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Eglwys Crist (Christ Church)

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanddeiniolen, Gwynedd

Eglwys Crist (Christ Church)

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From Historic Wales Website.

Eglwys Crist (Christ Church)


Grade: II
Location
Situated in large roughly square-shaped churchyard approximately 0.5 km east of Deiniolen and 200m west of Cefn-y-Waen Chapel on north side of road from Deiniolen to Dinorwic; the church is aligned north-east to south-west rather than true east-west.

History
Built in 1857 by diocesan architect, Henry Kennedy, with funds given by Thomas Assheton Smith in order to provide an Anglican place of worship close to the Dinorwic Slate Quarry owned and developed by the Assheton Smith family. Several fittings from the former Church of St Mary, Dinorwic (now disused) have recently been brought here.

Interior
Fine largely unaltered Decorated-style mid-C19 interior. High nave and aisle roofs are arch-braced in 5 bays on carved stone corbels with vertical struts linking the curved braces and collars; exposed rafters carried down as vertical studs below wall-plate to parallel rails beneath. Pointed hollow-chamfered aisle arcades also in 5 bays supported on alternating circular and octagonal columns with moulded plinths and capitals and carved responds at east end. Tall chancel arch similar to nave arcades but without columns or responds astride 3 steps up from nave with brass rail to top (altar has recently been moved back to east wall of chancel where it is again flanked by slate texts); chancel roof arch-braced in 3 bays with cusping to principal rafters which rest on stone corbels of angels playing musical instruments; pointed doorway to vestry on north and wide 4-centred arch to former organ chamber on south, now made into side chapel. Original fittings in nave include complete set of Victorian pews, wooden pulpit, octagonal font with trefoiled panels, clustered shafts to base and elaborate font cover and brass lectern. 3 steps from chancel up to sanctuary which has C19 stained glass in east window. Modern screen across western bay of nave has Sunday School/kitchen beyond; modern screen also between chancel and former organ chamber, which now contains altar and altar rail from the disused St Mary's Church, Dinorwic. The small octagonal font on shaft pedestal now in the south aisle also comes from St Mary's. Monuments: Gothic monument on north wall of chancel to Henry Grey Edwards, 'first incumbent of this parish', 1856-73; on north wall of north aisle is a small Gothic tablet to 12 people from Dinorwic who died when the pleasure boat they were in sunk off Pwllheli on 1 July 1899; also commemorated by small brass plate at east end of aisle.

Exterior
Victorian Decorated style. Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, north vestry, south organ chamber, south porch and western tower with spire. Roughly coursed rock-faced rubblestone with ashlar dressings, including to plinth and continuous cill band; gable-ended slate roofs with stepped coping and stumpy stone crosses to gables. Nave is hidden from view by the 2 equal-height aisles, both having paired pointed 2-light windows with elaborate cusped tracery and head-stops to west gable ends; similar single window to east end and east bay of north aisle and to east and west bays of south aisle, the centre and west bays on north having paired steeply pointed Tudor-arched windows, again with elaborate cusped tracery and label-stops; same windows to centre bay of south aisle and in west bay (to east of window) a gabled porch which has pointed outer doorway with decorated strap-hinged plank door and twin rectangular slit windows to sides; ribbed inner door. Chancel has large 3-light pointed window with label-stops; lean-to vestry on north has integral lateral stack to north, small square-headed trefoiled window on east and Tudor-arched doorway with slate steps to west. Gable-ended organ chamber on south has pointed 2-light window with cusped tracery but without hoodmould to east wall. Corner-buttressed west tower in 4 stages has low blind pointed arch-way to base on west with wooden cross in recess and inscription "This church was built A.D. MDCXXXLVII at the sole expence of Thomas Assheton Smith Esquire" around arch-way. Above is a 3-light window with reticulated tracery and above again narrow trefoil-headed windows to each face; belfry stage has louvred 2-light windows with cusped tracery and decorative roundels above each window; tall broached spire has 2 stone bands and cross to top; half-octagonal stone-capped staircase turret at north-east corner of tower rises to second stage and has 2 rectangular slit windows and plank door with elaborate strap hinges to foot; short section of decorative iron railing between turret and north-west corner of tower.
Reason for Listing
Included as a fine high Victorian church provided by the Assheton Smith family as a place of Anglican worship for its slate quarry workers; good, largely unaltered interior. Makes a striking landscape group with the nearby Cefn-y-Waen Chapel, the 2 buildings forming a graphic example of the C19 competition between Church and Chapel.
References
J E Eardley-Wilmot, Reminiscences of the Late Thomas Assheton Smith (1860).

Uploaded by Barrie Price on 27 February 2014

Photo ID: 98975
Building ID: 300022659

 
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