St Peter, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

ST PETER, CARMARTHEN, CARMARTHENSHIRE

Dyfed PRN 50

RB No. 2655

NGR SN 4152 2022

Listed Building No. 9435

Grade I listed (1998)

First Listed in 1954. Last Amended in 2003.

Reasons for Listing: Graded I as a substantial essentially medieval church with landmark tower and an outstanding collection of monuments within.

SUMMARY

Medieval church; 80% pre-19th century core fabric.

A multicell church, large sized. Consists of a chancel, 3 bays; nave, 5 bays; north transept, 1 bay; south aisle, 7 bays, south porch; west tower, 3 storeys; medieval. Boilerhouse (west of transept), 17th century. Clergy vestry (north, transeptal), 1 bay, 18th century. South-east porch, 1869. Choir vestry (north), 1886-8. WC block (east of clergy vestry), 20th century. Limestone and ORS rubble construction; plastered internally. Slate gable roofs; boilerhouse with slate lean-to roof; choir vestry and WC with flat roofs; tower roof not seen. Medieval chancel arch, arcade, piscina, stoup, niches, tower openings and arch, tomb recesses. 17th and 18th century windows. Most windows and doors 19th – 20th century, neo-Gothic, with yellow oolite dressings.

(Nb. many early memorials including medieval effigies; some 18th century fittings.)

Roofs: 1861. Floors, 1876 – later 20th century. Finishes, 1855 – later 20th century.

Condition – good.

Archaeological potential – very good. No external cutting or drain; below-ground drainage beneath 2% of church; suspended floors, over heating ducts, in 75% of church; below-ground floor in 5% of church; known burials beneath ?75% of church; external memorials significantly close to 100% of church; Roman deposits beneath church?.

Structural value (pre 19th century) – very good. 80% medieval core fabric; medieval chancel arch, arcade, piscina, stoup, niches, tower openings and arch, tomb recesses; 17th and 18th century windows.

Group value – high. Large, important medieval landmark church with tower; in historic town centre; Roman defences beneath; churchyard with good memorials; listed lych-gate, 1879; urban amenity value.

Phasing:

Phase 1 – Chancel, nave, and north transept (and former south transept?), C14.

Phase 2 – West tower, late C15.

Phase 3 – South aisle, south porch, c.1500.

Phase 4 – Boilerhouse (formerly charnel-house?), C17.

Phase 5 – Clergy vestry, early C18.

Phase 6 – Restored 1855-1876, high-impact; south-east porch built 1869.

Phase 7 – Choir vestry, 1886-1888.

Phase 8 – WC block, mid-later C20.

(Phase 9 – South porch closed off, 1969).

 DESCRIPTION

The present church

St Peter, Carmarthen, is a multicell church, of large size. It retains approximately 80% pre-19th century core fabric.

The present church consists of a 3-bayed chancel, a 5-bayed nave, a single-bayed north transept, a boilerhouse (former charnel-house?) west of the transept, a 7-bayed south aisle, a south-east porch, a south porch (closed off), a 3-storeyed west tower, a single-bayed transeptal clergy vestry north of the chancel central bay, an adjoining single-bayed choir vestry north of the chancel west bay, and an adjoining WC block north of the chancel east bay. Construction is in limestone and Old Red Sandstone rubble throughout. The external pointing is largely 20th century; the interior is plastered. Roofs are slated gables; the boilerhouse has a slated lean-to roof, the choir vestry and WC have flat roofs and the tower roof was not seen. Most openings were rebuilt in 1855, in the later 19th century, and in the early-mid 20th century, all neo-Gothic with yellow oolite dressings. Externally, the church is very plain, with tall walls and windows retaining much of their mid-19th century character. It is rich in memorials from all periods, ‘the finest group in the county’  (Yates, 1974, 69-70).

There is neither a cutting nor a drain around the church. There is below-ground drainage beneath the WC block. The flooring is suspended in the nave, transept, south aisle and vestries, over underfloor heating ducts. The boilerhouse floor is below ground level. There are known burials beneath the chancel and south aisle, and probably the nave and transept. External memorials lie significantly close to the church. The site overlies Roman town defences.

