St Nicholas & St John Church

Pembroke, United Kingdom

The Church of St Nicholas & St John medieval origins link it to Monkton Priory, founded in the 11th century.

The site on which this church now stands was a Celtic Christian community before the coming of the Normans. The precise date of the foundation of this former priory church is not known, but in 1098 a church of St Nicholas was founded within Pembroke Castle. As the precursor to the present castle may have been at Monkton Priory, this may be the foundation date. The comprehensive priory site, of which this church was a part, is described on the Royal Commission's online database Coflein. The priory continued until 1532, when the monasteries were dissolved. The nave of the priory church was retained as the parish church of Monkton; the rest fell into ruin, with part even being used as a tennis court.

In the 19th century, mostly under the Rev. D. Bowen, vicar from 1877 to 1926, there were major repairs and restoration by local artisans, with new fittings and sympathetic re-use of much older fixtures. Fragments of frescoes were found to be beyond repair, but at the end of the century, mural paintings were added. The restoration completed in 1895 was comprehensively reported in The Welshman.


The part-Norman church has an uncharacteristically long nave as a result of changes in function and structure over the centuries. It is built from rubble stone which was probably rendered as traces of render remain. The roofs are slate. There are numerous windows and doors of varying design and age, and much alteration, including signs that there had been an upper floor. Some parts are buttressed. The tall tower has an embattled parapet and projecting stair tower. There are bell-lights, eight bells of date 1897, and a 1907 clock.

Internally, the vaulting may have been added. The font is 1882 on a 13th century base. The pulpit and lectern are late 19th century. The 1887 organ is by Wade & Meggitt of Tenby. The stained glass is 19th and 20th century. Windows, doors and other structural, functional and decorative features, variously dating from the 12th and all the subsequent centuries, are described in detail in the Cadw listing.

There are many memorials and some tombs from the 15th century onwards and some unidentifiable, probably earlier effigies. A World War I memorial plaque lists the names of 27 killed.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anna Glenister (5 years ago)
Beautiful place
Angela Marston-Halifax (5 years ago)
Lovely church with an ancient history. Services every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Graham Martin (6 years ago)
lovely old mediaeval church
TruthCariad Baxter (7 years ago)
This church has been closed for year's
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