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Church of the Most Holy Redeemer

A Grade II Listed Building in Porthmadog, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.9249 / 52°55'29"N

Longitude: -4.133 / 4°7'58"W

OS Eastings: 256707

OS Northings: 338516

OS Grid: SH567385

Mapcode National: GBR 5P.MY7R

Mapcode Global: WH55L.HR42

Plus Code: 9C4QWVF8+XR

Entry Name: Church of the Most Holy Redeemer

Listing Date: 26 September 2005

Last Amended: 26 September 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 85372

ID on this website: 300085372

Location: On the SW side of the town centre on the road to Morfa Bychan.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Porthmadog

Community: Porthmadog

Community: Porthmadog

Built-Up Area: Porthmadog

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

Tagged with: Church building

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A Roman Catholic church dated 1933. The architect was G. Rinvolucri, an Italian architect who was originally brought to Wales as a prisoner of war. He lived and worked in North Wales, and designed a number of other churches in Wales, including those at Abergele and Amlwch. This church was originally designed with a concrete roof, but the steep slate roof was added in the 1960's.


A church in simplified Romanesque style, with Arts-and-Crafts influence. The church is oriented N-S and comprises a nave and chancel under a single roof, with shallow apsidal projections to the chancel S (liturgical E) and E walls, and lower hipped vestry on the N side. Nave and chancel are tall and narrow, of rock-faced rubble stone with larger quoins, and a steep slate roof on a moulded stone cornice.

The nave, rached up a steep flight of stone steps, has boarded doors with strap hinges, under a lintel with date and the inscription 'ADDOLWYN A CHLODFORWN DI O GRIST. DHERWYDD TRWY DY CROES FENDIGAID TI A BRYNAiST Y BYD. The tympanum has thin voussoirs, and a representation of Christ on the Cross in low-relief - probably marble. It is inscribed with the text 'ADOREMUS TE ET BENEDICIMUS TIBI QUIA SANCTUM CRUCEM REDEMISTI MUNDUM'. To the R and L are small round-headed windows with steel-framed glazing and incorporating pivoting lights. Above is a large cross in low relief, superimposed on a round window. The nave gable has raised verges, concealing a stack on the L (E) side, and has a slate-hung apex of swept profile, projecting on 2 gilded head corbels.

The 3-window side walls have round-headed windows with steel-framed glazing and incorporating pivoting lights. The W side also has a small blocked window at the N end. The E wall has a boarded basement door to a boiler room at the N end, where the ground level is lower. The E apsidal chancel projection is lower and under a conical roof. The S (liturgical E) chancel apse has a hipped slate roof on wide eaves. The chancel gable is slate hung.

The vestry has a half-lit door in the splay abutting the chancel, and in its S wall a 2-light and a 1-light window. In the opposite N wall is a boarded door under a 2-light window.


The barn-like interior has a plaster tunnel vault, and plaster stripped to reveal rubble-stone walls. The chancel apse is blue mosaic and incorporates the figure of a dove. Apses in the side walls are in gold mosaic, and have fine stone statues of the Madonna and child and Christ the Redeemer; mosaic and statues are the work of Jonah Jones. Flanking the east apse are two round-arches: that to right is door to vestry over which is a high relief (timber?) mandorla with the Blessing of Christ; that to left contains a memorial of 1974, with a panel made up of fragments of medieval stained glass. The arrangement of the sanctuary reflects adaptation in the 1960s following the Second Vatican Council: the original rails remain, but other fittings are of the 1960s: altar and ambo are stone with marble framing, and have raised incised slate panels (also the work of Jonah Jones); the polished slate paschal candle-stand is an integral part of this design.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special architectural interest as a strongly composed and robustly detailed C20 Roman Catholic Church, with good interior detail. A fine example of the work of the Italian architect Rinvolucri.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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