The chancel

The chancel walls have good medieval quoins. The large, 5-light east window is from 1855, and comprises uncusped ogival lights with slender yellow oolite tracery typical of the earlier-mid 19th century in a wide, slightly depressed 2-centred arch which may be late medieval; a depressed segmental-pointed arch can be seen externally, overlying the outer arch.  The east bay is lit by small, 2-light windows in both side walls, with cusped ogival heads and curvilinear tracery, in yellow oolite and featuring drip-moulds on plain stops, from 1855 but possibly copying 14th century originals; the 2-centred outer arches may be 14th century. The west bay north wall features a window at ‘clerestory level’ ie above the choir vestry roof, which has 3 uncusped, elliptical-headed lights, with sunk spandrels, in a square surround and label in neo-Tudor style, all in yellow oolite from 1855. Between the 2 windows, at a high level, are 2 small external memorial slabs in square recesses from the 18th century; the easternmost is interrupted by the clergy vestry roof. Internally, a plain recess in the south wall is probably contemporary with the effigy within, a kneeling female from the late 17th century (Lady Anne Vaughan, d.1672 – Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 14). The tall, 2-centred chancel arch is plain and may be 14th century. The softwood, scissors-braced roof has a low-pitched matchboarded ceiling above, all from 1861?. The chancel has glazed floor tiles, originally from 1855 and relaid in 1876 and during the 20th century.

The nave

The nave is quoined as the chancel. The east bay is lit by a window at ‘clerestory’ level in the north wall, as the chancel west window and in similar neo-Tudor style, from 1855, but 4-light; it has a segmental, brick outer arch which may be somewhat earlier, which itself appears to truncate an 18th century memorial like those on the chancel north wall. The 3 western bays of the nave are lit by 4 windows in the north wall, each of 2 lights with 4 cusps and a quatrefoil pierced spandrel, with slender oolite dressings from 1855 and typical of the early-mid 19th century, with 2-centred outer arches in brick which may be somewhat earlier (cf. the nearby Llangynnwr, Carms.); the eastern 3 windows also have drip-moulds on plain stops from 1855. Four low relieving arches are visible externally, below window-sill level and not corresponding with the openings, each with a very rounded 2-centred head; they are primary (14th century?) and may have been thought necessary due to a perceived substrate instability, suggesting longevity of burial within the yard. They do not correspond with the four internal tomb-recesses, with plain 2-centred heads, all of which are probably also 14th century; one of the recesses houses a stone coffin lid (not in situ) with a contemporary inscription (RCAHM, 1917), and in another is a male torso effigy in domestic dress, again probably 14th century. The steps leading to the rood-loft were apparently exposed on the outside of the nave north wall during the 1855 restoration and can still be seen as an impression on the interior of the east bay north wall. The north end of the west wall is coped back to the west tower at the north end, an original feature. The softwood, king-post roof is from 1861 and has tie-beams lying on carved timber corbels incorporating a moulded plaster cornice; the creasing for a higher roof pitch can be seen against the tower east wall; the pitch was lowered, almost to chancel roof-pitch level, in 1785 (Brigstocke, 1907, 340). The nave floor is tiled over heating ducts, with suspended board floors, from 1876.

The north transept

The north transept has crude medieval quoins. It was opened to nave roof level in 1851, the opening now being spanned by a decorative neo-Perpendicular screen with 4-centred, carved lintel dated 1954. The interior is lit by a 3-light window in the north wall, with cusped, neo-Decorated tracery with mouchettes, in yellow oolite designed by R. Kyrke Penson in 1866 (Baker-Jones, 1971, 91). The sill and infill interrupt the head of a low, depressed semicircular relieving arch which occupies the entire width of the wall between the quoins, primary, and like the nave arches possibly due to substrate instability. A 2-centred brick arch in the east wall appears to represent a (pre?)1855 window blocked when the choir vestry was constructed.  The matchboarded ceiling is from 1861, and the terrazzo tiled floor is probably post-1876. The transept is now a Lady Chapel (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 19).

