Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of Saint David  


Unitary Authority
Llanddewi Brefi  
Llanddewi Brefi  
Llanddewi Brefi  
Street Side
Situated in centre of Llanddewi Brefi.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

C14 and C19 parish church on important Celtic Christian site. At the Synod of Brefi, c 550, St David refuted the teaching of St Cadoc, (reputedly guilty of reviving the Pelagian heresies concerning original sin and free will), his victory aided by the miraculous uprising of the mound on which the church is built. A Celtic monastery was replaced in 1287 by a college of secular canons. Of the medieval church the C14 crossing tower survives and part of the chancel. The N transept collapsed in late C18, the S transept and nave were demolished in 1832. The nave was rebuilt in 1833-4 for £310 by C. James of Llanddewi Brefi. R.J. Withers proposed a complete restoration in 1873, the tower was restored and nave remodelled 1873-4, the chancel in 1886, but the transepts were never begun. Some restoration in 1913 by W.D. Caroe, and some fittings of 1953-5 by A.D.R. Caroe.  

Rubble stone with slate roofs. W porch, nave, central tower and chancel. The nave has steep-pitched roof of 1873-4, ashlar lancets, two single lights and a pair each side, and two lancets and small rose in W end. In NW angle are reset 2 parts of an inscribed stone read in 1699 as 'Hic iacet Idnert Filius Iacobi qui occisus fuit propter predam Sancti David', C7 and the earliest reference to St David. Big gabled W porch with moulded S entry arch, and 2 W lancets. Moulded W door within and double doors with wrought iron hinges. Tower is large, some 11.4 m (30') square and 26.6 m (70') high, with rough stone voussoirs of transept arches visible N and S, renewed 2-light bell-openings and corbelled embattled parapet. Window over ridge on E side, (another similar on W is inside nave roof). C19 slate pyramid roof with weather-vane. NE stair tower, flush on E. Some herring-bone masonry and blocked window on S side. In each transept infill is pointed opening of 1833 with sandstone voussoirs, sash window to N, door S. Gothic glazing bars to sash and door overlight. Part of Roman inscribed stone to right of door. Chancel has S pair and single lancets, E 3 lancets and coped gable. Inset slate plaque to D. Jones (d 1833). Windowless N side.  

Open arch-braced rafter roofs, ashlar rear arches to windows. Tower has rough stone pointed arches and pointed vault with bell-rope openings. Ashlar moulded octagonal font, 1851. Panelled pine pews of 1846-7, said to have been a gift of Queen Adelaide to her doctor, Sir David Davies. SW corner ashlar statue of St David, 1959 by F. Mancini. Panelled pulpit and two Gothic reading desks of 1953-5. Panelled pine stalls. Under tower, five early Christian stones. On N: a) incised cross with top bar; b) inscription DALVS DUMELVS; c) tall stone with half of incised cross. On S: d) tall stone called St David's Staff with incised cross and inscription 'Cenlisini bt ds'; e) inscribed cross with bifurcated foot and trefoiled ends. In chancel, slate plaque N c1829 to Jones family of Llanio, S to Easter Williams of Wearn (d1779). Attractive timber rails and altar by Withers. Heavy stone 3-bay reredos with cornice and shafted squat columns, 1886. 3-light E window with stained glass of 1962 by Powell of Whitefriars.  

Reason for designation
Listed II* for one of the finest medieval church towers in Cardiganshire.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]