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Church of St Mwrog

A Grade II* Listed Building in Ruthin, Denbighshire

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Latitude: 53.1102 / 53°6'36"N

Longitude: -3.3256 / 3°19'32"W

OS Eastings: 311362

OS Northings: 357827

OS Grid: SJ113578

Mapcode National: GBR 6R.82N4

Mapcode Global: WH77G.W2KY

Entry Name: Church of St Mwrog

Listing Date: 24 October 1950

Last Amended: 12 July 2006

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 890

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a prominent raised position in the centre of the village, the B5105 curving around it.

County: Denbighshire

Town: Ruthin

Communities: Ruthin (Rhuthun)

Community: Ruthin

Locality: Llanfwrog

Built-Up Area: Ruthin

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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Denbighshire twin-chamber type. The original nave and chancel were aligned with the W tower, which is probably C14 and contains the original entrance. An aisle was added to the S, probably in the C15. Later on, the aisle became the nave and chancel, and vice versa. The new N aisle was substantially rebuilt, part of a major restoration of the church in 1869-70, by John Dando Sedding, Architect, of Bristol. The arcade appears to have been altered, probably re-using the original masonry; it has 3 arches, but may have had 4 originally. The windows are mainly from the restoration, in a Perpendicular style which is not common in this area. South porch retains some C17 features, but was remodelled in the C19, making use of the earlier material and with elements of Arts & Crafts style.


Nave and chancel in one, N aisle, W tower, and S porch. Constructed of unusually large blocks of roughly coursed stone; the C19 work is of smaller blocks of stone, found to N wall, part of E end and upper levels of S wall. The church has a slate roof with tile cresting, raised stone copings on moulded kneelers and sandstone eaves cornice. Most of the windows are C19, of yellow or red sandstone. Those to N and S are 2- or 3-light, with trefoiled lancets. The E windows are in Perpendicular style.

Massive embattled 3-stage tower, now aligned with N aisle. Original doorway to W end, shallow-pointed arched, of large blocks of hollow-moulded red sandstone, under an original hoodmould, partly eroded. The fluted canted jambs are probably later. Double boarded and studded doors. C19 2-light yellow sandstone window above entrance. Small opening with red sandstone surround at mid-level of S side, which may be medieval; 3 small lights to N side lighting NW stair. Each face has a 2-light Decorated belfry opening of yellow sandstone, probably C19. Battlemented parapets above plain string course; saddleback roof.

South side of church has a timber-framed gabled porch on stone plinth, and with slate roof. Timber-framed front has jowled posts supporting a chamfered tie-beam, probably original features. The principal rafters appear C19. Angle struts to gable, and timber panel with bottle glass roundel. Under the tie-beam are late C20 double boarded doors. The sides of the porch are slate-hung, with single- and 3-light windows with ovolo-moulded mullions and quarry glazing; one to E side is blocked. Interior of porch has 2-bay arched-braced roof and curved windbraces. Flagstone floor, wooden side benches, horizontal boarding beneath windows. Doorway leading into nave has chamfered pointed-arched head containing a boarded door with strap hinges; truss above is boarded with band of pierced quatrefoils attached to tie-beam. South side of nave has 2 red sandstone windows to R of porch, 2-light to centre and 3-light to R; the former could be medieval. East end has C19 Perpendicular-style windows of yellow sandstone, both 3-light, the lights with trefoiled heads, under hoodmoulds. That to chancel has triangular head, that to aisle is rectangular. To W end of nave, similar 2-light rectangular window, the lights with ogee heads. The N side has 3 x 2-light windows in yellow sandstone, the lights with trefoiled heads.


Three-bay arcade of red sandstone: wide shallow-pointed arches with 2 orders of chamfered mouldings on piers of 4 clustered circular shafts with square corbels which chamfer down to octagons. Medieval 7-bay arched-brace roof over nave and chancel, with 2 tiers of curved windbraces. Fine medieval tower arch at W end of N aisle, 4-centred-arched with 4 orders of red sandstone mouldings; infilled small opening above. The aisle has a 5-bay arched-brace roof of C19 date, possibly restored in the C20. Chapel at E end of aisle with boarded wagon roof, also C19. In the E wall is a broad segmental-arched recess which forms a wall-passage around the E respond of arcade. In front is a medieval octagonal bowl font of red sandstone on a later broached base. The remaining fittings and fixtures of the church are C19: The nave has pews with moulded bench ends, octagonal wooden pulpit to R with blind traceried panels; chancel has choir stalls with traceried decoration, moulded wooden altar rail with traceried openwork beneath, wood panelled reredos with brattishing. In the NW corner is a large panelled pipe organ, partly blocking the W window. Aisle has wood panelled screens decorated with rosettes, to chapel and tower, both C20.

Monuments: C18 and C19 wall monuments including: E end of aisle, pedimented pilastered tablet to Thomas Hughes, Rector of the parish and Master of Ruthin School (d. 1776), by R. Westmacott. On N wall of aisle, Grecian-style tablet to Jane Hughes (d. 1829), and also to her brother, Thomas Jones, by John Wright of Chester.

Stained glass: Stained glass to N and S sides is contemporary with the restoration of the church, and is by Lavers and Barraud. These include N chapel window depicting St Mark and St Matthew, to Robert and Sarah Anne Ellis; S wall of chancel, to Elizabeth Williams of Merllyn. The E window of the N aisle may be by Burlison & Grylls, 1907, to Robert Blisard. E chancel window, showing nativity, resurrection and ascension, is to Peter Roberts of Pen y bont.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* for its special architectural interest as a substantially medieval church, which retains exceptionally fine elements, including a massive C14 tower, and a roof and arcade of the C15; the C19 restoration by a prominent architect who did not generally work in this area, is also of interest.

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