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Church of St Michael

A Grade II* Listed Building in Abergele, Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2853 / 53°17'6"N

Longitude: -3.5833 / 3°34'59"W

OS Eastings: 294545

OS Northings: 377645

OS Grid: SH945776

Mapcode National: GBR 3ZFG.11

Mapcode Global: WH657.XPV9

Plus Code: 9C5R7CP8+4M

Entry Name: Church of St Michael

Listing Date: 27 October 1950

Last Amended: 5 August 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 237

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located in a rectangular churchyard in the angle between Water Street and Market Street, at the centre of the town, and accessed by the short Church Street off Market Street

County: Conwy

Town: Abergele

Community: Abergele

Community: Abergele

Built-Up Area: Abergele

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Abergele

History

The parish church occupies the site of a church erected in the C8 on land granted by Maelgwyn Gwynedd to Elfod, Bishop of Bangor, who, it is recorded in the Annales Cambriae, introduced the Roman calculation for Easter to this area in the year 768. Later it became a 'clas' church. The present building is of the late C12-early C13 origin, subsequently extended eastwards, and was modified or largely rebuilt c1400, at which time the tower was probably built. It was repaired after neglect in 1663 and was restored and the tower raised in height and buttresses added in 1858-1861, and refloored and reseated in 1878-9 by Arthur Baker and some windows replaced. A S porch was added in 1879, the date cut on a tie beam.

Exterior

Rubble stone walls with limestone and sandstone dressings, slate roof. Denbighshire double nave plan extending full length to include the chancel in the S nave, and St Elfod's Chapel in the N. West tower and timber framed S porch. A former side chamber on the S, perhaps that referred to as for Edward Lluyd in the late C17, although possibly the priest's lodging which was required to be built in 1304, has been demolished and the door from the church blocked. In the N wall, two cyclopean blocked doors, one to the former Gwrych pew, the other to the chapel, and a further cyclopean door in the W wall of the S nave. Lean-to on N side of chancel. Varied 2 and 3-light traceried windows, most altered in the C19 restorations. The two E windows are identical, c1400, each of 5 lights of panelled tracery. The tower has a tall bell stage with louvred openings and crenellated parapet and C19 replaced windows. Tower door on S, and clock face imposed over the S side bell opening.

Interior

Double nave is divided by a Perpendicular arcade of 8 bays; octagonal columns carrying depressed arches of 2 chamfered orders. The W bay is divided off as a vestry. Open medieval roofs, of 15 arch-braced collar trusses with cusped raking struts, the S side having alternating principal rafters at the E springing from hammerbeams and wall posts. Walls plastered and lined out as ashlar, and good encaustic tiles. The S sanctuary is raised, with a carved oak reredos of 1917 at the E end. The fine rood screen extends across both naves, much restored in the C19 but containing medieval work. Oak pulpit of the C17, panelled, the top panel carved with a floral spray. Font, octagonal late medieval base raised on 2 steps, carrying a bowl inscribed 1663 IH RW WR ID WARDENS, presented by Henry Pugh, vicar.

A rare surviving example of medieval glass is the nine quarries of good yellow-stained glass of c1500 in the vestry. Later glass of 1857 and 1891; in the N nave, E window, an Ascension by Ward and Hughes; a Crucifixion of 1868, and at the W, a colourful Doxology window of 1857 commemorating the Lloyd family of Gwrych. In the S chancel, St Michael of 1905, and in the eastern window, a Last Supper. The church also retains a late C14 sepulcral slab with a floriated cross, and a series of two carved cross fragments of early C14.

Dug-out ironbound vestments chest.

Monuments: St Elfod chapel, N wall, an architectural composition of 3 stone panels wth white streaked marble inserts, framing the eastern window, for Bamford Hesketh family of Gwrych. In the chancel, a ledger slab set in the floor, with a stringed and stepped cross, late C14. In the S nave, (a) white marble, a grieving maiden resting on an urn, under a willow, to John Jones Bateman of Pentre-mawr and Lincoln's Inn, d.1849. (b) a curtained marble slab with architectural frame containing eulogy, urn with garlands draped to side shields above, gadrooned base and putto below, to Catherine Holland of Hendre-fawr. Undated but c1690. (c) White marble, a kneeling woman holding a large anchor, on a shaped tablet, to Philip Wythan, son of John Bateman, drowned on this coast in 1849. In the S nave, a group of 7 tablets, including a white marble scroll to Janet Ewan of Penrallt, d.1854. In the N nave, stone slab to Henry Pugh, vicar, d.1671, an aedicule with open segmental pediment, putto below, and shield, on painted stone, to William Anwyl, vicar, d.1748 and late vicar Robert Anwyl, d.1816. Various brasses.

Bells: two by Taylor of Loughborough, dated 1887, two of 1844 and one of 1895, a sixth of 1730, and a single sanctus bell of 1723.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade II* as a regionally important church with surviving medieval fabric, and a good collection of monuments.

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