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Church of St Sannan

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llansannan, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.1795 / 53°10'46"N

Longitude: -3.5964 / 3°35'47"W

OS Eastings: 293407

OS Northings: 365900

OS Grid: SH934659

Mapcode National: GBR 6D.3NW0

Mapcode Global: WH65T.QBMW

Entry Name: Church of St Sannan

Listing Date: 30 January 1968

Last Amended: 21 July 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 212

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Within an irregularly shaped churchyard, set back from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.

County: Conwy

Town: Denbigh

Community: Llansannan

Community: Llansannan

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Medieval church; built on the present site from C13, and partly rebuilt in 1778. In 1879 the church was extensively restored (possibly by R. Lloyd Williams), at a cost of £1000, half the expense being met by the Wynne Yorke family of Dyffryn Aled. Part of the restoration involved re-roofing, the early illustrations suggest that the C18 church had a mansard roof which was replaced with a double pitch with bellcote, the porch also added at this time. It is said that the oak woodwork of the interior was removed during the restoration and used in houses throughout the village, being replaced by the present pitch pine woodwork.


Medieval double-naved church in austere Decorated style. Built of local rubble masonry (probably substantially medieval), with large stones as quoins and freestone dressings to late C19 windows. Double slate roof with stone copings and single gable ashlar bellcote centrally placed between naves at W end and surmounted by an ornate cross. Late C19 pitched roofed porch to S and modern lean-to addition at NW corner. Naves are of 4 bays each, with the S porch offset to the left (W) end. There was originally a doorway at the S end of the W wall, this was partly filled in (probably during the late C19 restoration) and a window inserted in its place; other windows were inserted and all windows were replaced (the window to the right (NE) of the porch retains the original shape). The window directly right (E) of the porch is a single, round-headed light, the only window to retain the same shape and style as its C18 predecessor. All other nave windows have plate-traceried, paired lights with roundels and are in irregularly shaped frames, some of which are set into the former round-headed openings. The W gable windows are foiled; richer tracery to the E windows, the S window with trefoil-headed lights under a cusped traceried quatrefoil light, the N window a central cinquefoil-headed light flanked by trefoil-headed lights under multifoil lights. The S porch is built of local rubble masonry, the front walls of roughly dressed and coursed sandstone and limestone, and with bevelled limestone capping; the top part is of timber, a simple open framework with cusped brackets, supporting a slate roof. The entrance to the church is a pointed-arched doorway, chamfered to the upper part; the door is boarded with huge, ornate strap hinges.

The churchyard contains C18 and C19 gravestones, including some simply decorated slate chest tombs.


Both naves have a pitch pine wagon barrel roof of 7 bays. Each bay is articulated by a tie-beam with bar stop-chamfered soffit and brattished carving, each merlon with roll moulded cap; carried on bar stop-chamfered brackets with shaped ends. Each roof bay is subdivided into 4 tongued and grooved boarded recessed panels with moulded dividers; the naves are divided by a central arcade of 5 columns. Each column is a square timber pillar, bar stop-chamfered at the angles, and supported on a stone base. Pitch pine pews are arranged in 3 ranks, the central with divider running along the base of the arcade. The S chancel is raised by one step and has a moulded communion rail on shaped stanchions with floriate brackets; the N chancel, also raised by one step, has a moulded rail over recessed, tongued and grooved panels in chamfered surrounds.

Highly ornate carved oak pulpit. Dating from the late C17 or early C18 and comprising part of a 3-decker pulpit, originally from St. Lukes Church in Liverpool, given to the church of St. Sannan by Mr F Frodsham (Liverpool solicitor) in 1894. Square in plan and raised by steps, flanked by twisted balusters to a plain rail, leading to a doored entrance at the N side; the pulpit is of bolection moulded panels decorated with rich floriate carved borders. To the rear (W end) of the S nave is a pitch pine boarded vestry enclosure; with the upper part of open, cusped panels under a moulded rail, over tongued and grooved panelling. The church contains 2 fonts, located at the rear (W end) of the church; the earlier, disused font has a shallow marble bowl surmounted on a tall fluted limestone column with square plinth base and may date from the late C18. The font in use probably dates from the C19 restoration and comprises a wide, shaped marble bowl on a twisted column with floriate carving on the capital and bosses to the chevron design of the sloping sides at the top of the moulded drum plinth.

