Llanddewi
Skirrid

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St David's Church, Llanddewi Skirrid

 We hope you will enjoy your visit to this beautiful small church. The building has medieval origins but was substantially restored in 1879 by Crawshay Bailey Junior. The interior has attractive brass candelabra and unusual pink granite stonework (much favoured by Crawshay Bailey Jr.) around the altar and supporting the pulpit. Outside, the windows are decorated with small stone busts of Crawshay Bailey Jr. and his family

History of St David's

Of the medieval church of St David only the tower survives. The remainder was demolished in May 1879 and rebuilt by Crawshay Bailey Jr. of Maindiff Court using local stone from a quarry near the Walnut Tree Inn . The work cost in the region of 2,000 including four new bells and a valuable new organ (see below). The architect was John Pritchard of Llandaff.

Some of the little stone heads to be seen outside, beside the windows are thought to represent members of Crawshay Bailey’s family and the one on the right of the North window of the organ room represents Crawshay Bailey himself - check the likeness with the portrait in the village hall!.

Among the surviving parts of the earlier church are the Royal Arms of Queen Victoria (on the west wall of the nave), the late medieval grave-slab (leaning against the East wall of the nave) which once covered the tomb of a priest, witness the chalice engraved, and (outside) the remnants of the old font and a churchyard preaching cross.

Crawshay Bailey laid the foundation stone (still just visible on the East chancel wall) on 23 May 1879 and the church was completed in time for its consecration on 22 January 1880. He died in 1887 and his grave, marked by an ivy-clad cross, is some 10 metres North of the organ room. After his death his two daughters erected the fine East window in his memory.

The Organ

St David’s has a fine example of a W. G. Vowles pipe organ, with ‘spotted metal’ pipes, built in 1882. It is a two manual instrument with mechanical action throughout and, we are told, one of the finest instruments in the area. It was sympathetically restored in 2001 by John Bleney of Grafton Flyford, Worcester, with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the late John Straker. Each year (late August/early September) we invite a notable organist to perform a recital to demonstrate the special qualities of the instrument., If you would like advance information about the next concert please send an e-mail to jim@llanddewiskirrid.co.uk.

Services

We meet on the second and fourth Sunday each month at 9.15am, except when there are advertised services on special Sundays such as Mothering Sunday when services are usually held in the afternoon. All are welcome to join us!

Maintenance

Maintaining a church in a very small parish with only some thirty residences is obviously very difficult. For this reason donations are an important source of revenue. Should you wish to make a donation do please accompany it with a Gift Aid declaration so that we can recover the tax on it. There are usually Gift Aid forms in the church but if not please speak to our Treasurer, Angela Bishop, on 01873 857969.

Events

If you would like information of events organised to support this church such as the annual organ concert, please e-mail whitfield@uwclub.net with St. David’s in the title line.

A Biography of St. David

St David of Wales or Dewi Sant, was a saint of the Celtic Church. He was the son of Sandde, Prince of Powys, and Non, daughter of a Chieftain of Menevia whose lands included the peninsula on which the little cathedral town of St David's now stands.

St David is thought to have been born near the present town of St David's. The ruins of a small chapel dedicated to his mother, Non, may be seen near St. David's Cathedral. David became the Abbot of St David's and died on 1st March 589 AD. An account of his life was written towards the end of the 11th century by Rhygyfarch, a monk at Llanbadarn Fawr near Aberystwyth.

Many miracles were attributed to David. One miracle often recounted is that once when Dewi was preaching to a crowd at Llanddewi Brefi those on the outer edges could not hear, so he spread a handkerchief on the ground, and stood on it to preach, whereupon the ground rose up beneath him, and all could hear.

He was buried in what is today St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. His holiness was such that medieval pilgrims said two pilgrimages to St David's were worth one pilgrimage to Rome - a great saving in journeying at that time!

Fifty churches in South Wales alone bear his name.

Collect for the Feast of St. David

God, our Father, you gave David to the Welsh Church to uphold the faith and to be an example of Christian perfection. In this changing world may he help us to hold fast to the values which bring eternal life

St. Michael’s Chapel on the Skirrid (Llanvihangel Ysgyrrd)

At the summit of Skirrid Fawr (1596 feet, 486 metres) are the foundations of a chapel once dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. Such dedications became common in Wales in the eighth century and were often associated with high places. The first recorded reference to the chapel, however, dates only from the early sixteenth century and it is possible that the chapel was constructed at this time.

In 1676 Pope Clement V granted a plenary indulgence (for a limited period of seven years) to pilgrims visiting the chapel on Michaelmas Day (29th September) and its eve. In the eighteenth century the pilgrimage declined and the chapel fell into ruin. As late as the early nineteenth century, however, pilgrims still visited the site and earth from it would be taken to sprinkle on coffins at burials. Today only its foundations and two stones marking its entrance remain.

The Skirrid was counted as the ‘Holy Mountain’ and its deformed shape, in reality the result of natural land slippage, was popularly held to be a consequence of the earthquakes at the time of Our Lord’s Crucifixion.

Somewhere on the lower slopes of the Skirrid, in the parish of Llanddewi Skirrid, formerly stood a noted holy well.

Brochure

And here's a MSWord brochure containing the above information: Welcome Brochure.doc