St Peter’s Church, Lampeter

button-theme-womenbutton-theme-evacSt Peter’s Church, Lampeter

The earliest written record of a church here dates from 1291. Many regard the current building, with its prominent tower, as one of the best examples of Victorian church architecture in the region. Built from 1868 to 1870, it was designed by Robert Jewell Withers, who hailed from Somerset and oversaw the rebuilding or improvement of many Welsh churches.

lampeter_stained_glass_window_wilhelmina_geddesSome of the monuments inside pre-date the current building. They include a memorial to Jane Lloyd, first wife of Sir Charles Lloyd of Maesyfelin, She died in 1689. Sir Charles was a local MP from 1698 to 1701.

The church is noted for its stained glass windows, particularly the large west window (pictured right, courtesy of John Oakley) by the Irish artist Wilhelmina Geddes (1887-1955). She was one of the world’s foremost stained-glass artists of her time. She had an irrational fear of celestial bodies, such as shooting stars. In 2010 one of the craters of Mercury was named in her honour!

The west window was commissioned as a memorial to Sir John Charles Harford in the 1930s but the Second World War intervened. The window was installed in 1946.

In the churchyard you can see the graves of many Polish people who settled in this area after the Second World War. Most of them had served with the Allied forces. After the conflict, many Poles chose to settle in Britain rather than return to their homeland, which had become a Communist state. This large cluster of Poles in the Lampeter area had to learn not only a new language but also new skills, such as farming.

Among those buried here is Andrzej Gdula, one of many Polish army officers sent to a Siberian gulag by the Soviet security forces at the outbreak of the war. He escaped and joined the Polish army in the Middle East. After the war he came here with his wife Maria via a resettlement camp in Essex. She had served in the Polish army in Palestine.

With thanks to Wieslaw Gdula

Postcode: SA48 7ER    View Location Map

Parish website

Details of all stained glass at St Peter’s Church - Stained Glass in Wales website