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Gateway to the Church of Saint Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Porthmadog, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.9384 / 52°56'18"N

Longitude: -4.14 / 4°8'23"W

OS Eastings: 256282

OS Northings: 340038

OS Grid: SH562400

Mapcode National: GBR 5P.LW8K

Mapcode Global: WH55L.CDTN

Entry Name: Gateway to the Church of Saint Mary

Listing Date: 1 April 1974

Last Amended: 26 September 2005

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 83132

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Forming the W entrance to the churchyard, from Church Street.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Porthmadog

Community: Porthmadog

Locality: Tremadoc

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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The Church of Saint Mary was part of the new town developed by William Madocks between 1800 and 1811 on land reclaimed from salt marsh. The church was built in 1811, and the gateway was in place by this time, as described in the accounts of early visitors to the town. One of these, Richard Fenton, ascribed its construction to Coade, and although no maker's mark has yet been found, the material, method of assembly (in pre-cast parts), and style (bearing strong similarities to the work of Coade at the Carlton House conservatory of 1805-1811), all tend to corroborate this attribution. Coadestone was an imitation stone produced between 1771 and 1843 by Eleanor Coade and her successors.


Gateway to church-yard. Coadestone construction. An eclectic composition, loosely late gothic form, but with an extravagant theatrical decorative vocabulary combining grotesque and exotic with conventional patterns. Four-centred archway between octagonal embattled piers, every surface enriched. On the piers, this enrichment comprises tiers of blind traceried panels ornamented with foliage or grotesques, above simpler panelled bases. Tiered frieze above, with grotesques etc., and foiled lozenges. Columns are surmounted by turrets, enriched at angles by elephants' heads (minus their trunks). Frieze band continues over archway, vestigial pedimented centrepiece, foliate trails, foiled lozenges, crockets, and crenellations.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* as a tour-de-force of design and craftsmanship using artificial stone, or Coadestone. A rare and early example of its use in Wales, and a highly unusual essay in exuberant gothic. An essential component in Madocks' original scheme for Tremadog.

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