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Church of St Engan

A Grade I Listed Building in Llanengan, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8138 / 52°48'49"N

Longitude: -4.5328 / 4°31'58"W

OS Eastings: 229396

OS Northings: 327031

OS Grid: SH293270

Mapcode National: GBR 55.VWXG

Mapcode Global: WH44V.BJRR

Entry Name: Church of St Engan

Listing Date: 19 October 1971

Last Amended: 1 April 1998

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4304

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated in Llanengan village in large churchyard just W of road to Llangian.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Pwllheli

Community: Llanengan

Community: Llanengan

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

Find accommodation in
Llangian

History

Medieval church mainly of the period 1520-1534 when the original church, recorded from the C13 was remodelled as the nave of the present building with chancel under a single roof and parallel S aisle of equal size to the nave and chancel. W tower added 1534 with date inscription. The screens across the nave and S aisle and the S porch are probably also of 1534, F H Crossley saw similarities with the screen at Llanegryn, Merioneths. Said to have come from Cymer Abbey. Restored in 1847-8 by Henry Kennedy who altered the N windows to match those on the S, reopened the tower arch and added new seats. Restored again in 1911 by Harold Hughes, 1937-8 and c1980. Leland visited in the 1530s and said that the church had been lately an important pilgrimage church, and in the C15 mention is made of the shrine and effigy of St Engan.

Exterior

Parish church, rubble stone with large quoinstones and gritstone dressings, some C19. Slate roofs to two parallel roofs. NW tower of 1534 is 2 stage with dripcourse under embattled parapet. Crocketted corner finials. Pointed recessed 2-light bell-opening each side. Single door on E side just above nave ridge. Lower stage has clasping buttresses to mid height, with 3 set-offs. Small W window of 2 pointed lights in recessed round arch with deep hollow moulding. Below is double inscription band much eroded with string course over the inscription said to read 'Istut campaniculu fuit edificatu in honore St Aenani regi Wallie app'lus Stotor anno Dni milimo CCCCCXXXIIII IHS', ie This tower was built in honour of St Einion, king of Wales, apostle of the Scots in 1534. W door below has 4-centred arch, hollow moulded with square hoodmould over. Raised plinth. Nave has N wall with some pre C15 fabric. 2 Perpendicular style 2-light flat-headed windows with hoodmoulds, the first of 1847 the second probably also of 1847 (though this is the only 2-light shown in a view of 1829). The chancel is continuous with one similar window of 1847. E end coped gable, the N corbel with eroded inscription said to represent 1521 or 1530, and large 5-light Perpendicular E window, 4-centred arch with hoodmould. On jambs each side is inscribed 'ihs'. Straight joint shows that S aisle is added. Waterspout dated 1769 between gables. The S aisle E gable is similar but with 3-light E window and S corbel has inscription said to represent 1531. S side has 3 renewed flat-headed 3-light windows with hoodmoulds, renewed 1847 but the ogee jambs of the left window said to represent the original pattern. Tall 2-storey porch with slate roof and coped gable. Small upper window, 4-centred doorway below with moulded arch and half-octagonal piers. 4-centred moulded S doorway inside with studded plank door, floor removed, roof has 2 collar trusses possibly C16. S aisle W gable is linked by flat coped wall to tower, waterspout dated 1757. W window is 2-light C19 imitating tower W window crudely in cement.

Interior

Walls generally plastered. Tower arch pointed with hoodmould. SE door to tower stair. Two fine C16 roofs of arched braced collar trusses some with cusping to apex struts. 12 trusses over nave, 11 over S aisle. Nave first 7 trusses are heavier and may be earlier, there is cusped windbracing, and panelling to form a canopy in the E bay, stencil painting. S aisle has slots for canopy in 4th bay from E and varied treatments of the space above the collars. One truss has inscription of 1847 recording David Williams, Caernarvon, as the builder for the restoration. Arcade of 6 bays, 2 to chancel, 4 to nave. The chancel E arch has been rebuilt (?in C17) with round arch, the other is depressed pointed. Octagonal pier and half-octagonal responds, 2 hollow mouldings to the arches. On the middle pier is an inscription 'mi'. The nave arcade is similar but piers have a rebate on the splayed sides (as at Llangwnadl) and is probably of c1530. 4-centred arches of 4 orders. The chancel E window has 'ihs' inscribed on jambs.

Fittings: Two superb c1530 screens both similar of 2 bays each side of broad centre entry, with framing of sill, uprights and head beam. S screen also retains rood-loft with coving, bressumers and parapets. N screen has been partly reconstructed. S screen has base panels with traceried heads, quatrefoil frieze, moulded uprights and traceried heads. Frieze above of water-leaf then fleur de lys under coved panelled loft with some rosettes and friezes over of interlace, rose and vine under fretted cresting below gallery front with panels and moulded top rail. Rear has 6 stalls with some carving to end uprights. E side of S screen loft has pierced and carved decoration to panels, some traceried, some motifs. Nave screen is similar but without top rood-loft. Stalls have carved lions on inner bench-ends. C17 turned baluster railing right across. Late C17 communion table in S aisle. C19 chancel stalls. 1847 gothic timber pulpit or reading-desk. Pews are probably also of 1847 with fleur-de-lys projecting from bench-ends. Eagle lectern in timber on openwork twisted column. Octagonal C15-C16 font with quatrefoil panels and rosettes on shaft.

Monuments: Chancel grave slab to Katherine Owen of Creigir, C17, S aisle E plaque in slate, Humphrey Jones, Ty Newydd, d 1721.

Stained glass: Glazing in E windows and tower window of 1979 by C Llightfoot of Manchester reusing fragments of early C20 stained glass by Kempe & Co.

Reasons for Listing

A complete medieval church of outstanding interest for the fine late medieval screens.

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