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Parish Church of St Wddyn

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanwddyn, Powys

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Latitude: 52.7623 / 52°45'44"N

Longitude: -3.4497 / 3°26'58"W

OS Eastings: 302274

OS Northings: 319285

OS Grid: SJ022192

Mapcode National: GBR 6L.Z2HK

Mapcode Global: WH67T.ZTGQ

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Wddyn

Listing Date: 26 February 2003

Last Amended: 26 February 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 80932

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: 300 m east of the Vyrnwy Dam, in a grassed churchyard in which there are apparently no burials; iron railings and gates.

County: Powys

Community: Llanwddyn

Community: Llanwddyn

Locality: Cynon-isaf

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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The parish church of St Wddyn was built to the design of F W Holme, architect, at the expense of Liverpool Corporation. It replaces the ancient church of St John which was destroyed for the flooding of the Vyrnwy valley. The site was probably selected considerably before the construction of the reservoir, when the flooding of the Vyrnwy valley was first contemplated; its adjacent graveyard was evidently established in the 1860s.

A carved inscription in the porch records "The old church of St John being covered by the Lake Vyrnwy this Church of St Wddyn was erected AD 1887". The church was consecrated on May 5th 1888.


St Wddyn's church stands on a site sloping down to the east. It is built in a free Arts and Crafts interpretation of Early English, featuring battered walling of the porch and chancel and prominent additions to the nave and chancel.

The masonry is rock-faced in local slate in slightly irregular courses, characterised by many sloping joints in place of perpends, and with sandstone dressings. Gable buttresses to west and south. There is an apsidal string course at sill level. The roofs are of slate generally with sprocketted eaves, and with lead dressings to hips and valleys. Coped gables and verges, an iron cross finial at the east end, stone cross over west end.

The chancel is slightly lower than the nave, with an octagonal apsidal end. To the south there is an aisle beneath a lower-pitched roof, a boldly projecting porch and a south transept. To the north is a vestry of lean-to form above the basement for the heating apparatus. The chancel and vestry are well above the adjacent ground level, and there are outside stairs to the latter. A prominent eastern single bellcote with coped gable dressed in copper marks the articulation of nave and chancel.

The east windows are short, wide trefoil-headed lights, paired in the east wall and singly in the flanks, beneath the prominent eaves. The nave windows are three single broad lancets to the north and there are two pairs of shorter similar lights to the south aisle. Three tall lancets grouped in the west wall under a relieving arch and a pair with a roundel above in the south transept also under a relieving arch; single small light to the east of the transept. The porch is partially timber-framed, and the main entrance doorway is in the Norman style (but with a very slight Transitional point) in two orders with cushion capitals and zig-zag on the face of the inner order arch, and prominent wrought iron door hinges.


Entered by the south door, the interior consists of nave and south aisle with a three-arch arcade but pewed as one, a chancel and short sanctuary, a vestry behind a screen to the north and an organ in the south transept. The lowness of the windows creates a dark interior. Brick interior walls with bands of slate, the bottom of the walls painted a dark colour.

Nave with herringbone wood-block floor, plain pews, pulpit at left. Roof of three and a half bays with ties, king posts and scissor beams. Two steps up to chancel, one step to sanctuary. Broad and tall chancel arch in cream-coloured stone with octagonal responds and a similar arch on corbels to the sanctuary; the chancel and sanctuary ceilings facetted, with blue panels speckled with stars, and cream coloured ribs. Decorated floor tiles including encaustic tiles in the chancel and sanctuary. The choir stalls incorporate carvings (trails and bosses) said to have been recovered from the gallery of the old St John's church. The sanctuary has sill-height wainscot behind the altar and on the flanking walls. Nook columns to the east window with black slate shafts. Small aumbry in the north side, two sedilia in the south side. Gateless altar rails on metal standards.

The stained glass is a good set of signed work by Curtis, Ward and Hughes, including a commemorative west window to G F Deacon, donated by his widow and children and dated 1909; the centre light features the text "and he wrought all the work". The centre window on the north side also commemorates Deacon, and features the text "whoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whoever drinketh of the water I shall give him shall never thirst." The aisle windows to the south are glazed with coloured quarries. One brass plaque on the north wall.

Reasons for Listing

A fine Arts and Crafts interpretation of the Early Gothic style, in a church built in conjunction with the Grade I listed dam of Liverpool Corporation's Vyrnwy Reservoir.

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