 1998. Not listed 2021.
There is no firm evidence for any pre-conquest religious use of the site.
St Lucia, Betws Leucu, was not a parish church during the medieval period but a chapelry of Llanddewi Brefi parish (Rees, 1932), of the medieval Deanery of Sub-Aeron. Still a chapelry in 1833, the living was a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Perpetual Curate of Llanddewi Brefi (Lewis, 1833), endowed with £1000 royal bounty.
In 1998 St Lucia, Betws Leucu, was a parish church. The living was a vicarage, held with Llangeitho, Gartheli and Blaenpennal (Benefice no. 697) in the Archdeaconry of Cardigan, Rural Deanery of Lampeter and Ultra-Aeron (St Davids, 1997-8). It is without burial rights.
‘St Lucia’ is a corruption of the Celtic deity ‘Lleu’, and is not equivalent to St Lucy (Various, 1994, 393).
Blaeu, J., 1648, Map of Cardiganshire.
NLW, Betws Leucu township (Llanddewi Brefi parish) , Tithe Map, 1845.
Rees, W., 1932, South Wales and the Border in the XIVth century.
Church in Wales Records
Clive-Powell, R., 1991, Quinquennial Report, Betws Leucu
St Davids, 1997-8, Diocesan Year Book.
Evans, G. E., 1906, ‘Cardiganshire: Its Plate, Records and Registers’, Archaeol. Cambrensis Vol. VI, Sixth Series.
Lewis, S., 1833, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales.
Salter, M., 1994, The Old Parish Churches of South West Wales.
Various, 1994, ‘The Church in Ceredigion in the Early Middle Ages’, in Davies, J. L., and Kirby, D. P. (eds.), Cardiganshire County History Vol. I.
Up dated: August 2021 – PKR.