The south aisle

The south aisle is quoined like the chancel and nave. It communicates with the chancel via a chamfered 2-centred arch on chamfered stops with plain chamfered abaci, and with the nave through an arcade of 5 similar arches on octagonal piers with similar abaci, all from the c.1500. The east bay north wall displays a similar respond adjacent to the chancel arch, suggesting that it was formerly separated as a chapel. The east window is identical with the chancel east window and also from 1855, but has the relieving arch above is in brick and may be somewhat earlier. The south wall is pierced by 5 windows which more-or-less correspond to the internal bays, but the east bay is now blind. All are like the nave windows and from 1855, but 3-light, and with brick outer arches. All occupy slightly taller, wider, segmental headed openings with crude, largely Old Red Sandstone jambs and limestone voussoirs that may be primary, from c.1500, and plain 2-centred rear arches may be contemporary; a similar opening, but blocked, lies in the east bay. The south door has a rather low, 2-centred head with a plain surround from c.1500. The west wall is pierced by a window like those in the south wall, from 1855, but the infill does not appear to occupy an earlier opening. Internally, a piscina lies in the south wall, from c.1500. The south aisle contains the tomb of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, which dates from c.1525, was moved from Carmarthen Friary in 1535 and now lies south of the chancel arch. It comprises 2 full effigies of Sir Rhys and his wife, the former in full plate-armour, upon a magnificently moulded late Perpendicular chest with good sculpture. It occupied the chancel until 1865, when it was moved to a position beneath the arch between the chancel and the south aisle (NLW, SD/F/96); it was moved to its present location in 1886 (ibid.). The east bay of the aisle has been the location for the Consistory Court of the Chancellor of the Diocese since at least the mid 16th century and is fitted accordingly (see below). The south aisle is roofed and floored as the nave but the east bay has glazed tiles from 1855 or 1876 (ibid); a burial vault from 1729 vault lies beneath the central bay.

The south porch

The former south porch was closed off when it was converted into a War Memorial chapel in 1969, the jambs of the former external doorway being visible; the blocking is pierced by a plain lancet, with an oolite surround, also from 1969. The side walls have always been blind. The porch has retained a stoup and a niche, for statuary, from c.1500, and has a 2-centred barrel-vault. However, the softwood internal panelling concealing many of its features (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 24). The floor is fully carpeted and incorporates a ramp from the south aisle, from 1969.

The west tower

The 3-storeyed west tower is from the late 15th century and is typical of the region, being slightly tapered and featuring an external batter and string-course. A square spiral stair turret projects from the eastern half of the north wall, entered through a low, late 15th century doorway and lit by simple slit-lights. The ground floor communicates with the nave through a plain, 2-centred arch, late 15th century. The west door has a 2-centred, chamfered surround, from the late 15th century, around which the string-course is carried as a drip-mould; a segmental outer arch lies above. Above it lies a large, 3-light window from the late 19th century, with cusped, curvilinear tracery in yellow oolite, and a drip-mould on moulded stops, beneath a 2-centred arch from the late 15th century; it replaced a 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery shown in a print of 1862 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 37). The ground floor has a timber ceiling, a tiled floor from 1876, and contains the stair up to the west gallery, from 1855. The second stage is lit by cusped, single lights in the west and south walls, both heavily restored, but the latter is traditionally held to light ‘what was once a priest’s chamber’ (ibid.); there is a partially blocked slit-light in the north wall. The belfry stage has an RSJ floor (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 16) and 2-light openings in the south and west walls, each with a segmental surround of possible early 19th century date, c.1817?; the voussoirs of a 2-centred arch can be seen above the southern opening. The north and east walls have similar, single-light openings, the former displaying a similar outer arch. The overhanging parapet lies on an offset from the late 15th century, but the crenellations were rebuilt in oolite ashlar in 1770 (Evans, 1907(I), 101), and restored in 1868 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 37).

