St Ishmaels Church, St Ishmael, Ferryside

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Location: Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdommap
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[Map of St Ishmaels]

Grade II Listed Building.
First Listed in 1966. Last Amended in 2003.
Listed for its architectural interest as a medieval church well restored in the C19, with good interior detail. Medieval church; 80% medieval core fabric.[1]

St Ishmael church is situated on the narrow unnamed coastal road between Kidwelly and Ferryside, overlooking Carmarthen bay to the west and with views of Laugharne and Llansteffan beach in the distance. The church is sitting above the road on a steep hillside and most of the cemetery is fairly overgrown and difficult to maneuver around in.

The Church stands on a site that has seen Christian activity since the 6th century. It is dedicated to St Ishmael, who is believed to have been St David's nephew. The church includes a 13th century nave and chancel, 14th century transcept and 15th century north aisle. The tower is a later addition and may have been lowered at some point following storm damage. There is a sundial over the entrance dated 1725. There is an underfloor void. There are marked burials, and burial vaults?, beneath the north chapel. External memorials lie significantly close to the south and west walls.[2][3]

St Ishmael's was a parish church in the medieval period, belonging to the Deanery of Kidwelly, and was first mentioned in documents of 1115. At this time it was granted to Sherborne abbey in Dorset, of which the Benedictine St Mary's Priory at Kidwelly was a cell. The grant was confirmed in 1303 (although it is thought that the church had also been granted to Gloucester Cathedral in 1141). The advowson was granted to the Bishop of St Davids in 1368 by John of Gaunt (Duke of Lancaster). After the dissolution it is thought that the advowson fell to the Crown. In 1609 the vicarage was in the tenure of Oliver Godfrey. In 1833 the living was a discharged vicarage in the patronage of the king. In 1998 the church was a parish church belonging to the Rural Deanery of Cydweli. The remains of a deserted medieval settlement are buried in sand dunes on the edge of the foreshore, 400m south-west of the church. The Old Vicarge is located some 40m south of the churchyard. The original Vicarage was a much larger, six-bayed eighteenth century building, considered the finest in the county. however, it was destroyed by a stray bomb in 1940, which also reportedly left scars on the church.[4]

For burials at St Ishmael, with individual person profiles, see:

Vicars of St Ishmael:
John Delves 1488
Owain ap Gwalter 1488
Richard Stenynge 1497
Thomas Ewen 1897
David William Bywen 1560
David Harry 1560 - 1593
David Jenkins, BA 1593 - 1613
Roger Collins, BA 1613 - 1641
John Collins, BA 1641 - 1686
David Morgan, BA 1686 - 1735
John Harris, MA 1735 - 1766
Miles Basset, BA 1766 - 1813
William Gwynne Davies, MA 1814 - 1816
John Griffiths, MA 1816 - 1830
Thomas Bevan Gwyn,MA 1830 - 1855
Owen Jones, MA 1855 - 1877
David Owen James, MA 1877 - 1879
Richard John James, BA 1880 - 1929
Edwin Philip Davies, BA 1929 - 1947
Sidney Rees, BA 1947 - 1965
Charles W B Jones, BA 1966 - 1981
Philip Leonard Felton, BA, BD1982 - 1989
Richard Thomas, RN rtd 1989 - 1993
Father Richard Jenkins Dip th DPS 1993 - 2009
Rev. Sian Wight, BEd, BTh 2010 -

[FILM about St Ishmael's church]



Edwards, T. Hanes y Bedyddwr yn Salem, Glanyfferi o'u Dechreuad hyd 1890 (History of the Baptists at Salem, Ferryside from its Beginning until 1890). Aberdare, Jenkin Howell (1891). [LDS 994004]

[Dyfed FHS] have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site.

Parish registers: Christenings (1560-1946), Marriages (1561-1920), Banns (1929-71) and Burials (1560-1969) are at the Carmarthen Record Office

Facsimile Parish registers: Christenings, Marriages and Burials (1560-1761) are at the [National Library of Wales]

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1671-2, 1675, 1677-9, 1681-4, 1686-7, 1690, 1693-4, 1696-9, 1701-3, 1707-8, 1710-11, 1713, 1716-58, 1760-1800, 1802-40, 1842-6, 1848-50, 1853-5, 1879) are at [National Library of Wales]

Marriage index see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 16 - Kidwelly Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989).

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