The church that time forgot.
Over a craggy stone stile, St Andrew’s, Bayvil is hidden by bracken, primroses, cowslips, and bluebells and heralded by chiffchaffs and willow warblers. Overlooking beautiful Newport Bay, this single cell church survives almost entirely as the Georgians left it.
But St Andrew’s is a bit of an enigma. Nobody is quite sure when it was built or by whom. From the outside, it is a simple stone box. The Gothick windows are the only hint of what may lie inside… Lifting the latch on the bead-and-butt west door, an interior “of delightful and luminous simplicity” is revealed.
A complete set of box pews lines the south wall. A crenelated vestry enclosure takes up the northwest corner. But the chief joy is the triple-decker painted and panelled pulpit, reading desk, and clerk’s desk - the former so tall it almost touches the ceiling with its sounding board.
The woodwork is painted in a distinctive late Georgian scheme, which we have not re-painted or retouched – just gently washed.
In 1828 the church was described as being in “tolerable repair” and “tolerably furnished with all things convenient for the country church”. This is frustratingly vague! Could this be before the Georgian restoration? Or after?
We do know that, between 1813 and 1828 it was served by a non-resident minister, who was the vicar at several South Pembrokeshire churches, but who, in fact, lived at Emsworth, Hampshire!! St Andrew’s will continue to keep its secrets for now. One of the great pleasures of our parish churches is their mystery … how gradually, over time, they reveal clues to their past lives.
Special shout out to @seionchurchmaintenance
who is here today doing some essential repairs. ❤️ #history #architecture #georgianchurch #pembrokeshire #eglwys #church #georgian #pews #boxpews #original #timeforgot #leftbehind #history #timemachine #timecapsule #chapel #heritage #wales #bracken #pulpit #chiffchaff #golden #historicinterior #old #church_masters #churchinteriors #friendsoffriendlesschurches #savingchurches