Glass: the S chancel window is of 3 lights, the Light of the world flanked by St Sannan and St David. By H Gustave Miller, was given by Mr Wynne Yorke of Bryn Aled in 1910, in remembrance of Pierce and Lucy Penelope Wynne Yorke of Dyffryn Aled. The N chancel window also of 3 lights, the crucifixion, flanked by the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John. The window, by Jones and Willis, was given in remembrance of the Rev John Pugh, Rector of the Parish, and Frances Jane Cooper, his wife, and is donated by their son, John Hunter Pugh. Below the window is a stone tablet to John Hunter Pugh d.1909. In the S wall, directly E of the porch, is a round-headed window dedicated to David Lees Jones, Fighter Pilot, who died in the Second World War, in 1945; the window contains a coloured light bearing the image of the face of the young man.

Memorials: N wall: marble memorial, draped medallion of a seated maiden beside an urn, and refined ornament around the tablet; to Ridgeway Owen Meyrick Esq, d.1773, son of Pierce Meyrick and descended from the Meyrick family of the Bodorgan estate on Anglesey and the Rt Hon Lady Lucy Pitt, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Londonderry. Marble memorial, by W Spence, of female figures, including 2 seated with their backs to an urn; to Pierce Wynne Yorke d.1837, and Elizabeth Yorke, his widow, d.1873, daughter of Sir W Bulkeley Hughes of Plas Coch. Marble memorial, by W Spence, of a female figure with a cross against a rocky background; to Diana Yorke d.1805, only child and heiress of Pierce Wynne and widow to Ridgeway Owen Meyrick Esq. and Philip Yorke of Erddig. N chancel: series of C19 metal coffin plates on N wall, various late C18 and early C19 slate slabs. Below E window, and in recesses, are portions of 2 stones; the first to John Roberts of Bryn Bugad and his wife Elin 1674, and to Mary wife of Foulk Salusbury 1692; the second bears the date 1682. To the right of the window is a shaped slate slab to John Foulkes, his wife Margaret and his son David who all died in October 1756; above this is a charity slate bearing the names and donations of members of the parish. S chancel: flanking the E window are painted wooden prayer tablets. S wall: marble memorial to John Lloyd of Fforest Esq. d.1753 and other members of his family. Marble memorial, by W Spence, to the family vault of Rev Brownlow Yorke d.1813 and his wife Elizabeth, d.1855.

At the W end of the church are a number of C18, and early C19 gravestones. The church also contains a warden's bench, the side panelled carved with poppy head terminals and the date 1634; and an oak warden's chest bearing the inscription: E F I W WARDEN8 1683.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a good rural church retaining substantial medieval fabric, but notable particularly for the unusual character of its C19 restoration with a striking interior including a timber arcade and fine roof. The church contains a good series of memorials from the C17-C19 and a fine C17 pulpit.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Lychgate at the Church of St Sannan
    Located at the entrance to the churchyard of St Sannan, c40m SW of the church. The lychgate is set back from the N side of the A544 in the centre of Llansannan.
  • II 'The Girl' Memorial Statue
    Set back slightly from the NE side of the A544 at the centre of Llansannan. The memorial is set diagonally to Crown House, at the end of a row of terraced cottages; and is opposite the Red Lion publi
  • II Crown House
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.
  • II Exchange
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.
  • II Surgery
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.
  • II War Memorial
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 and directly in front of the porch of the Surgery, one of a terrace of cottages in the centre of the village of Llansannan.
  • II Gorphwysfa
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.
  • II Min y Ffrwd
    Set back slightly from the N side of the A544 in the centre of the village of Llansannan.

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