St Michael, Tremain, Ceredigion

ST MICHAEL, TREMAIN, CEREDIGION

Dyfed PRN 5219

 RB No. 3258

 NGR SN 2353 4865

 Listed Building no. 15871

Grade II listed (1998

First Listed in 1995. Last amended in 2009.

Reasons for Listing: Listed as one of the first Gothic churches in Wales, constructed to a high standard of correctness and form inline with the ideals of the ecclesiological movement and surviving with a largely intact interior and without later alterations. It is also significant for its connections to John Jones and is the only building designed exclusively by him.

 SUMMARY

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 (north of nave), 2 bays; all mid-late 19th century. Construction is in squared sandstone rubble. Slate gable roofs. All openings are from the mid-late 19th century, neo-gothic and in limestone; external buttressing, mid-late 19th century; western single bellcote, mid-late 19th century.

Roofs, floors and finishes: mid-late 19th century

Condition – good..

Archaeological potential – good-very good. Earthwork platform beneath 50% of church, mid-late 19th century?; very shallow cuttings around 40% of church; no underfloor void?; few external memorials lie significantly close to 100% of church.

Structural value (pre 19th century) – poor. 0% pre 19th century core fabric.

Group value – low-medium. C19 landmark church.

Phasing:

All mid-late 19th century .
DESCRIPTION

St Michael, Tremain, is a 3-celled church, of small size. It was partly rebuilt in 1810, and entirely (re)built in the mid-late 19th century on the same site, and in the same location as its predecessor, but nothing was retained from the earlier fabric.

The present church consists of a 2-bayed chancel, a 4-bayed nave, a south porch, and a 2-bayed vestry north of the nave east bays. Construction is in squared ?Pwntan sandstone. All dressings are in limestone and from the mid-late 19th century; the windows are plain, simple single lancets. The exterior is buttressed throughout. There is a simple, shouldered gabled single bellcote at the west end. The vestry chimney rises through a clasping buttress at the north-west corner, and has a fine, octagonal neo-Decorated ashlar stack with a small spire. The roofs are slated gables. The floors are suspended except in the porch.

The form of the pre-19th century church is not known. With the exception of the chancel, it was rebuilt in 1810 as a ‘long, plain edifice composed only of a nave and chancel’ (Lewis, 1833); it is shown in this form on the tithe map of 1840 (NLW, Tremain, 1840).

This church was itself demolished to make way for the present building in the mid-late 19th century. There appear to have been no further major alterations.

The font has a square, scalloped bowl, a cylindrical stem and a square base, all 12th century.

The scarp of a massive external platform lies to the east of the church, representing a former churchyard boundary but possibly enhanced by demolition debris from the earlier church which forms a discrete, slight platform beneath the nave. There is no external drain, but very shallow cuttings run along the north and south walls of the church. There may be no underfloor void. A few external memorials lie significantly close to all walls.

The church was Grade II listed in 1998.

First Listed in 1995. Last amended in 2009.

SITE HISTORY

 There is no firm evidence for the pre-conquest religious use of the site.

St Michael, Tremain, was not a parish church during the medieval period (Rees, 1932), but a chapelry of Aberporth parish, in the medieval Deanery of Sub-Aeron, which was a possession of the Premonstratensians of Talley Abbey.

Tremain had become a parish by 1833 when the living was a perpetual curacy endowed with £1200 royal bounty and £200 parliamentary grant, in the patronage of Philip John Miles, Esq. (Lewis, 1833).

In 1998 St Michael, Tremain, was a parish church. The living was a vicarage, held with Aberporth, Blaenporth and Betws Ifan (Benefice no. 833) in the Archdeaconry of Cardigan, Rural Deanery of Cemais and Sub-Aeron (St Davids, 1997-8).

 SOURCES CONSULTED

 Map Evidence

Blaeu, J., 1648, Map of Cardiganshire.

NLW, Parish of Tremain, Tithe Map, 1840.

Rees, W., 1932, South Wales and the Border in the XIVth century.

Church in Wales Records

Bartosch, P. M., 1991, Quinquennial Report, Tremain.

St Davids, 1997-8, Diocesan Year Book.

Printed Accounts

Anon., 1915, ‘Cardiganshire Fonts’, Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol. II.

Lewis, S., 1833, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales.

Owen, E., 1894, ‘The History of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Talley’, Archaeol. Cambrensis Vol. XI, Fifth Series.

Price, D. L., 1879, ‘Talley Abbey, Carmarthenshire’, Archaeol. Cambrensis Vol. X, Fourth Series.

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 : September 2021 – PKR.