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Church of St Dyfnan

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanddyfnan, Isle of Anglesey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2841 / 53°17'2"N

Longitude: -4.2474 / 4°14'50"W

OS Eastings: 250269

OS Northings: 378707

OS Grid: SH502787

Mapcode National: GBR HNW0.P54

Mapcode Global: WH42N.QQM5

Plus Code: 9C5Q7QM3+M2

Entry Name: Church of St Dyfnan

Listing Date: 12 May 1970

Last Amended: 11 June 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 5358

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a rural location, set back from the N side of the B5109; NE of Talwrn and W of Pentraeth.

County: Isle of Anglesey

Community: Llanddyfnan

Community: Llanddyfnan

Traditional County: Anglesey

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Llanddyfnan

History

The church is listed in the Norwich taxation of 1254 though there are no architectural features from that date, the oldest parts of the church are the C14 nave and W annexe. The chancel was rebuilt and widened and the present doorway inserted at end of the C15. The S porch was rebuilt in 1817 (originally 1682), and the church was extensively restored in 1846-7.

Exterior

Large rural church comprising C14 nave and W annexe, wider C15 chancel and early C19 SW porch. Built of limestone rubble with gritstone dressings; modern slate roof with stone copings and dressed stone W gable bellcote.

The nave is of 2 bays with perpendicular windows (paired foiled lights in rectangular frames with hoodmounts to S, single arched lights to N). The C14 N doorway has a pointed-arched head and chamfered jambs with broach stops. The moulded label stops on nude human figures; the E is face downwards with upturned legs and hands clasped across the breast. The W figure lies in a similar position with a dragon-like beast upon it biting the figure's upturned right leg while the left leg is grasped by a claw at the ankle; the left hand grasps the right hind leg of the beast. Set above the N doorway is a mid C14 carved human head supporting a dripstone.

The S porch has a small reset C14 pointed cusped window in the E wall. The reset C14 pointed arched doorway has chamfered jambs and a moulded label; cut on the arch is the date 1817 and on the W jamb: I.D. 1682.

The principal entry to the church, through the porch, is via a round-headed doorway of c1500 date. The doorway is in a square frame with carved spandrels, the E spandrel contains a hart and hind, the W contains 2 dogs. The keystone has 2 human faces, on the vertical and under sides; the former bearded, the latter with fingers in its mouth. The moulded label is terminated on each side by a niche with a trefoiled head beneath a crocketted canopy; that to E contains the figure of St John, W that of the Blessed Virgin. The former has curled hair resting on his shoulders and wears a long pleated gown; in his left hand is an open book, his right hand is raised. The niche stands on a bracket roughly carved with human heads and birds. The veiled figure of the Virgin is clothed in a plain dress over a pleated undergarment and holds a closed book in her right hand. The supporting bracket is rudely carved with winged angel's heads and that of an animal, possibly a bull. Framing each figure is a much weathered inscription which reads: (St John) ORATE P AIA LLAP IVOR AP DD / AP EGN FFILII DIE MESERERE MIE; (the Virgin) ORATE P AIA JEM AP DIC AP / IORW FFILII DIE MESERERE MIE. Above the label is a 3rd canopied and crocketted niche containing a Trinity; the Father represented by a crowned head. Neither the 3rd person nor the cross is represented, but the figure of Christ is shown as if hanging and is flanked by 4 angels; the upper pair swinging censers, the lower supporting his feet.

The W annexe is narrower again than the nave and has a similarly detailed N window to that in the chancel. There is a narrow light set in the W gable apex under the corbelled and shouldered dressed stone bellcote.

The chancel is wider than the nave but is almost as long; a single bay with windows to the E end. The E window has 3 ogee headed lights with casement moulded jambs and vertical tracery in a pointed head with moulded label and scroll terminals; the window has been repaired and the cusping removed. Perpendicular windows to N and S - that to S of 2 foiled lights with moulded label; single (and later?) round arched light to N.

Interior

Set into the internal wall at the E side of the main doorway is a piscina of contemporary date; with cusped arch in a square frame. There is a crude stoup, now used as a poor box, to the E of the opposite doorway.

The church was re-roofed as part of the 1846 restoration of the church, the nave has 4 roof bays, the chancel 3 and the W annexe 2; all have angle braced collared trusses with crown posts. Both chancel and W annexed are separated from the nave by C14 hollow chamfered arches; rounded 'ball' stops at the base of the chamfers. The fittings are also C19 in date, simple bench pews and contemporary pulpit and reading desk with panelled faces and shaped brackets to lectern. The chancel is raised by a single step and has a moulded rail on cusped balusters, the reredos has simple arcaded panelling under a wide panel with moulded surround. At the W end is a gallery, also with panelled face, set on a chamfered timber post and reached by a dogleg staircase to N with moulded rail on stick balusters; the gallery has cruder bench pews. Below the gallery is the C19 octagonal font on stepped square base.

There is a late C19 memorial on the N wall of the chancel, and an early C20 memorial on the N wall of the nave alongside a marble WWI memorial tablet.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a good medieval church which externally is of predominantly C14 character and which is of an unusual plan and scale for a rural Anglesey church, perhaps representative of the wealth of the parish. The church retains a number of medieval carvings and corbels including an exquisitely carved doorway of c1500.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

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  • II Agricultural range at Rhos y gad
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  • II Rhos y gad
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  • II Boiling house and pigsty at Rhos y gad
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  • II Marian
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