The boilerhouse

The boilerhouse was built against the west wall of the north transept in the mid 17th century, possibly as a charnel-house (see below); the joint to the transept is visible externally. It is entered from the churchyard through a low, plain segmental-headed doorway without a surround, mid 17th century, in the north wall. A window lies above, with a plain, square chamfered oolite surround also from the mid 17th century; the brick-lined memorial slab in the west wall is early 19th century. The lean-to roof up to the transept east wall is late 19th century. The floor is partly sunken floor approached down a flight of steps from the late 19th century. The building has housed a boiler since the late 19th century, the former boiler occupying the lower floor level. A new gas-fired boiler was installed at ground level in the later 20th century with a contemporary breeze-block flue and stack rising up the external face of the north wall of the nave west bay.

The clergy vestry

The transeptal clergy vestry was built against the north side of the chancel during the early 18th century. It is entered from the chancel through a doorway of uncertain date, possibly later rebuilt, and lit by a 3-light window in its north wall, with a rounded segmental outer arch and surround and plain lights in yellow oolite, all from the early 20th century. A blocked window in its east wall has a weathered, plain, square surround in chamfered limestone of probable early 18th century date, blocked when a fireplace was inserted before 1886 (NLW, SD/F/96). The simple softwood roof timbers are late 19th – early 20th century. The vestry has a suspended board floor .

The south-east porch

The south-east porch was built in 1869 with a contemporary 2-centred doorway into the south aisle east bay. It is small, with yellow oolite quoins and an external doorway with a 4-centred, chamfered surround, like the quoins and similarly rather weathered. A trefoil-light lies above, and there is a similar light in each side wall, all from 1869. The plaster ceiling and tiled floor, laid directly on the substrate, are contemporary.

The choir vestry

The choir vestry was added between 1886 and 1888 and is entered from the clergy vestry through a contemporary doorway. The external wall, ie the north wall, appears to be entirely from the earlier 20th century when the vestry may have been largely rebuilt; the doorway, with a 4-centred oolite surround, and the window of 3, square-headed lights in a square oolite surround beneath a segmental outer arch of squared voussoirs, are both earlier 20th century. It has a 20th century flat roof and a suspended board floor.

 The WC block

The WC lying against the east wall of the clergy vestry is from the mid-late 20th century, and is entered from the clergy vestry through a plain, contemporary doorway. It is lit by a 3-light window in the north wall with plain, square heads in a plain, square yellow oolite surround, and a similar single light in the east wall, all mid-late 20th century. The flat roof has a sheet-lead covering, and the walls and floors have late 20th century tiles (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 20).

Structural development

Though large and important, the church is very plain and the absence of dressings hampers accurate dating of  the various components. However, the great unity of fabric and facework suggests that the constructional history may be relatively straightforward. The lower courses of the chancel and nave, including the nave reliving arches and tomb-recesses, the chancel arch (and the original east bay windows if copied in 1855) may be 14th century. The north transept is, unusually, set 1 bay west of the chancel arch; it similarly cannot be closely dated but it has a similar relieving arch and may be contemporary, representing the 14th century trend towards transept construction and possibly the site of the chantry chapel known to have been established by 1394 when licence was given for a service in a chantry within the church (Brigstocke, 1907, 339, et al.). The west tower belongs, stylistically, to the late 15th century. The south aisle, with its arcade, was added c.1500 and displays, contrary to suggestions by Salter, 1994 et al., a unified, single-phase construction; it may, however, have absorbed a former south transept. At the same time, the nave (?and chancel) appear to have been largely rebuilt and heightened to correspond with the aisle. The south porch is probably contemporary. The boilerhouse belongs stylistically to the 17th century, while the clergy vestry was added in the early 18th century and before 1751 (see below). The choir vestry and south-east porch are 19th century, while the WC block is 20th century (see below).

The north transept was formerly known as the ‘Mayor’s Chapel’, and the south aisle as the ‘Town Chancel’.

