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Church of St Padarn

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanberis, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.118 / 53°7'4"N

Longitude: -4.1251 / 4°7'30"W

OS Eastings: 257872

OS Northings: 359974

OS Grid: SH578599

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.7LD3

Mapcode Global: WH54M.LWVL

Entry Name: Church of St Padarn

Listing Date: 28 May 1999

Last Amended: 28 May 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21833

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located in a a prominent position on rising ground behind the Dolbadarn Hotel on the south side of Stryd Fawr (High Street); the churchyard is of irregular shape and is approached from the north throu

County: Gwynedd

Town: Caernarfon

Community: Llanberis

Community: Llanberis

Built-Up Area: Llanberis

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Built on virgin ground in 1884-5 by Arthur Baker, assisted by his young cousin Herbert Baker as clerk of works, the church was completed through the addition in 1914-15 of the lady chapel in complimentary style by Harold Hughes (later author of Churches of Old Snowdonia) for Trevor Hughes, squire of Glascoed.


Parish church. Snecked rough-faced local rubblestone with pink sandstone ashlar dressings; slate roofs with stepped ashlar coping and foliated and Celtic crosses to gables; heavily buttressed throughout. Basic cruciform plan in a late Early English style. The church is dominated by its central tower, only the belfry stage of which is visible externally; 2 louvred pointed windows to each face linked by thin continuous string course with hollow-chamfered arches supported on 2 full shafts and one engaged shaft with capitals and bases. Plain moulded corbel table above; pyramidal slate roof with decorative wrought-iron weathervane behind embattled parapet. Entrance to nave on north side through gabled porch with a trefoil-headed arch set in a larger arch; the double doors have elaborate iron door furniture, including inward radiating strap hinges with fleur-de-lys points and Celtic motifs. The porch is within a larger partially hip-roofed structure projecting from the north wall of the nave. To the right in this wall is a circular window containing a cinquefoil within, with to the right of this 2 lancets. West wall of nave has a double-chamfered rounded arch and hoodmould over plain tympanum with joggled masonry and a heavily foliated cross; double doors with similar but plainer ironwork than to north doors; slate stone dated "1914" to right. Upper part of west wall slightly recessed and has 3 stepped broad lancets with quatrefoil above. South wall has 4 grouped quatrefoils in Caernarfon arches forming a horizontal run over part of the full-length lean-to aisle (the lady chapel) which has 4 paired small lancets to south wall; broad lancet to west wall with stone to right recording that the chapel was built by Trevor Hughes, Squire of Glascoed in 1914. North transept has full-width round-headed window with 7 stepped lancets within, below high-level string course, above which are 3 grouped lancets with continuous hoodmould; battlemented octagonal stair turret to north-east corner. West wall has a single lancet and there is another to east wall in angle with stair turret. Chancel has full-height lean-to organ chamber on north with a single lancet to the north wall and paired lancets beneath a quatrefoil to the east wall; small semi-circular projection with conical roof in angle with the eastward continuation of the north chancel wall which has a tall lancet to each side of a stepped buttress. 3 broad lancets to east wall above high string course, low down below which is a datestone of 1884; quatrefoil to gable. South wall of chancel largely obscured by lower parallel vestry which has 3 grouped lancets with cinquefoil above to east wall; ventilation slit to apex and narrow rectangular window to right of lancets. Entrance is through pointed doorway on south side in slightly projecting break with 3 grouped lancets to left. South wall of south transept has 4 stepped lancets with roundels containing trefoils and a quatrefoil window to the interstices; above is a high string course with 3 grouped lancets and a continuous hoodmould as on north transept; single small lancets to east and west walls.


Impressively large and spacious interior. Exposed stone rubble walls with banded stonework and pink sandstone ashlar to arches, windows and doorways. Panelled wagon roof with arch bracing and pendants to nave; similar roofs to transepts. Crossing and chancel roofs have cusping to archbraces, latter more heavily ribbed than others. Wood- block floor to nave and transepts; quarry tiles to raised chancel and encaustic tiles to sanctuary. Massive west crossing arch in 3 orders with 3 tiers of engaged shafts, from which also spring in turn the transept and chancel arches; moulded capitals and bases to each tier of shafts with shaft-rings to the upper tier. The transept arches are contained within wide strainer buttress arches encompassing smaller arches to east and west. Further buttress arches in east and west walls of transepts also incorporate pointed arches, that on east side of north transept enclosing the organ, that to east on south side mostly with solid masonry "infill" but also with 2 small pointed arches, the one to south blind, the one to north opening into the vestry. On the west side of the south transept the pointed arch leads to the lady chapel and the corresponding arch on the north gives access to the projection on the north side of the nave.

The late medieval font comes from the old church at Nant Peris (it was for a time in the Rectory garden); dark granite octagonal bowl on lighter-coloured octagonal pedestal. Pulpit and choir stalls are late C19; the altar rails and panelled reredos, continued to the side walls of the sanctuary, are a 1914-18 war memorial; stained glass in east window has Christ in Majesty, flanked by St Padarn to north and St Peris (Beris) to south. 1910 Llanberis Mothers' Union banner within sanctuary; present high altar (to west of chancel steps) is a panelled chest; 2 Romano-British bronze patellae in glass display chest in south transept. Plain wall tablet on east wall of north transept to Rev E B Thomas (d.1908) and brass plaque on south pier of west arch to south transept commemorates John Rowlands, who died of enteric fever at Durban, South Africa in 1900.

Reasons for Listing

Included at Grade II* as a very fine example of a high Victorian church in an inventive Early English style which is assured in its massing, its handling of the remarkably large internal spaces, and its decoration. Splendidly occupies its prominent townscape location.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Dolafon
    Located on the south-west side of Stryd Fawr (High Street), set back from the road in a stone-walled garden with several tall trees.
  • II Dolperis
    Situated in its own grounds on the west side of Stryd Fawr (High Street) towards its southern end.
  • II* Capel Coch
    Situated on very slightly rising ground on the south side of Ffordd Capel-Coch, the chapel occupies a prominent position in the street; low rubblestone wall to street continues to east to enclose fore
  • II Snowdon View
    Situated on the south-western side of Fron Goch behind a rubblestone wall; the section immediately in front of the house is lower with railings and a central iron gate approached by slate steps.
  • II ,57 Stryd Fawr (High Street),Llanberis,Caernarfon,
    Located on the west side of Stryd Fawr (High Street) in the centre of Llanberis.
  • II Engine Shed
    Located at the foot of the Snowdon Mountain Railway directly to the south of Llanberis Station; a water tank manufactured by Bolling & Lowe of London is situated at the north-west corner of the shed.
  • II Lower Viaduct
    Located towards the foot of the Snowdon Mountain Railway where it crosses the road and begins to ascend rapidly in height.
  • II Royal Victoria Hotel
    Situated on slightly rising ground at the south-eastern approach to Llanberis.

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