The oldest surviving parts of the St Mary's Church are the chancel and transept, dating to the 14th century. The nave, aisles and porch are 15th century, with the tower dating from about 1500. The tower has angle buttresses, uncommon in Pembrokeshire, and in 1842 was noted as having turrets (pinnacles) and a spire. The pinnacles were removed in the 19th century and the spire in the 20th century. A number of other alterations, externally and internally, were made during the 19th century, including to roofing and windows.

In the chancel are the tombs of Sir Nicholas de Carew (died 1311, who built the Edwardian castle) and Sir John and Elizabeth Carew. There are memorials to members of the Allen and other leading families. The west window is an 1857 Crimea memorial.

Old Mortuary Chapel

Old Mortuary Chapel is a medieval Grade I listed building in St Mary's churchyard. The building has two storeys under a slate roof, is oriented east–west, and is built from limestone rubble. It is accessed by external steps. It has a vaulted undercroft.

There is an exterior monument to John Relly, an early Calvinist Methodist leader who died in 1777.

The undercroft dates from the 14th or 15th century, and may have been an ossiary. In 1625 the building was referred to as a schoolhouse, and was used for this purpose until 1872. The building may have been used as a mortuary chapel, and is known by that name. After 1872, the building, which has a large blocked-up window, was used as a committee room, store and as a residence, housing paupers as late as about 1840. Its current use is as a parish meeting room and Sunday School.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Hannah Palmer (17 months ago)
Jim Turnbull (2 years ago)
Intrigued to follow up on a family connection from late 1700's , amazing treasure found tucked away down a dead end road that we would not normally have explored.
Tracy Beynon (2 years ago)
Nige Jones (2 years ago)
Stayed in cottage nearby so church was part of the view. Pretty and quiet little place
Bivolaru Catalin (4 years ago)
A serenity place
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Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.