In 1557 the church was described as being in a state of decay (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 32). It was ‘newly paved’ in 1637 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 32), a very early mention of flagged flooring, but the windows were ‘out of repair’ in 1672 (Anon., 1916, 214).

A building, depicted in the angle between the south aisle and the south porch west wall in a late 17th century print (Evans, 1921 (iii), 40), has been interpreted as being the charnel-house mentioned in a presentment of 1783. However, the present boilerhouse, 17th century in origin, is almost certainly the site of a former charnel-house (Welsh Office, 1981, 9).

The floor of the south aisle was uneven in 1710, and the ‘roof of the church’ required repairing (Evans, 1907(ii), 5). The north transept was repaired in 1712 (ibid.) but the south transept still wanted ‘to be better flagged’ in 1720 (Evans, 1921 (i), 17). The floors were ‘not very even’ in 1745 (Evans, 1937, 30) and the chancel roof and floor were ‘out of repair’ in 1749 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 35).

The clergy vestry had been added by 1751, when it was ‘very much decay’d’ (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29), and the character of the surviving original window suggests an early 18th century date. The roof, and the flags ‘in both church and chancel’ also ‘should be repaired’.

Small-scale expenditure, typical for churches within the region, was undertaken during the 1760s – 1780s and concerned tasks such as white-liming, reslating (‘tileing’ in the records) and the reflagging of floors (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29). However, the present west tower crenellations were rebuilt in ashlar 1770 (Evans, 1907(i), 101).

Furthermore, the ‘windows in the chancel were taken off without the minister’s and churchwardens’ consent’ in 1771 (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29). Six windows were ‘altered and made after a new plan’ in 1776 (Evans, 1907(i), 101); the windows have since been replaced and their location is unknown. A gallery had been erected ‘at the south end of the church’ in 1753 (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29); this may be the ‘Taylor’s gallery’ in the ‘south ile’ mentioned in 1777 (Evans, 1906, 107) when further refenestration was undertaken, 3 windows in the nave being ‘taken down, and 3 new ones erected in their room’. The windows were described overall as ‘modern… of incongruous character’ in 1833 (Lewis, 1833) but their brick outer arches may date from before 1855.

New roofs and plaster ceilings, with a cornice, were constructed by John Nash in 1785-90 (Anon., 1929, 35-40) to a lower pitch than their predecessors. The church was reseated, a west gallery was erected and the floors were flagged in 1789 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 36). The Consistory Court was moved to the east bay of the south aisle .

The arch from the nave into the north transept was removed in 1851 when the organ was installed (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 16), and complete restoration was undertaken in 1855. It was a very conservative restoration (Yates, 1974, 69-70) but the church was entirely refenestrated, and the plaster was stripped exposing the rood-loft stairs (Crossley and Ridgway, 1947, 224). The interior was replastered and reseated, a new west gallery was installed replacing the 1789 gallery, and a new vicarage pew and mayoral seat were installed.

Restoration continued through the 1860s and 70s. Nash’s ceilings of 1785-90 partly fell in 1860 (Anon., 1929, 35-40), were removed, and the church was reroofed in 1861 (Anon., 1861, 174) while the screen between the Consistory Court and the rest of the south aisle was removed (Brigstocke, 1907, 335). The tomb of Sir Rhys ap Thomas was moved from the north side of the chancel east bay, to the south aisle, in 1865 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 19). The north transept window, designed by the architect R. Kyrke Penson, was inserted in 1866 (Baker-Jones, 1971, 91). The south-east porch (to the Consistory Court) was built in 1869 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 37). The church was refloored in 1876 ‘covering up many old memorials’ (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 12).

The tower was struck by lightning in 1817, destroying a belfry opening (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 36) and possibly dating the present openings. The crenellations were restored 1868 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 37) and the tower was renovated in 1935 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 9).

