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Latitude: 52.8038 / 52°48'13"N
Longitude: -4.7114 / 4°42'40"W
OS Eastings: 217325
OS Northings: 326367
OS Grid: SH173263
Mapcode National: GBR GPR8.SSF
Mapcode Global: WH33M.LSPC
Plus Code: 9C4QR73Q+GF
Entry Name: Church of St Hywyn
Listing Date: 19 October 1971
Last Amended: 26 June 1998
Source ID: 4225
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated in Aberdaron village, the graveyard running to the cliff edge.
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Anglican parish church. Nave possibly originally C12, lengthened in C14 and probably raised to match new S aisle in late C15 or early C16. A Celtic clas church founded by St Hywyn in the C5 to C7, it was probably rebuilt by Gryffydd ap Cynan of Gwynedd in the early C12. First recorded in 1115, it was still a clas church served by secular canons in 1252, but the collegiate status disappeared c1500, and at the Reformation the church was subordinate to the Abbey of Bardsey. A long period of decline and non-resident vicars led to decay and in 1841 a new church being built inland. The old one was saved as part of the S aisle had been a school from 1835, and by 1848 its restoration was already proposed, to plans by Henry Kennedy, but completed only in 1868. Further restoration was done in 1906 by John Williams of Bangor. The tracery of the two big E windows appears mostly renewed, the 1849 engraving in Archaeologia Cambrensis, shows the northern one entirely blocked.
Parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs, coped gables and nave W bellcote. Two equal aisles, the N one the original nave with plain flat-topped bellcote and single pointed arch, with bell of 1901. Both W gables and N wall are windowless. Rainwater spout inscribed HP 1760 between W gables. Nave W fine arched doorway of 3 chamfered orders and hoodmould, the triple jambs also chamfered but with ogee-moulded capitals. Bases hidden. Doorway is said to be C12 but chamfered detail and capital form suggests C15 alteration or replacement. N wall has blocked low arched doorway, possibly C12. Big nave E window was blocked in 1848 and said to be 'Early Pointed', jambs appear original, but C15-style 3-light tracery is C19. Relieving arch for earlier, possibly C14, narrower window above. It is suggested that the small size of this window compared to the S aisle E window indicates that it was inserted into a lower gable, raised when the S aisle was built. S aisle is of one build, c1500, big 5-light E window, Perp tracery, partly renewed. S wall has c1500 windows, 4-centred arches with hoodmoulds and 3 plain uncusped lights. 2 windows, third to W, is a former door now similar 2-light.
Plastered walls, arch-braced collar roof of nave probably C19, that of S aisle on hammerbeams is restored but with much original timber. 6 bays. Fine arcade of c1500, five 4-centred arches of 2 orders with central ogee fillet on octagonal piers with moulded caps and base. N wall has blocked round arched doorway, possibly C12. Plain octagonal font on octagonal shaft, c1500. In chancel 2 inscribed stones found near Gors, Anelog, one inscribed 'Veracius pbr hic iacit' the other 'Senacus prsb hic iacit cwm multitudinem fratrem'. Ornate timber pulpit and litany desk 1911, altar-rails, lectern, stalls, wood-block floors and chancel marble steps all of 1906. S aisle has large hanging iron corona with ten candle-branches, C19 or early C20.
Listed grade I as a medieval church with fine W door and arcade, one of the major churches of the Lleyn.
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