Building » Narberth – Immaculate Conception

Narberth – Immaculate Conception

Church Street, Narberth, SA67 7BH

A modest Gothic Revival building of ecclesiastical character but built as a National School from designs by Thomas David of Laugharne. After serving various other secular uses, it was purchased and converted for use as a Catholic church in 1981. The main interior space has a handsome open timber roof, while the exterior makes a positive contribution to the local conservation area.

Before 1980, Mass was said in a variety of different locations in Narberth, catering to a small Catholic population. In 1980 the present building was purchased. It was originally built in 1869 as a National School, but in the twentieth century served a variety of secular uses including a toy factory and a storage facility for a local auction room. It was converted and refurbished for its new use and a small addition was built at the rear t0 provide a parish hall. The church opened in 1981. It is served from Haverfordwest (qv).


The building is not orientated; the liturgical east end is more or less to the north. All directions in the following description are liturgical.

The building is in a simple Gothic style. Although originally built as a school, the plan of the building follows a conventional ecclesiastical pattern with a ‘nave’ which was presumably the school room and a lower ‘chancel or sanctuary’ which may have been the schoolmaster’s office and was probably a separate space. Both sections have pitched roofs. The walls are of squared random stonework with a chamfered plinth, corner quoins, window surrounds, kneelers and copings of ashlar. Both roofs are covered in concrete tiles. The west end wall has three stepped lancet lights with trefoiled heads and a substantial stone bellcote at the head of the gable with a corbel table and a stepped tapering apex. The south side wall has a pointed entrance door at the west end with an insubstantial modern canopy and two large modern rectangular openings with uPVC windows. The north wall has three window openings of similar type and the sanctuary has one rectangular modern window on the north side and a larger window of the same shape in the east end wall. Attached to the southeast corner of the sanctuary is a single-storey modern addition with roughcast walls and a pitched roof covered in concrete tiles.

The interior of the nave has plain plastered walls, clear glazed windows and a handsome open timber roof with arch-braces to the collars of the main trusses which have alternate raking struts and scissor-bracing. A wide opening with plain jambs and a pointed chamfered head leads into the sanctuary which is raised two steps above the nave and has a less elaborate open timber roof and clear glazing. The furnishings are simple, with timber sanctuary furniture and plain timber benches in the nave.

Heritage Details

Architect: Thomas David

Original Date: 1869

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed