History

Brief History

The Church, financed by the Nevill family, was built by R.K.Penson and completed in 1857. The consecration was on Trinity Sunday 1858.

The Church is cruciform with a tower at the crossing and has beautiful  stained glass windows including three in memory  of the Nevill family.

In 1879 Holy Trinity became Felinfoel Parish Church,

In the 1960s the roof was completely renovated when the original stone spire was replaced by green cooper, giving a unique appearance.

The graveyard was extended in the 1990s when the site of the former garden of the National School was consecrated for a burial plot.

The Lych Gate was restored in 1998.

The Church is Grade 2 listed.

Early Days

Holy Trinity Church – Felinfoel

Holy Trinity Church is prominently sited in the village of Felinfoel.

FELINFOEL, Holy Trinity (1856-1858)   Carmarthenshire
Parish of  LLANELLY, St. Elli, St. David’s diocese
ICBS 04952
Grant Reason: New Church     Outcome: ApprovedProfessionals
PENSON, Richard Kyrke: b. c.1815 – d. 1885 of Chester (Architect)Minutes: Volume 15 page 209, Volume 16 pages 37,73

No plan exists in the archive

The Church is surrounded on all sides with a rubble boundary wall and is approached through a Gothic style timber lych gate which features a tiled roof and steel gates.

It has a large graveyard to the south and a Celtic cross granite war memorial in the churchyard.

History

Felinfoel church was built largely at the expense of the Nevill family and local employers. It was designed by R K Penson, the County Surveyor, and is a leading work by a well-known mid-nineteenth century architect. The church was designed for 350 persons and completed in 1857. It was consecrated by Bishop Thirlwall in January 1858. At first, it was a chapel-of-ease under Llanelli, served by a curate, but in 1878 the curate, the Revd J W Roberts, applied to constitute Felinfoel as a parish and in the following year he became the first vicar.

 

Interior

The interior has an aisle-less nave furnished with two ranges of simply carved pine pews Many notable features include the tall ashlars, a roof with five bays supported on arch-braced, high-collar-beam trusses with V-struts above the collars, purlins and rafters which are exposed and brace-feet supported on corbels. The walls have painted friezes, also, the head of each side wall has a painted decorative frieze. A simple, two-order chamfered arch, of full width without imposts, leads to the crossing. The transepts are short, in one structural bay; they have similar arches to the crossing but with octagonal imposts. The crossing is high and very light. It has two arch-braced beams supporting the bell chamber and spire which has a boarded pine ceiling with a central bell hatch. The chancel arch which is decorated with a painted verse is slightly lower and narrower, consisting of two orders, carried on clustered colonnettes. The chancel is short and wide with a three bay roof supported on arch-braced collar beam trusses with V struts above. The chancel floor is of mosaic with large tesserae. The choir-stalls and altar rails have carved openwork fronts. The altar is oak with linenfold carving and the reredos has an openwork top with a dedicatory inscription. On the north side the organ and vestry, with double-barrel timber ceiling, are situated. A carved and painted stone pulpit stands to the left of the chancel arch and an octagonal font on four colonnettes to the west of the nave.
The windows feature 19th century stained glass in the chancel, 20th century in the nave and plain glass in the transepts. One nave window is a war memorial and one is dedicated to Charles and Jane Nevill.

 

Exterior

The church was built in the mid-19th century in an early decorated style with a slightly
Germanic character. The layout is cruciform with a central tower and spire, nave, chancel, and two short transepts, the chancel roof being lower than those of the nave and transepts. To the north of the chancel is a double-gabled vestry and to the south of the nave a porch. The south-elevation fenestration of nave, transept and chancel is symmetrical.

The church is constructed of randomly coursed local sandstone with a lighter coloured stone door, window dressings and tracery and ashlar stonework in the buttresses, quoins and porch gable copings. The original pointing survives on the north, east and west sides and on the tower, but the south side has been less successfully repointed. The roofs are slightly sprocketted out at the eaves and the verges are moderately projected with soffit boarding and exposed purlin-ends. There are small cast-iron apex-crosses at E and W.

The spire is in two stages, with a weathervane. The porch has an equilateral outer arch and label moulding on mitre and crown stops. Coping to the porch gable on kneelers with stone apex wheel-cross. The nave windows are generally of trefoil-headed lancet form, with labels on block stops. There is a small, round window at high level in the west gable. The north windows lack labels. One of the south windows in the nave and also one in the chancel are of quasi-traceried type, with two lights and a roundel. The east window and those of the south transept are traceried, of three lights with roundels; however there is only a single 3-light window to the north transept. The east window has additional cusping to the roundels. The tower has two trefoil-headed lancet windows at high level on each face. There are louvred belfry openings in the lower stage of the spire.

The church has undergone a great deal of restoration including re-roofing and the cladding of the spire in copper. Before this the middle stage of the spire in timber was visible, with louvres and five trefoils on each face. It appears the upper stage of the spire was originally shingled, the lower stage clad in slates.