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Church of St Foddhyd

A Grade II* Listed Building in Clocaenog, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.0774 / 53°4'38"N

Longitude: -3.372 / 3°22'19"W

OS Eastings: 308188

OS Northings: 354229

OS Grid: SJ081542

Mapcode National: GBR 6P.B3DW

Mapcode Global: WH77G.5XK6

Entry Name: Church of St Foddhyd

Listing Date: 19 July 1966

Last Amended: 12 January 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 723

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: At the west side of the village of Clocaenog. Square churchyard with stone wall to front and to east side overlooking lower ground.

County: Denbighshire

Town: Ruthin

Community: Clocaenog

Community: Clocaenog

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Clocaenog

History

The parish church of Clocaenog is dedicated either to St Trillo or St Foddhyd, the latter now favoured; other forms of the latter name are St Medwide or St Meddwyd. The earliest documentary references to a church here are late C13, and whilst the fabric of the church may be earlier, the earliest dateable detail is late mediaeval. Glynne's cautious reference to a Decorated window in the chancel may suggest that prior to the C19 restoration, earlier mediaeval features had survived.
Amongst the late mediaeval features are the east window, the roof and the rood screen. The glass or the tracery of the east window dates from 1538, according to a reference to the cost given in the oldest register, quoting an inscription (no longer extant). The panelling of the present altar rails may survive from the rood loft.
The church underwent two C19 restorations, the first by Kennedy in 1856-7 at a cost of £400 and the other in 1882 at a cost of £700, the latter restoration including the building of the present porch. A board in the church records a £75 grant for reseating given by the ICBS, probably in the course of one of these restorations. Mediaeval frescoes were discovered on the chancel walls during the second C19 restoration of the church, one figure being a shaven male with breastplate, another a bearded bishop; on the north wall a coat of arms featuring a lion was described; but they were not preserved and no more detailed record survives.

Exterior

A restored late mediaeval church, without exterior differentiation of nave and chancel, in uncoursed mixed local stonework with larger stones at quoins and some very large stones low in the walls. There is a slight plinth at east and west, with projecting stones at the foot of the corners at the west. The roof is of slate with a tile ridge and coped gables. A finial at the east apex is missing. There is an open bellcote above the west gable with a shallow pitched coping, surmounted by an iron weathervane; it has a semicircular head to its opening facing west and a decoratively carved stone arch, but no corresponding carving to the east.
The east window is the only remaining original one, of the Perpendicular period, in five lights, the jambs in red sandstone and the arch and tracery in a yellow stone. The transom is just above the springing line. The north window of the chancel is in two lights with tracery, restored but in an original aperture. The chancel south window is of three circular headed lights. The four nave windows are each of two lights with trefoiled heads. The north doorway has a single chamfered four-centred arch. The south doorway is protected by a late C19 timber-framed porch on low plinth walls, open fronted, with six leaded lights each side; slate roof with red crest tile ridge. Both north and south doors are of oak with wrought iron hinges.
In the churchyard there are numerous chest tombs and some obelisks. The lychgate displays the date 1691 on its roof apex. There are also a war memorial and a sundial, separately listed.

Interior

A broad interior without aisles, the nave and chancel structurally in one and with no step at the screen. The late mediaeval roof is in nine bays with arch braced collars and trefoils and a quatrefoil above the collar, cusped braces to the purlins, the timbers more decoratively detailed at the east end. The mediaeval rood screen survives as the dominant feature of the interior. It has double running bands of vine leaves in the frieze facing the nave, single on the side facing the chancel. The lights are five at each side with a double width opening at centre, the latter with a four-centred tracery arch. In the heads of the lights there is miniature tracery. The mid-rail is plain and there are pierced panels beneath. A board affixed on the east side records the initials and date WB SB 1692, and probably refers to some alteration in the chancel. The rood loft does not survive, but the altar rails are a full width set of panels carved in tracery which may have been taken from a rood loft; however, Glynne, visiting in 1855, made no mention of them.
Part of the nave is partitioned off as a vestry. Plain mid C19 pews throughout and similar choir stalls in chancel. To the right of the nave is a pulpit marked and dated WR IH 1695, with steps in timber. At the west of the nave is an octagonal font, perhaps C15, the foot restored. At the centre of the nave is a wooden chandelier, with the letters S T K R and the date 1725, hanging by a chain. The top detail grasping the chain and the corresponding bottom pendant are serpents' heads, the latter grasping an apple. This was removed from the vestry in the C20. Large oak dugout parish chest with wrought ironmongery.
The stained glass includes a large quantity of finely coloured mixed glass in the upper lights of the east window, perhaps dated 1538. The south window of the chancel is in memory of the wife of the Rev. T Hughes, 1865: strongly coloured glass with dominant reds and blues, by Holland of Warwick, showing the Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John.
At the north of the chancel are three plaques, including one to the Rev. Thomas Roberts, rector and also chief master of Ruthin school [1796]: oval marble on a grey ground; small urn above, fan below. On the north wall of the nave, within the vestry, is an Elizabethan wooden wall monument to Evan Lloyd ap Rice of Derwen Hall, Gwen his wife [1576] and later descendants, in a frame painted with repeated skulls and crossed bones. At the head is the line 'Glory be to God on High'. The monument is surmounted by a hatchment.
The Royal Arms of the period 1801-37, two boards recording benefactions to the poor written in Welsh and in English (1788) and an ICBS grant notice are on the west wall.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at II* as a good late mediaeval parish church which has escaped excessive C19 restoration and which retains interior carpentry features of a high quality.

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