The choir vestry had been established in its present location by 1907 when it was described as ‘recently built’ (Brigstocke, 1907, 335). No building is shown here in 1886 (NLW, SD/F/96) but it was present by 1888 (Ordnance Survey 1:2500, First Edition) and was substantially rebuilt in the earlier 20th century. There are suggestions that it occupies the site of an earlier building, ie. the chancel and nave windows of 1855 were inserted above roof level (see above), but no early maps of Carmarthen appear to indicate a structure in this location (eg. Carmarthen Museum, John Wood’s map, 1834).

The WC block was added in the mid-late 20th century. The south porch was converted into a War Memorial Chapel in 1969, and the outer door blocked.

There are important fixtures and fittings from a number of periods (see above, ‘Description’, for effigies etc), and an altar table dated 1716 lies loose in the south aisle east bay.

The gallery at the west end of the nave and south aisle is from 1855 but replaced the gallery of 1789; it is of softwood supported on 6 cast iron columns, approached by a timber stair from the tower ground floor, and it has a boarded ceiling (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 16). Beneath it is a Faculty pew, from 1789 (Yates, 1974, 69-70; 1709 according to Welsh Office, 1981, 10)

An organ had been installed in 1701 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 33), but the present organ, originally made for George III by G. Pyke England, of London, was introduced in 1796 at the south end of the west gallery (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 16). It was moved to the north transept in 1851, then back to the west gallery in 1865 (ibid.). In 1886 it was moved to its present location in the arch between the chancel and the south aisle (NLW, SD/F/96), which had hitherto been occupied by the tomb of Sir Rhys ap Thomas (see above); specifications for the work were drawn up by the architects Middleton, Prothero and Phillott, of Westminster, Cheltenham and Newport (ibid.). It was further altered in 1896, by William Hill & Son of London (NLW, SD/F/97).

The oak pews are from 1855, and have poppyhead bench ends (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 21). The ‘Corporation seats’ towards the east of the south aisle are contemporary, and feature a wrought-iron rest for swords and maces; the seating for the Mayor and Corporation stood in the north transept until 1836 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 12). The oak and marble pulpit is dated 1877. The carved oak reredos, with panelling and tracery, and oak stalls, are later 20th century (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 20); the similar north transept screen and fittings are dated 1954 (ibid.).

The Consistory Court is held in the east bay of the south aisle, with furnishings from 1855 including pews and the Bishop’s Chair, on a raised dais; the seat from 1718 has been replaced (Anon., 1926, 12). The open screen is dated 1962 (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 22).

The old boiler has been removed and replaced with a recent gas-fired boiler (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 23); 20th century stores have been made beneath the west gallery and tower stairway.

The font lies on a base derived from a cross, found beneath the pulpit during one of the 19th century restorations (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 11).

There were 4 bells in 1552 (Wallcott, 1871, ii), and 5 in 1720 of which 2 were cracked and soon to be recast (Evans, 1921 (ii), 17); the ‘steeple’ itself was ‘in good repair’. A new peal of 6 bells was cast by Adam Rudhall, of Gloucester, in 1722 (Raven, 1878, 267) but ‘all the bells’ were ‘out of order’ in 1753 (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29). The bells were rehung in 1904 and augmented by a further 2 bells to complete the octave (NLW, SD/F/98); they were rehung again in 1976 (Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, 17)..

A clock was present somewhere within the church, presumably the tower, in 1751 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 25) and was ‘out of repair’ in 1755 (Carms. R. O., CPR/65/29). A new tower clock was fitted in 1858, shown lower down on the west face than the present clock in an engraving of 1862 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 37); the present clock was installed in 1904 (NLW, SD/F/98), and renovated in 1970 (ibid.).

A crudely carved figure, lying loose in the church, may be 12th century (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 14).

The church was Grade I listed in 1998.

First Listed in 1954. Last Amended in 2003.

SITE HISTORY

There is some evidence for the pre-conquest religious use of the site:-

On site of Roman defensive gateway; long history of burial?; long tradition.

St Peter, Carmarthen, was a parish church during the medieval period, of the medieval Deanery of Carmarthen. It was granted to Battle Abbey in Sussex between 1107 and 1124 by King Henry I (Brigstocke, 1907, 337, et al.), and transferred to the Augustinian Priory of St John at Carmarthen in 1125, confirmed in 1180 (ibid.). The benefice was valued at £9 6s 8d in 1291 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 29). At the dissolution, it was valued at £6 13s 4d, when it fell to the crown with the dependent chapels at Llangain, Llanllwch and Newchurch (Barker, 1907, 154-7)

The Consistory Courts of the Chancellor of the Diocese of St Davids have been held in the church since at least the 16th century, and Bishop Ferrar was tried here in 1555 (Lodwick and Lodwick, 1970, 22).

In 1833 the living was a discharged vicarage, rated in the king’s books at £6 13s 4d, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty and £400 parliamentary grant (Lewis, 1833). It had remained in the patronage of the crown until 1816 when it was ceded to the Principal and Tutors of St Davids College, Lampeter (ibid.). By 1907 it was in the gift of the Bishop of St Davids (Brigstocke, 1907, 351).

In 1998 St Peter, Carmarthen, was a parish church. The living was a vicarage (Benefice no. 149) in the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, Rural Deanery of Carmarthen (St Davids, 1997-8).

SOURCES CONSULTED

 Map Evidence

Carmarthen Museum, Map of Carmarthen by John Wood, 1834.

NLW, Ordnance Survey 1:2500, First Edition, Sheets XXXIX.3 and XXXIX.7.

NLW, Ordnance Survey 1:2500, Second Edition, Sheets XXXIX.3 and XXXIX.7.

NLW, Parish of St Peters, Carmarthen, Tithe Map, 1838.

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

Church in Wales Records

Bartosch & Stokes, 1994, Quinquennial Report, St Peters, Carmarthen.

St Davids, 1997-8, Diocesan Year Book.

NLW, SD/F/95, Faculty – Demolition of cottage, 1872.

NLW, SD/F/96, Faculty – Alterations to church, 1886.

NLW, SD/F/97, Faculty – Altering and moving organ, 1896.

NLW, SD/F/98, Faculty – Altering and improving church, 1903.

NLW, SD/F/99, Faculty – Stained glass window, 1915.

NLW, SD/F/100, Faculty – Memorial tablet, 1915.

NLW, SD/F/101, Faculty – Stained glass window, 1926.

NLW, SD/F/102, Faculty – Altar cross canopy and oak panelling, 1927.

NLW, SD/F/103, Faculty – Stained glass window, 1927.

NLW, SD/F/104, Faculty – Memorial tablet, 1930.

Parish Records, Carmarthenshire Record Office, Carmarthen

CPR/65 – St Peters, Carmarthen:-

CPR/65/29 – Vestry Minute Book, 1751-78.

CPR/65/30 – Vestry Minute Book, 1778-1803.

CPR/65/31 – Vestry Minute Book, 1793-1806.

CPR/65/32 – Vestry Minute Book and Churchwarden’s Accounts, 1826-93.

Printed Accounts

Allen., T., 1893, ‘List of Effigies in South Wales’, Archaeol. Cambrensis, Vol. X, Fourth Series.

Anon., 1861, ‘Miscellaneous Notices’, Archaeol. Cambrensis, Vol. VII, Third Series.

Anon., 1875, ‘Carmarthen Meeting’, Archaeol. Cambrensis, Vol. VI, Fourth Series.

Anon., 1916, ‘Reviews and Notices’, Archaeol. Cambrensis, Vol. XVI, Sixth Series.

Anon., 1921, ‘Iolo Morgannwg’s Excursion, June 1796’, Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 14.

Anon., 1926, ‘St Peter’s Church, Carmarthen’, Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 19.

Anon., 1929, ‘John Nash’, Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 21.

Baker-Jones, D. L., 1971, ‘The Morris Family of Carmarthenshire’, The Carmarthenshire Antiquary Vol. VII.

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Updated: August 2021 – PKR.