...we wend our way to LLANCYNFELIN church, which stands delightfully, overlooking and quite on the edge of the immense Gors Fochno. The parish is noted as having given birth to Deio ab Jevan Du, a poet who flourished in the fifteenth century.
Cynfelin is a fortunate saint so far as this parish is concerned, in that one transept of his earlier church still stands, having been incorporated with the present building, when it was erected in 1845. Hard by the church is Gwynfryn, the home of Mrs Basil Jones, widow of that cultured antiquary and faithful minister of God, the late Bishop of St.Davids, Wm. Basil Jones, of whom all that can die lies in this churchyard. To his educated conservatism we owe it that divers ancient features, in certain churches restored during his episcopacy, were so sacredly "restored" e.g. the roof at Llanilar. To this, his native parish in particular, he gave his first love and care. In the church was once "an ancient carved screen", of which a small portion of the carved wood cornice still remains in the vestry. This, as is well known, Bishop Basil Jones intended to incorporate in a screen he was about to re-erect here, but his Translation stayed his hand. Is it too much to hope that yet the work may be accomplished, and that as a memorial to one whose family and name are so closely linked with this spot?
Judging from the rough-hewn oaken beams of the transept, the former church, noted by Meyrick as having "a porch with an ancient pointed arch", must have been of great antiquity. Would that some painting or engraving of it might reveal itself! The candelabrum was swung from the roof by two great iron chains, one yet remains; the other, so 'tis said, was "taken by farmers to haul timber and never returned." The octagonal stone font is fortunately still here; on it can be faintly discerned:-
with possibly the year 1627 after it. All that is needed is a careful resetting of this venerable treasure. On the south wall are a brass memorial to the wife of Wm. Cobb Gilbertson, their family vault being under the old transept; and a simple marble inscribed:-
The roof is a particularly fine one, and worthy of attention.
The greatest treasure most assuredly is the silver cup, unlike in shape and workmanship any other in the county. It consists of a full bell, with stem, knop and circular footl and stands 5¾ inches tall. On the bell is pounced:-
The last two figures are worn away, they are said to have been 27, thus making the year of gift 1627. At present I doubt this being the date, and the assay letters are too worn to help us to a correct solution. In 1627 the only Pryse bearing the Christian name of Thomas, was "of Gray's Inn, 1622," and not a baronet. I rather fancy it refers to Sir Thomas son of the first baronet, Sir Richard Pryse, who received the honour on 9th August, 1641. If this assumption be correct, it would date the gift in the latter half of the seventeenth century; a period to which the cup evidently belongs. Twice has it been carefully mended, once by Bishop Basil Jones, and again by his widow. Another silver cup, 9¾ inches tall, is that known as the "Gilbertson Cup". It is inscribed on the bell:-
Accompanying it is a silver paten, 7½ inches tall, on a plain foot and stem, 5½ inches tall. It bears a similar inscription, but with the date of a year later, viz.,
The alms bason was the gift of:-
There is likewise a modern glass flagon.