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Church of St Gwynog/Cynog

A Grade II* Listed Building in Caersws, Powys

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Latitude: 52.5335 / 52°32'0"N

Longitude: -3.4428 / 3°26'34"W

OS Eastings: 302227

OS Northings: 293826

OS Grid: SO022938

Mapcode National: GBR 9M.FF0J

Mapcode Global: VH681.8LS5

Plus Code: 9C4RGHM4+9V

Entry Name: Church of St Gwynog/Cynog

Listing Date: 10 March 1953

Last Amended: 5 November 1996

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7580

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: The church is located in a raised oval churchyard at the centre of the village of Llanwnog, which was later extended to the S to border the B.4568.

County: Powys

Community: Caersws (Caersŵs)

Community: Caersws

Locality: Llanwnog

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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The parish church of Llanwnog, in the Diocese of Bangor, is a first generation daughter of the primary C7 Christian mission established at Llandinam. The present building is of the C15 and much medieval fabric remains after extensive restoration in 1863 by R. K. Penson.


Built of rubble stone with limestone dressings, and a slate roof. A single elongated cell, comprising the undifferentiated nave and chancel, a C19 S porch, and vestry at right angles on the N. A weatherboarded timber framed tower with slated spire stands over the W end. Widely spaced 3-light windows with cusped heads under a depressed arch, but 2-light on N; 3-light C15 panelled window at the E end with grotesque heads at the apex and tails of the now missing hood moulding; and a priest's door at the W end of the S side, with a quatrefoil roundel over. The W end has a central buttress and no windows. A bronze bench-mark is set in the SW corner. The S door, within the porch, has a pointed head.

Within the graveyard are numerous well carved slate headstones by Kinsey family of Llandinam. John 'Ceriog' Hughes, the C19 lyric poet of Llanarmon, Dyffryn Ceriog, (1832-1887), manager of the Van Railway at Caersws, is buried here.


Plastered walls and C19 open roof of 6 bays over the nave; arch-braced collar trusses with raking struts supporting 2 tiers of purlins. The central panel between the purlins has attenuated cusped wind braces. The chancel has a boarded barrel vault, cross braced, with medieval bosses at the intersections. The floor steps up into the chancel, and a further 2 steps to the sanctuary. The timber supporting legs for the tower appear at the W end of the nave.

Fittings: Between the nave and chancel, an outstanding late C15 rood screen with loft over, 6 bays either side of the central opening. The screen has a low-set bressumer and elaborate tracery in the panel heads surviving on the N side. Fourteen heavy timber treads, set into a recess in the N wall, without a handrail, give access to the loft, which cantilevers both sides of the screen on panelled coving, more elaborately carved towards the nave. Bands of undercut flowing meander leaf and dragonesque carvings between mouldings on each side. The sides of the loft are panelled between broad moulded studs on both sides. The screen, the best to survive in the county, was recorded by the Rev J. Parker in 1828-32.

Pulpit, early C17, octagonal, panelled oak with a sloping shelf around the top.

Font, at the W end, a plain C19 octagonal raised bowl, with the recovered octagonal late medieval bowl set near-by.

Pews and choir stalls, C19.

Organ: Free-standing, presented in 1855, has a 4-octave single manual with 6 stops, in a carved case.

Glass: E window by Evans Bros, Shrewsbury. N window has re-assembled glass of a C14-C15 window, dismembered by a bomb, including a yellow-stain figure of a bishop, inscribed 'Sce ?Gynog'.

The tower has three bells.

Monuments: On the E wall: (a) Fine large painted limestone wall monument with a long inscription in an enriched Ionic aedicule, under a broken pediment mounted with surprised angels. Symbols of death at the sides, and a draped death's head below, to Mathew Pryce of Park-pen-prys, the cantref's administrative centre, †1699. (b) Arms with strapwork mantling. (c) Gothic aedicule, to David Jones, rural dean, †1864. On N wall (d) Tablet, white on grey to Andrew Davies of Plâs Newydd, †1816. In Nave, five tablets; (e) George Baker †1841; (f)Edward Matthews of Penddole, Trefeglwys; (g) Edward Matthews of Glanhafren †1827, (h) Gabled Gothic marble monument to John Owens †1893 and (i) Leonard Lewis †1831. On the S wall, (j) a white marble sarcophagus to David Hamer of Weeg †1833, by Milnes, Oswestry.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at Grade II* as a good example of a single-chamber medieval church which is of special interest for the retention of a C15 rood screen of exceptional quality.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Gwyneira with attached farm buildings
    The house is aligned along the road encircling the churchyard, approximately 75m from its junction with the B.4568 to Newtown, and is at the S end of a range of farm buildings.
  • II Telephone Call-box (01686 688564)
    Located in the centre of the township, in front of the row of buildings which includes the former village post office, and opposite the churchyard boundary wall.
  • II Milestone W of village
    The milestone is now located in the wide grass verge, 250m from the junction of the B.4568 with the main A.490 Caersws to Machynlleth road.
  • II Milestone S of Weig Lane
    Located in the road verge, approximately 30m S of the junction with Wig Lane at Weig Lane railway crossing.
  • II Pont-dol-goch Station and Stationmaster's House
    The railway station stands on a high bank directly north of the road bridge under the line, and is accessed from the main Caersws to Machynlleth Road, near the centre of the village.
  • II Wig Bridge
    Located on Wig Lane, which connects the main A.470 Caersws to Machynlleth road to the B4569 from Caersws to Trefeglwys, approximately 1.75Km N of Caersws centre.
  • II Perth-eiryn
    Located on a farm road leading S off the main Newtown to Caersws road, 300m N of the village centre.
  • II Pen-y-borfa fawr
    Located approximately 1Km N of Caersws village, with its gable end to the road.

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