History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Church of St Peter ad Vincula

A Grade II Listed Building in Pennal, Gwynedd

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 52.5856 / 52°35'8"N

Longitude: -3.9205 / 3°55'13"W

OS Eastings: 269980

OS Northings: 300380

OS Grid: SH699003

Mapcode National: GBR 8Z.B3D1

Mapcode Global: WH57F.R88M

Plus Code: 9C4RH3PH+7Q

Entry Name: Church of St Peter ad Vincula

Listing Date: 25 May 2000

Last Amended: 3 August 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23314

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: The parish church stands at the centre of the village, within an oval walled churchyard.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Machynlleth

Community: Pennal

Community: Pennal

Traditional County: Merionethshire

Find accommodation in


The church was founded in the C6 by St Tannwg and St Eithrias, missionaries from Brittany. It was Owain Glyndwr's last Chapel Royal, playing a central role during the parliament held at Pennal in march 1406: this parliament was also a Great Synod of the church and produced the Pennal Letter, dated 31st March 1406, and addressed to the French Pope Benedict XIII. The earlier church was rebuilt in 1700 and 1761, and restored in 1810 and 1873. Porch added 1880 (using stone from Llugwy Quarry which had also been used to rebuild the east end in 1761). Its dedication is unique in Wales, though there are at least 12 known in England.


Built of local coursed dolerite, some recovered from the nearby Roman fort, and formerly rendered, and with a slate roof. Nave and chancel in one body, with added C19 S porch, and slate-hung W bellcote rising through the roof and capped by a pyramidal slate roof, terminating with a weathercock. The S door is wide, with a flat arch of radial voussoirs. Four rectangular windows with similar flat arches, probably C18 but rebuilt, the easternmost cut down as a door and subsequently blocked. Similar windows on the N side. Gabled S porch with round-headed chamfered outer arch and small rectangular windows each side. Quarry tiled floor. At the W end, a single round-headed lancet and, at the E end, a large round-headed window.
A vestry was added on the N side in 1903, and has a pronounced N gable terminating in a cross.


