Stackpole Church, Churches and Chapels Stackpole, Pembrokeshire - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


Castlemartin Peninsula Stackpole Pembrokeshire Wales
Stackpole Church is situated in the village of Stackpole Elidor, otherwise known as Cheriton on the Castlemartin peninsula of Pembrokeshire, Wales. The church is dedicated to St James and St Elidyr, and goes back probably to the 12th century. | The layout of the Church is in the traditional cruciform shape, aligned East to West, with a chancel and nave flanked by two transepts.| The tall, slender tower, typical of South Pembrokeshire, is undoubtedly the oldest part of the structure, dating back probably to the 13th or late 12th century. It appears that by 1851 the state of the fabric of the Church made a complete restoration essential, and John Frederick Campbell, 1st Earl Cawdor, engaged Sir George Gilbert Scott, the most respected English church architect of the day, to direct the work of restoration.| Today it is generally agreed that the present church is the typical sound, workmanlike building that Scott produced in his renovations, with a typical tall, narrow chancel arch, colourful Minton tiles on the chancel floor and sanctuary walls, and the typical Middle English or Decorated style of tracery in the main windows. However, the transepts retain their 14th century vaulting, and the Lort chapel its rib vaulting. | In the chancel there are two striking effigies on tomb chests, traditionally identified with the founder of the Church, Sir Elidor de Stackpole and his wife, the Lady Elspeth. The style of the two effigies is considered to be considerably later than their period, but it was not uncommon for descendents to erect monuments to long dead forebears in contemporary style, as many church brasses bear witness. The legs of the knight's effigy are crossed, commonly interpreted as showing that the knight had been to the crusades. According to tradition, Sir Elidor de Stackpole went to the Crusades with Richard I.| High up over the organ on the north wall of the chancel there is a marble memorial in the Italian Gothic style to Rear Admiral the Honourable George Pryse Campbell, and in the south transept there is a memorial to Ronald Elidor Campbell.| One of the two large hatchments on the north wall of the nave is that of the first Earl Cawdor, whose arms also appear in the tiling of the chancel floor, impaled with those of his wife. The other is the arms of Sarah Mary, Countess Cawdor, wife of John Frederick Vaughan, second Earl Cawdor.| On the south side of the chancel there is a small chapel, known as the Lort Chapel, which contains a number of interesting monuments. Under the east window there is a rough pillar stone with a damaged Latin inscription, CAMULORIC -/- FILIFANNUC, Camulorix, son of Fannucus. Nothing more is known about the stone or its original location, but it may be that of an early chieftain of the district. | The most imposing tomb in the Lort Chapel is that of John first Earl Cawdor, by John Forsyth.| One of the most striking monuments in the chapel is that to Roger Lort, Lord of the Manor of Stackpole, who died in 1613. The figures of Roger Lort and his wife Abertha face each other, and underneath are depicted their seven sons and five daughters, all in deep mourning.
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