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Latitude: 53.1536 / 53°9'12"N
Longitude: -3.3425 / 3°20'33"W
OS Eastings: 310319
OS Northings: 362672
OS Grid: SJ103626
Mapcode National: GBR 6Q.5BK7
Mapcode Global: WH772.MZJR
Entry Name: Parish Church of St Saeran
Listing Date: 19 July 1966
Last Amended: 18 August 1999
Source ID: 808
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Located in the centre of the small village of Llanynys towards the north-eastern boundary of the community.
Traditional County: Denbighshire
Large parish church occupying the site of a C6 Celtic clas. The present church is of double-naved type, the earlier, N chamber being of the first half C13; its W entrance, though heavily weathered, is Early English in style. This fabric clearly belongs to the church mentioned in the Norwich Taxatio of 1254. Both chambers were extended eastwards and heightened c1500, at which time fine Perpendicular roofs were provided. A C16 timber-framed S porch was subsequently added; it bears an indistinct date, possibly 1519 or 1544. The church was heavily restored c1768. In that year the church was described as being so decayed that it should be taken down and rebuilt (at an estimated cost of £1,517). In the end the nave windows and arcade only were replaced, the latter in the form of fluted wooden pillars placed on the octagonal column bases of the former Perpendicular arcade. Further cosmetic alterations, including some Y-tracery inserts to the round-headed Georgian windows, were carried out in the third-quarter C19.
Large parish church of double naved type. Of mostly limestone rubble construction, with earlier fabric, including a large proportion of squared red sandstone blocks, visible at the western end; slate roof. The W end has a heavily-weathered W entrance to the northern chamber, with sandstone compound arch, engaged shafts and stiff-leafed capitals; boarded doors, reusing elements of medieval ironwork. The S chamber has a large late C17 western twin bellcote, with kneelered gable and segmental-headed bell openings. The N side has an early C16 Tudor-arched window towards the E, with hollow-chamfered jambs and returned and moulded label; 3-light C19 tracery insert. Towards the W are two simple 3-light Tudor-arched tracery windows; these are C20 replacements.
The S side has a fine timber-framed early Tudor porch to the S door, with rubble plinth and slated roof; restored and partly encased in the early C20. Arched-braced outer truss with panelled gable and C20 chevron bargeboards; 8-light open sides. 2-bay interior with arched-braced collar trusses, and moulded members to roof framed in 3 ways. Cusped truss above the entrance, with trefoil and quatrefoil spandrel decoration. Its collar has a C16 date inscription in raised, stylised letters: Anno Domini MDX (?) IIII (for 1519 or 1544). Fine heavily-moulded Tudor-arched entrance with returned label and original 4-panel door. The latter has moulded ribs, applied tracery decoration and original ironwork; various incised church wardens' names and initials, with late C16 and early C17 dates. To the R of the porch are 3 large round-arched C18 sandstone windows, with projecting keystones and imposts; simple Victorian intersecting tracery inserts, and built-up sills. Between the two eastern-most windows is a Tudor-arched priest's entrance with C19 boarded door. Victorian tracery E window to the S chamber, with returned label. The N chamber E window is a large early C16 Perpendicular tracery window of 5 lights, with original tracery heads but renewed (C20) sandstone mullions; heavily-weathered label and original iron window grille.
Double-naved interior with 10-bay roofs to both chambers. These are fine Perpendicular examples, with alternating arched-braced collar and hammerbeam trusses. The latter have, for the most part, lost their wall posts; the former are carried on carved figures or heads, some retaining early gilding; moulded principals and purlins. The two chambers were formerly divided by an 8-bay stone arcade, the engaged piers to which survive at the E and W ends. The present arcade consists of a series of narrow fluted wooden pillars which rise from the octagonal bases of its predecessor.