A wide single cell building of 9 roof bays; arch-braced collar trusses, but the W truss with a tie beam and 3 posts with angled struts. Early C16 timbers were re-used in the reconstruction of the roof in 1873. Walls plastered, the plaster carried up to the roof slope concealing the feet of the principal rafters. Quarry tiled floor. One full-width step to the sanctuary area.
Fittings: font, an inverted bell-shaped limestone bowl with a 'rope' rim, mounted on an C18 baluster support, all set on a raised quarry-tiled plinth. Pulpit, C18 fret-carved panels reset in the C19. Pews, including cross pews of the choir, fielded panelled, probably C18 and again reset. Altar rail, a continuous balustered rail, incurving at the ends. Reredos panelling - similar C18 fielded panelling.
At the rear of the church, a 3-bay C18 timber arcade surviving from the former gallery which had been removed in the C19 restorations.
Glass: E window, an Ascension, c1873, by Holland & Holt, Warwick. N side E window: 1928. On the S side the Eastern window: Christ receiving the children, by Ward & Hughes, London, 1893, and at the W, the Heavenly City, 1920.
Monuments: the church has a large number of wall monuments. On the E wall (a) a corniced tablet, arms over, by Marshall of Shrewsbury, to Jonathan Anwyl JP of Llugwy d.1852; (b) Capt Maurice Anwyl; (c) corniced tablet, arms over, to Lewis Edwards of Talgarth, d.1797 and Pryce Edwards; (d) alabaster tablet to William Allen FRCS, Bengal Medical Service, d.1885, and wife. On the N wall, from the E: (e) white marble on grey, by J S Westmacott, a drooping sail, anchor and rope, cross above, to Capt Charles Thrustan of Pennal Towers, d.1858; (f) white marble, to Rev John Rowlands, curate, drowned in the Dovey 1831; (g) marble on grey-green granite, to Clement Thrustan of Pennal Towers, and other members of the family; (h) white marble on grey, by T R Jones, Llanbrynmair, to Mary Lascelles of Penmaendyfi, d.1917, with her husband, Capt. Arthur Lascelles, VC, d.1918, and 2 sons; (i) small white marble tablet on shaped slate, coloured arms, to Hugh Vaughan of Maes-y-gwern-goch, d.1917; (j) a composite tablet, to Commander Edmund Thruston RN, d.1941 in the service of W Australia. On the S wall, from E: (k) a tall white marble tablet on grey field, sunburst IHS in a pediment, to Eliza Thruston (Sotheby) of Talgarth, d.1840; (l) white marble on grey, a tapered and corniced chest, urn over, by W Pistell, London, to Frances Thruston, d.1828; (m) a white marble tablet supported by grey marble scrolls, above the cornice a pyramid of grey marble carrying 4 profile busts and shields, drapery over, to Humphrey Edwards of Talgarth, d.1772, and his children; (n) white marble corniced tablet, urn over, against a black field, by John Carline the Younger of Shrewsbury, to the Rev Maurice Annwyl, d.1832 and family; (o) a limestone panel with 4 arches, coloured arms over, a copy of a graveyard monument to 4 members of the Annwyl family, d. 1721-1817; (p) pilastered white marble tablet, pediment with acroteriae and book, by Dodson of Shrewsbury, to Rev Lewis Hughes, late of Gogarth, d.1855; (q) white marble on grey, shaped top with painted and gilded arms, to Robert Anwyl, JP of Llugwy, d.1933, and wife; (r) white marble on black, a bold cornice breaking forward, with urn over, to Richard Matthews of Esgair Llyverin, d.1824, and wife; (s) white tablet on grey, tapered head flanked by upturned torches, urn over the cornice, by Soward & Son, London, to the children of Richard Matthews - Oliver, d.1831 whilst bathing in the Dovey, Richard, a sister, and Vernon, d.1849 in the California goldrush. (t) white marble on black, to Georgina Ruck, d.1872; (u) brass tablet set in slate, by Walter, London, a reclining grieving lady, to Blanche, Emily and Parker Thruston, n.d. Also three Flemish carved oak panels of c1700 of the Antwerp School, with busts in oval frames, pediment over, and scrolled supports, representing SS Andrew, Jude and Paul with crossed weapons below indicating martyrdom, and 1 draped distressed woman. The beautiful panel of St Hubert was stolen in the 1980s. Victorian oak panel, believed to be memorial to Lleucu Llwyd (1360-1390).
Furniture: late C17 chairs, one upholstered. Two C20 paintings, one the 1406 Cynulliad Cymreig, by Aneurin Jones, 1996, and two of the patron saints, by Griff Owen, 1983-4.

Reasons for Listing

Included as an unusual and simple C18 church on an ancient site, with significant associations with the short-lived Glyndwr rebellion, and one containing some C18 fittings and an interesting collection of monuments to local gentry. Of group value within its churchyard wall at the centre of the village.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Telephone Call-box
    The GPO box stands against the churchyard wall, opposite the Riverside Hotel, in the centre of the village.
  • II Riverside Hotel
    The hotel is located in the centre of the village, facing E over the churchyard.
  • II Y Bwthyn, Tithe Barn Cottages
    The row of cottages lines the main road E of the centre of the village, overlooking the churchyard.
  • II Tithe Barn Cottages
    The row of cottages lines the main road E of the centre of the village, overlooking the churchyard.
  • II Tithe Barn Cottages
    The row of cottages lines the main road E of the centre of the village, overlooking the churchyard.
  • II Tithe Barn Cottages
    The row of cottages lines the main road, W of the centre of the village, and overlooking the churchyard. No 1 is at the E end, on the corner of the road to Y Gaer.
  • II Pont Pennal
    The bridge is in the centre of the village, carrying the main road from Machynlleth to Aberdovey over the Afon Pennal
  • II Addoldy MC Pennal, including front yard and railings (Methodist Chapel)
    The chapel stands to the N of the church, in the centre of the village, and on a minor road to Pennal Isaf.

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.