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Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Cefnmeiriadog, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.232 / 53°13'55"N

Longitude: -3.4728 / 3°28'21"W

OS Eastings: 301789

OS Northings: 371566

OS Grid: SJ017715

Mapcode National: GBR 6K.08XH

Mapcode Global: WH65P.M1H2

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 2 June 1998

Last Amended: 2 June 1998

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19924

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Strikingly located on a natural rocky rise overlooking the Vale of Clwyd immediately to the N of the village centre; within a low-walled elevated churchyard

County: Denbighshire

Town: St Asaph

Community: Cefnmeiriadog

Community: Cefnmeiriadog

Locality: Cefn Meiriadog

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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History

Small estate church built 1863-4 for Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, the sixth Baronet (of Plas-yn-Cefn) by Benjamin Ferrey. Ferrey was architect also of the Victorian Wynnstay, another Williams-Wynn commission. The church was designed in simple lancet and plate tracery style.

Exterior

Small cruciform church in simple plate-tracery Gothic style. Constructed of rough-dressed limestone blocks, the choir snecked and with chamfered plinth; limestone dressings. Steeply-pitched slate roof with slab-coped gable parapets; simple coved eaves with corbelling to polygonal apse. The nave has 2 two-light pointed-arched plate tracery windows to the S and 3 similar windows to the N side, with punched trefoils within oculi above cusped lights; stopped labels with alternating naturalistic foliate carvings and head stops. Single-storey porch to the S side with pointed-arched entrance with triple arch and semi-octagonal engaged columns; moulded abaci and bases. The outer entrance has a returned hood-mould with carved head stops; vent oculus to the gable apex with splayed croos tracery. Shallow, gabled transepts to S and, each with triangular tracery window containing three quatrefoils. Below that on the N side are two basement entrances giving access to boiler rooms etc. To the R of the transept is a small, squat chimney, its stack removed. Stepped buttresses to polygonal apse at E end, with tall lancets to each face.

Interior

The interior is restrained, but essentially unaltered. Tall nave with 4-bay arched-braced collar truss roof, the trusses carried on moulded stone corbels; there is bracing above the collar forming a pointed arch and a trefoil at each apex. Original, simply-decorated pine pews and central red tiled pavement with edging and insets in black and yellow. The font is in the form of a life-sized white marble sculpture of a winged angel kneeling and holding a scallop; by Theobald Stein, signed and dated 1864, after the original by his master Thorwaldsen. Early-English-style sandstone pulpit, of square plan and of 2 stages, with stiff-leafed carved frieze and grey figured marble columns applied to the corners. The shallow N transept contains a small vestry with cluster-truss roof and double-moulded, pointed-arched entrance; it is screened off from the nave by a 4-part boarded and panelled screen partition, with simple blind tracery arcade and stopped-chamfered stiles and rails, the entrance to bay 3. The corresponding S transept is occupied by an organ of 1902 by Peter Conacher and Co of Huddersfield, a commemorative gift by Sir Herbert Watkin Williams-Wynn; polychromed pipes.
Polygonal apse, raised up and approached via 3 steps; large chancel arch with hollow-chamfered, broach-stopped outer arch and chamfered inner arch, the latter supported half-hay up on fine, stiff-leafed carved capitals, themselves supported on engaged shafts resting on stiff-leafed corbels. Polychromed tiled floor, with simple brass altar rails on decorative scrolled and twisted supports. The apse is vaulted with a central carved, foliated boss and ribs carried on engaged corner shafts with capitals as before. The sanctuary is further stepped-up and has a complex patterned and polychromed tled floor and similar treatment to the dado walls flanking a tripartite reredos. The latter is of fine cosmati-work in 5 types of coloured marble inlay and has a central tondo of white marble, showing a Pieta in high, sculpted relief; Christ's inlaid monograms flank this and an inlaid marble cross surmounts it.
The apse and W windows have contemporary figurative stained glass, in C13 style, by Lavers and Barraud; the easternmost southern nave window is a commemorative, figurative window by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake, of 1876.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as a small, well-preserved estate church by a noted Victorian architect, in a striking location.

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