The 2 western-most bays of the nave have slate-flagged floors to both chambers; the remainder is stepped-up and has a simple decorative C19 tiled floor to the N (black, red and yellow lozenge decoration) and further slate flagstones to the S side; these include some sandstone gravestones, mostly of late C17 and C18 date. Mid C19 fixed pine pews flank the central arcade along the N and S sides. Along the N wall of the N aisle however, are fixed pews of oak and pine, made up in the C19 out of earlier (mostly early C18) fielded panelling. Similar fielded panelling runs along the dado on the N and S walls. Towards the W end of the N chamber is a Perpendicular limestone font basin. This is of conventional octagonal type, with blind quatrefoil tracery decoration to each face; C19 octagonal sandstone base. Fine second-quarter or mid C17 oak pulpit with geometric panelled decoration to main sides between tiers of blind arcading; columnar balusters above and below, and a dentilated cornice. C19 pine stair with turned newel and balusters. The N chamber has a 16-branch 3-tier wooden candelabrum (originally of 24 branches), with the original pale green paint finish and the painted inscription 'The Gift of the Reverend Mr. Rutter, 1749.'
The chancel occupies the E end of the N chamber. This is stepped-up with pavement as before. C19 choir stalls of oak and pine, incorporating carved fielded and inscribed panelling from broken-up C17 and C18 box pews. Amongst these are sections with names, initials and the dates 'March 26th 1613, 1670, 1713, SR 1721', and 'Sedes Guiliemi Platt de Rhydonnen...Gen, Aug XV NO MDCCXIII.' On the N side, at the E end, is a section of oak panelling with 10 fine relief-carved panels and the date 1570 (the latter associated, but added); this, until the late C19, formed the back of a bench, though is regarded as being of secular origin, traditionally from Bachymbyd Fawr. Mid C18 oak reredos with central and outer fluted pilasters, inlaid decoration and moulded, dentilated cornice. The 2 eastern bays of the S chamber are partitioned-off to form a small chapel (modern partitioning encasing that of the C19).
Monuments: Nave, N chamber: at the W end are the reconstructed fragments of an early C14 ecclesiastic's effigy, lying on a concrete chest tomb incorporating 5 contemporary headless weepers. Nearby is a fine sepulchral stone cross of the mid C14; hexagonal, with relief-carvings of a bishop and Christ on the Cross to its respective sides. On the N wall is a framed Gothick mural tablet to Peter Ellis Eyton of Ty Isaf, MP for Flintshire, d.1878. Nave, S chamber: fine, large Royal Arms hatchment on the S wall (unframed); dated 1661 and known to have been painted by a Mr Hill for the sum of £6. To the R of this is a C19 funerary hatchment with the arms of Mrs Edwards (of Cerrigllwydion Hall), d.1859. Beyond this is a C17 stone funerary tablet to Edward Lloyd of Berth Lloyd, with Latin inscription. Towards the W end are 2 large framed wooden benefactors' boards, one dated 1787, the other contemporary. S chapel: flanking the E window are two classical mural tablets, that to the L to Edward Edwards of Cerrigllwydion d.1816, and that to the R to his wife Lowry d.1807. Both are of white and grey marble, and each has an inscription tablet surmounted by a draped urn; obelisk back panels, and aprons, that to the R with polychromed heraldic shield. On the S wall is a similar white marble mural monument to the Rev. William Williams Edwards of Cerrigllwydion d.1829 and his wife; relief-carved Grecian muse with draped urn and column. To the R of this is a C19 framed funerary hatchment bearing the arms of the Rev Edwards.
Wall Paintings: at the western end of the N chamber, on the N wall, is a fine and large wall painting depicting St Christopher; secco, second-quarter or mid C15. Further to the E is a small relocated wall painting fragment of Welsh Black Letter Gothic text (detached from its original location, overlying the St Christopher); early C17. Above the S door is a (repainted) mural inscription 'R Hughes John Evans 1677' (churchwardens).
Stained and painted glass: C18 coloured glass to the tracery lights of the E window (N chamber); mid Victorian figurative glass to the chancel N window. In the S chapel is a window with figurative glass erected by Mrs Williams Edwards of Cerrigllwydion in 1855.
Listed Grade I for its special interest as a large medieval village church with good surviving late medieval roofs and wall painting, with unusual C18 arcade, fine fittings, and retaining particularly good internal and external character.
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