Building » Haverfordwest – St David and St Patrick

Haverfordwest – St David and St Patrick

Fountain Row, Haverfordwest, SA61 1SX

A small Gothic Revival church built in 1872 to the designs of Richard Williams of Carmarthen, making a modest but positive contribution to the Haverfordwest Conservation Area. A large extension was added to the south side of the church in about 1960 to accommodate a growing congregation, and is not of special interest.

At the time it was built this was the nearest church to the shrine of St David, and to the spot from which St Patrick set sail to convert Ireland; hence, according to The Menevia Record, the dedication to Saint David and St Patrick. The church was built in 1872 from designs by Richard Williams of Carmarthen (builder John Davies of Haverfordwest). The mission flourished at first but languished somewhat after 1903 when the resident priest moved to Milford Haven. The interior was refurbished in about 1905 when, according to the list description, the roof was match-boarded and a new tabernacle was installed. In 1932 Haverfordwest became a separate parish with its own priest, Fr Mostyn, who built the present presbytery. After the Second World War the Catholic population of the area increased and Mass centres at Neyland (now demolished) and Narberth (qv) were brought under the parish’s care.

By the mid-1950s the church was too small for increased regular congregation and in 1956 permission was obtained for a substantial extension on its south side, which was built in 1960. More recently a lobby has been added to the extension to provide a new entrance to the church and some ancillary accommodation.


See list description below (which only covers the 1872 building).

The church is not orientated; the liturgical east end faces towards the west. All directions in the following description are liturgical.

The present church is an accretive building. The original church of 1872 is thirteenth century gothic in style and comprises a nave and sanctuary with a west porch. This part of the church is built of squared random stone with corner quoins and has pitched roofs with bargeboards and coverings of Welsh slate. At the east end on the south side is a large rectangular addition abutting the nave and sanctuary which is modern and functional in style, with rendered walls and a shallow-pitched felt roof at right angles to the old church. On the east side of the addition is a modern narthex built of red brick with a central entrance.

The west end of the old church has a projecting porch under a pitched roof, with a chamfered pointed doorway with a blind trefoil over. Above this is a west window of three lights with three oculi set in plate tracery, and above this a gabled bellcote housing one bell. The side walls are largely hidden by adjacent buildings but have four lancet windows on the north side and three on the south side. The south side of the 1960s extension has three vertical lights and five small rectangular windows high in the wall.

Internally, the old church has plain plastered walls and an open timber roof with braced collars which support king posts with raking struts. At the west end is a painted timber organ gallery with a projecting organ case (1974). The pointed arch to the sanctuary has jamb shafts with ring capitals; the shafts are carried up above the capitals as arch mouldings. The sanctuary has a similar roof to the nave. Apart from a crucifix on the east wall, the sanctuary furnishings appear to be modern. The lancet windows in the nave have figures of saints in stained glass set in plain quarries. The nave bench seating probably dates from the early twentieth century.

A straight-headed modern opening through the south wall of the nave and a similar but much wider opening through the south wall of the chancel lead to the 1960s extension, which is a large rectangular space with a wood parquet floor, plain plastered walls and a flat plastered ceiling. Low down in the centre of the south wall is a rectangular opening glazed with coloured glass blocks which forms the backdrop to a railed baptistery area with an octagonal stone font. Above the baptistery are five small windows filled with figurative stained glass of baptism, crucifixion and other subjects by Rachel Phillips, installed in 2007. There are also several modern decorative slate tablets. The timber bench seating probably dates from the 1960s.

List Description

Reference Number: 12069
Grade: II  
Date of Designation: 01/07/1974  
Date of Amendment: 30/11/2005  
Name of Property: Roman Catholic Church of Saint David and Saint Patrick Unitary Authority: Pembrokeshire  
Community: Haverfordwest  
Town: Haverfordwest   
Easting: 195011  
Northing: 215293  
Street Side: NW  
Location: Situated towards upper end of street, set back between Nos 63 and 67.  

History: Roman Catholic church of 1871-2 by Richard Williams of Carmarthen. Interior altered 1905. The church replaced a cottage on the site used by the church. John Davies of Haverfordwest was the builder and it cost £700. The altar and candlesticks and possibly the Stations of the Cross were given by Lady Herbert of Llanarth Court, Mon. In 1905 the roof was matchboarded, and a new tabernacle was added.  

Exterior: Roman Catholic church of stone rubble with Bath stone dressings and slate roofs. Gable end and gabled porch facing street, with moulded bargeboards, Bath stone bellcote with single pointed opening and cross-gabled top. Bath stone quoins and flush main window with pointed head, 3 lancet lights and 3 roundels over. Stone voussoirs. Porch has chamfered pointed doorway, double boarded doors with ornate hinges, and blind trefoiled roundel in apex. Small single window to each side wall. Right side wall has lancet windows, left side obscured. Nave end gable has bargeboards and cross finial, and short lower chancel is similar.  

Interior: Nave and small sanctuary with triple-shafted arch. Rear gallery.  

Reason for designation: Included for its special interest as a small Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church.

Heritage Details

Architect: Richard Williams

Original Date: 1872

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II