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Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Ysceifiog, Flintshire

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Latitude: 53.2337 / 53°14'1"N

Longitude: -3.2709 / 3°16'15"W

OS Eastings: 315266

OS Northings: 371498

OS Grid: SJ152714

Mapcode National: GBR 6T.09XZ

Mapcode Global: WH76Q.QZMB

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 31 January 2001

Last Amended: 31 January 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 24663

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In the centre of the village and within a walled churchyard.

County: Flintshire

Town: Holywell

Community: Ysceifiog

Community: Ysceifiog

Traditional County: Flintshire

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The present church was built 1836-7 probably by Edward Welch, and replacing an earlier church. The design, characterised by a large nave and a shallow chancel, is typical of church design in the 1830s when the liturgical emphasis was for preaching over ritual. The church was restored in 1912 when the present pews (replacing original box pews) and choir stalls were installed, and when the original medieval font was reinstated. A W gallery was probably dismantled at this time. In the early 1980s the original iron-framed glazing was replaced and plaster was removed from the interior walls.


A simple early C19 Gothic church of rubble stone and slate roof behind coped gables, comprising a wide 5-bay nave with a lower and narrower chancel and W tower. The nave has broadly chamfered lancet windows and buttresses capped with gablets below an eaves cornice with plain corbel table. The chancel has 3 stepped lancets to the E window, flanked by set back buttresses similar to the nave. Stone steps lead down below the E window to a crypt doorway under a round brick head and with boarded door. Lean-tos, housing the vestry and organ, are built against the N and S walls of the chancel, but set back from the line of the nave walls, with lancets facing E. The N vestry has a boarded N door under a pointed head. The nave W wall has single lancets flanking the tower.

The 4-stage tower has clasping buttresses in the lower 2 stages, above which rise angle buttresses capped by gablets at parapet level. The pointed W doorway has a broad chamfer and replaced double boarded doors. Above it is a single lancet in W and N faces and a blind lancet in the S face. Above a string course the 3rd stage has a pair of lancets in the W face and similar blind lancets in the N and S faces. Below the bell stage is a string course and corbel table. The bell stage has 2 tall louvered lancets with shallow buttresses between them. The embattled parapet has large angle pinnacles with pyramidal caps and thinner intermediate pinnacles with saddleback copings.


The interior is rubble-faced and has a plain plaster ceiling. The plain Tudor arch to the chancel (originally with painted panels in the spandrels) was rebuilt in 1983. The lower stage of the tower is the porch, and in its W wall is the worn C14 effigy of a priest in the W wall. At the E end of the nave are short screens against the N and S walls (concealing the vestry on the N side, organ on the S side), above which is open Gothic tracery. In the chancel are a cusped piscina and aumbry. The choir has a mosaic floor with fleur de lys decoration and in the sanctuary is a floor of decorative and encaustic tiles.

The font, brought from the old church, is a typical Perpendicular piece, octagonal with quatrefoils in relief around the bowl, and stands on a later stem and base. A brass band is placed around the rim to hold the original lead lining in place, and required some of the carving on the face to be cut away. The simple polygonal wooden pulpit has blind tracery panels, and is contemporary with the plain benches and choir stalls.

The E window, by Hardman c1845 and restored in the late C20 by Linley Glass Studios, Halkyn, depicts Christ with SS Mary and Martha. It commemorates The Rev W Williams (d.1835) and 2 sisters, Mary Jones (d.1826) and Eliza Griffith (d.1845). The window incorporates some medieval glass in its marginal panes. In the nave N wall the 2 windows to the E end have glass of c1900 showing Christ as the Good Shepherd and as the Light of the World.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for architectural interest as a good example of the Gothic style immediately pre-dating the ecclesiological revival of the 1840s, and one of the last churches to be built as a 'preaching box' with an understated chancel.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Cross in churchyard of St Mary's Church
    In the churchyard on the S side of the church.
  • II The Old Rectory
    Immediately E of the church of St Mary and set back from the road in its own grounds.
  • II Ysceifiog Community Hall
    At the main village crossroads, about 100m NW of St Mary's Church.
  • II School House, including forecourt railings
    Attached to the W side of the Community Hall, which is at main village crossroads, about 100m NW of St Mary's Church.
  • II Stable at Fox Inn
    On the R-hand (E) side of the Fox Inn and adjacent to the School House.
  • II Fox Inn
    On the N side of the main road through the village, approximately 100m NW of the church.
  • II Gledlom
    Approximately 0.75km SE of Ysceifiog church and reached by farm road S of Ffordd Gledlom between Ysceifiog and Lixwm.
  • II* Pantgwynmawr
    Approximately 0.8km NNE of Ysceifiog church, on the NE side at the end of a lane N of a minor road between Ysceifiog and Lixwm.

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