The settlement at Jordanston lies on the ridge of land that separates the valley of two streams: the Cleddau Wen and the upper reaches of the Western Cleddau. The recent discovery of a pair of standing stones near to the church car park is evidence that this was a site of some significance even in prehistoric times. Set in this rich historical landscape lies the quaint little church of Jordanston, also known as St Cwrda’s.
The first written reference to the church was in 1291, but of this medieval structure nothing survives except for the font, as the building has been repaired and restored on several occasions. A major rebuilding took place in 1797 and no earlier fabric was retained. There was another major restoration in 1863, when the tower was built, and further work in 1880 and 1883. 1910 saw another restoration, but this work was largely superficial.
In recent years, with a leaking roof and other problems, it had become apparent that major restoration work was urgently required. Following an enormous fund-raising effort, this was undertaken during the course of 2012, the church reopening in August of that year. You are always welcome at St Cwrda’s, either as a worshipper or simply as a visitor to Pembrokeshire.
- The standing stones referred to above appear to be a dolerite of the type known as ‘Preseli bluestone’, pipes of which also occurs in the Fishguard volcanic suite on Pencaer and Strumble Head. They may date from Neolithic times, around 3000 BC.
- A number of tumuli or burial chambers have been identified in the area in a field at the Jordanston crossroads and a Bronze Age axe was found at Tredafydd, a nearby farm. Settlement density was on the increase in later prehistoric times and there are a number of Iron Age farm enclosures in the vicinity.
- The name Jordanston: in 1291, it is recorded as ‘’Ecclesia de Villa Jordahi’ (which is probably a misreading of ‘Jordani’). In 1324, in the Inq. post mortem of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, it is described as ‘Jurdanestoun’. In 1543, listing monies collected for the defence of Christendom against the Turk, 5d was collected in ‘Jordenston’, while in 1786 it is described as the rectory of ‘Jordanston alias Tre Jordan’.
- It is clear from the numerous plaques to be found within the church, that Jordanston was very much a gentry church. The Vaughan family originated in Radnorshire, their connection with Jordanston commencing when John Vaughan married Matilda, in the mid seventeenth century, thereby inheriting the Jordanston estate which had been held by the Gwynn’s since the mid sixteenth century. The Vaughans remained at Jordanston for almost two hundred years. By the end of the nineteenth century Jordanston was most associated with the Mathias family. A branch of the family lived there from the 1880s, remaining there until 1987 when the house was sold, although they still retain an interest in the parish.
- There is also a Lloyd George connection, the George family originating in North Pembrokeshire. By the nineteenth century, the immediate antecedents of David Lloyd George were settled at Trecoed in Jordanston parish and a number of his close family are buried in the churchyard. Though the prime minister was born in Manchester, his family retained a close link with the county. David Lloyd George’s brother, William, married a cousin in Fishguard, while the prime minister’s son, Major Gwilym Lloyd George, was the county MP for many years, eventually becoming Viscount Tenby.
- Jordanston Church has its own dedicated website at jordanstonchurch.org.uk.
Jordanston: Church of St Cwrda
Haverfordwest, SA62 5UN