• Gower Churches

Penrice Church

Reached via a lengthy, winding and undulating lane, Penrice Church stands proud before the old village green, overlooking the rich fields of Penrice towards the distant shores of Oxwich Bay. Now silent, it is difficult to imagine that this green was once the scene of immense and often bawdy village fairs.

Dedicated to St. Andrew, the church was once owned by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, but little of this original building survives today. In a mighty storm in 1720, the building lost its entire roof. During the following restoration, a new floor and more comfortable seating were added to the church interior. More dramatic alterations were also made at this time, including enlargements to the building's windows. Further restorations in 1894 again distanced St. Andrew's from its original appearance but the church still holds a fascinating charm of its own. Whilst the church is usually kept locked outside of service times, teh church grounds themselves offer enough interest to merit a visit.

An absolutely huge and ancient yew tree grows to the side rear of the church, a poignant sentinal over those whose shorter lives have now passed. One particular life, cut short by an unknown hand, is marked near the front of the church and is known as the 'murder stone.' The grave inscription reads:

To the memory of Mary, wife of James Kavanagh of Penmaen, who was murdered by ... on the 3rd October 1829, aged 75 years

It is believed that this inspription was designed to prick the conscience of the unknown murderer and get him to confess his sins. Whether his/her identity ever came to light or a suitable punishment meted upon tem is not known.

  • Penrice Church
    Penrice Church

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