Thursday, 22 April 2010

Charles F.Shepherd St Elidyr A Historical Note

Extracts from - St Elidyr Crunwere – A Historical Note

by Charles F.Shepherd, published 1933, reprinted 1988
Mr Shepherd published the only booklet on Crunwere parish until the History Society was formed in 1999.

Crunwere Church
‘The book of Llan Dav* has two references to this parish, which was called in olden days Llancronwern, and from the evidence its proper name should doubtless be Cronwern. In this book, too, is to be found the earliest extant notice of the parish. It mentions a stream, the ‘Rhath’, which flows near the church and forms the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire….The stream is shown on Professor Rees’ Map of South Wales in the Fourteenth Century as Cronwern Brook.
The church is dedicated to St Elidyr. There are four churches in Pembrokeshire dedicated in honour of this saint: Crunwere, Amroth, Ludchurch and Stackpole Elidor. Fenton, in his Tours Through Pembrokeshire, states that these churcheswere founded and endowed by Sir Elidwr de Stackpool. In an early charter, mention is made of Crunwere as being given to St Teilo of Llandaff, and the Episcopal registers of 1486 give it as the parish church of St Teilo. It is quite possible, too, that Elidyr is but a scribe’s error in writing “Eliud”, which was another name for Teilo.
The church was in ruins in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was rebuilt in 1843, and restored in 1878 at a cost of £516. The tower is of the usual Pembrokeshire type. Four additional windows were added (to the church) which greatly improved the lighting.
During the restoration, the old gallery was removed, as were also the box pews.
The East window is of three parts, depicting in the centre the Crucifixion, on the left the Ascension, and on the right the Resurrection.
The chalice is Elizabethan, and is of the Amroth type, its ornamentation corresponding exactly with that of the Amroth chalice. There is the usual band of decorated strapwork round the bowl, and this enlcosed the following inscription:

Underneath the foot is roughly scratched: 8½oz
This would include the weight of the paten cover, which has been lost. The only mark is that of the makers, a provincial mark that is found on much of the church plate of Pembrokeshire. The date, according to this mark, is put at 1574-87. Besides this there is another chalice, a paten, and a flagon, al of plated metal.
The church register dates from 1725.
This rectory originally formed part of the possessions of Pembroke Priory, and afterwards was granted by the King, together with other property of that Priory, to the Abbbey of St Albans. By A.D. 1594 it had come into the hands of the Crown.

Simon Johan and Richard Portyn were presented by the King by reason of Pembroke Proiry,being in his hands on account of thewar with France. Griffin Lloid signed the abjuration of the Papal authority in 1534. He was presented to the living by the Abbot of St Albans.
From Nicholas Nicols till 1886 the living was in the gift of the Crown, when at the latter date it devolved upon the Lord Chancelor. At the Dissestablishment, itbecaome the gift of the Bishop of St Davids and the Board of Patronage.

‘The Abstract of Education Returns 1833:
…One Sunday School, consisting of 40 males and females, is supported by voluntary contributions, commenced in 1823.

Years ago the old custom of issuing bidding notices to weddings was in vogue in this parish. To-day the custom does not exist, but the interesting one of roping the bride and groom as they leave the church is still to be seen.

‘Yet the old church still stands as a witness as it did in days gone by. Round it are centred memories that will be forever green, and here will worship the descendants of those who, too, have followed in their fathers’ footsteps.’

* It is believed that the Book of Llandaff (Liber Landavensis), was written between 1120 and 1140. It is one of Wales’s earliest ecclesiastical manuscripts and is of considerable bulk, comprising 128 vellum pages. The Book is held at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, and a digitised version is on view on their website.