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Church of St. Cwyfan

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llandyrnog, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1864 / 53°11'10"N

Longitude: -3.3179 / 3°19'4"W

OS Eastings: 312033

OS Northings: 366287

OS Grid: SJ120662

Mapcode National: GBR 6R.3BJV

Mapcode Global: WH773.05BL

Entry Name: Church of St. Cwyfan

Listing Date: 19 July 1966

Last Amended: 22 October 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 749

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a square churchyard 1.5 km north-east of St Tyrnog's Church. Stone churchyard wall with iron gate at south; modern copy of stocks in an enclosure with iron railings beside the gate; formerly a vill

County: Denbighshire

Community: Llandyrnog

Locality: Llangwyfan

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Llandyrnog

History

The dedication to St Cwyfan, a C7 follower of St Beuno, implies an ancient church site; its location on the ancient pilgrim route to Holywell may also indicate early foundation. A church of Langeifin is mentioned in 1254. Foundations of an earlier mediaeval building have been observed beneath the north wall, but the present church is of the C15. The names of rectors are recorded from the start of the C15. One window is dated 1684 and the porch is dated 1714. the church is about 4 m by 15 m internally, reputed to be the smallest in the Vale of Clwyd.

It is unusual in having escaped significant Victorian restoration. A west gallery was removed and a north vestry was added in the late C19. The curch was restored in 1997.

Exterior

A single-nave church in New Red Sandstone with some repairs in Carboniferous sandstone, with roughcast render and a slate roof. There are a south porch and a north vestry in similar materials. The roofs (apart from the vestry) have coped gables, with a finial cross to the east and over the porch and a single bellcote to the west containing a bell dated 1665 (and remnant of a mass clock).

The east window is of 2 lights, square headed, with simple debased Perpendicular tracery and a label mould with head stops, one damaged. In the south side there is a small single light window with foliated head lighting the chancel and a small 2 light window with segmental heads to the nave. On the north side there are similar windows to the chancel and nave respectively, with a buttress between; shutter hinge pins remain. The nave window carries the date 1684 / IM (for the Maddocks family). In the west wall there is a 2-centred arched doorway converted to a window and a circular light above.

The porch has a broad round headed outer arch and small circular side windows. Above the outer arch is a datestone marked Cadwalader Edwards / Tho. ap Hugh / Churchwardens / Ao Dni 1714. On the jamb of the inner doorway there is a consecration cross.

The vestry at north has a pointed window. There is a lean-to boiler-house shed in the north west angle.

Interior

The church is entred by the south poch; modern doors in the outer arch; slate flagged floor; pointed inner doorway with slight ovolo moulding. Benches against wall.

The interior has a plastered barrel ceiling above a simple cornice. The floor is of slate. Box pews of moderate height each side, with taller wall panelling extending forward into the chancel. The pews are of uniform design with similar simple applied ornament on the doors. Restored candle brackets above. To the west of the entrance some pews have been adapted, one to house an organ, the other as seating around the font. The font is C19 but unusual, with Biblical scenes and cherub heads embossed all round; it is placed centrally under the west window. Parish chest at left, commemoratively dated DDTI / hujus ecclesiae rector / 1734 (Thomas Jones then rector).

The windows all have simple applied timber architraves with segmental heads following the line of the inside arches.

The chancel is marked only by a step; it is carpeted, but there is said to be a grave slab of 1642; pentagonal pulpit to the left including fretwork carving; its angle ribs are turned, with a 3-ring detail found also on the standards of the Communion rails. The latter are strengthened by steel brackets and there is a gate. The sanctuary floor is said to be tiled.

The east window has the only stained glass, by Alexander Gibbs, dated 1853 and commemorating Edward Blundell Williams: Christ with little children and the Good Shepherd.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at Grade II* as a small mediaeval country church untouched by Victorian restorers, retaining its C18/early C19 character, including box pews.

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