Eglwys Sant Tysilio

Eglwys Sant Tysilio

Eglwys Sant Tysilio

Date

8 November 2014 (Feast day of Saint Tysilio)
Location

Church Island, Menai Bridge

SH 55181 71768; 53.22315°N, 4.17067°W

Information

The seventh-century Welsh saint Tysilio, or Sulio, was the second son of Brochwel Ysgithrog, King of Powys. He turned his back on the royal court and military service, opting instead for a religious life and later became an abbot. He is believed to have founded a hermitage on Church Island (Ynys Tysilio) in the Menai Strait. He also built churches in Meifod, Powys and Saint-Suliac, Brittany – the latter being the place to where he fled after refusing to marry his brother Cynan’s widow and succeed to the throne of Powys; it is also where he ended his days in 640.

Church Island is now accessed by a short causeway from Belgian Promenade in Menai Bridge. The churchyard covers the whole of the one-hectare island and the present church, which is still in use, was built in the 15th century and was restored at the end of the 19th century. Eglwys Sant Tysilio was a parish church until 1858 and was formerly a chapel of ease of St Mary’s Church in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

Further Reading

Tysilio (Wikipedia);
Church of Saint Tysilio (angleseychurches.co.uk)

 

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St Julitta’s Church, Capel Curig

St Julitta's Church

St Julitta’s Church

Date

18 October 2014
Location

Capel Curig

SH 71839 57967; 53.10344°N, 3.91579°W

Information

The village of Capel Curig took its name from the chapel there dedicated to Curig Llwyd – Curig the Blessed, 6th-century Bishop of Llanbadarn. The original chapel would have been of timber construction and this was replaced by a stone-built edifice in the 13th century which was extended around 1500. In medieval times the chapel belonged to the Priory of Beddgelert with it later becoming part of the parish of Llandegai. In Norman times the Welsh Curig was displaced by St Curig, or Cyriacus, the 4th-century three-year-old boy martyr from Iconium (now Konya in present-day Turkey). In 1837 alterations were carried out by George Hay Dawkins Pennant, second cousin of the first Baron Penrhyn of Penrhyn in the county of Louth and father-in-law of the first Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai. Rectangular windows, a new entrance and bellcote were added and the interior was plastered with the medieval roof beams being covered by a barrel-vaulted ceiling. Telford’s A5 London-to-Holyhead route passes through the village and with the increasing numbers of visitors in the 19th century the church became too small to serve the congregational needs. In 1883 a new church, designed by architect Goronwy Owen, opened on the main road. This became St Curig’s Church* and the dedication of the original was changed to Julitta, mother of the boy martyr. Further renovation work was carried out on Julitta’s in the 1950s and it was deconsecrated in the 1970s. It is now in the care of the charity The Friends of St Julitta’s, who leased the building from the Church in Wales in 1998 and who carried out additional restoration of the church, the smallest in Snowdonia, from 2001 to 2004.

[*St Curig’s Church is now a B&B and bunkhouse run by Lady Alice Douglas, daughter of David Harrington Angus Douglas, 12th Marquess of Queensberry. The building was deconsecrated in 1992 and was acquired by the current owner in 1998.]

 

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Capel Garmon Parish Church Cemetery

Capel Garmon Parish Church

Capel Garmon Parish Church

Date

13 September 2014
Location

Capel Garmon, Conwy

SH 81545 55449; 53.08307°N, 3.76996°W

Information

The former Anglican church in Capel Garmon was dedicated to the Welsh saint Garmon, traditionally identified with Saint Germanus of Auxerre (c 378-448) who visited Britain around 429, shortly after the Roman withdrawal. A number of previous churches occupied the site. The previous one was built in 1789 and by 1862 this had become ruinous and was rebuilt by Lancaster architect Edward Graham Paley in 1862-63. The present building was originally a chapel of ease (a subsidiary church) to Llanrwst before becoming a parish church in its own right in 1927. Ownership was transferred to the Church in Wales in 1939. The building was deconsecrated in 1994, made redundant the following year, and sold in 2006.

Acknowledgement: grateful thanks are due to Rebecca Rabjohns, Estates Officer of The Representative Body of the Church in Wales, for kindly providing some of the historical data.

Further Reading

St Garmon’s Church, Capel Garmon (Wikipedia)

 

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Old Town Cemetery, Stirling

The Wigtown Martyrs Monument

Martyrs’ Monument. The marble statue was created by Alexander Handyside Ritchie in 1859 and the encasing glazed cast-iron structure was added in 1867 by architect John Thomas Rochead, designer of the National Wallace Monument.

Date

28 August 2014
Location

Stirling

NS 79079 93839; 56.12190°N, 3.94663°W

Information

The hollow, known as The Valley, situated between Stirling’s castle esplanade and the Church of the Holy Rude, was used as an event ground during the Stuart era. It served as a venue for gatherings such as jousting tournaments, horse fairs and markets. The site is now occupied by the Old Town Cemeteries, a complex comprising the old kirkyard, Valley Cemetery, Mars Wark Garden, Drummond Pleasure Ground, and the later Snowdon Cemetery. By the mid 19th century Holy Rude’s kirkyard had become desperately overcrowded and the adjoining Valley Cemetery and Mars Wark Garden were therefore created in 1857-59. The adjacent Drummond Pleasure Ground, with its Star Pyramid – a monument to Scottish civil and religious martyrs – was completed in 1863. The complex was designed not only as a graveyard, but also as a recreational and educational public park aimed at the increasing numbers of tourists arriving in Stirling since the railway had reached the town in 1849.

The central area of Valley Cemetery features statues by sculptor Alexander Handyside Ritchie (1804-1870), who was born in Musselburgh and studied in Edinburgh and Rome, of three pivotal figures in the history of the Reformed Church in Scotland – John Knox (c 1514-1572), Andrew Melville (1545-1622) and Alexander Henderson (c 1583-1646).

Also prominent in the cemetery is the Martyrs’ Monument, another work by Ritchie. This marble statue was created in 1859 and commemorates the Wigtown Martyrs – Margaret Wilson, 18, and Margaret McLachlan, 75 – who, clinging to their Covenanter principles, refused to recognise James VII as head of the Church and were executed for treason by drowning in the Solway Firth. The Covenanters were members of a religious movement committed to preserving the changes of the 1560 Scottish Reformation (where the Church broke with the Papacy) and to maintaining the Presbyterian system, where the Church was governed by a session of representatives, rather than by bishops appointed by the crown. After the restoration of the monarchy, the Covenanters were persecuted and attending their open-air gatherings became a capital offence.

A £1.7m restoration of the Old Town Cemeteries was completed in 2009 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stirling Council, Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Further Reading

Old Town Cemetery Stirling;
Margaret Wilson (Scottish martyr) (Wikipedia)

 

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St Ann’s Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

St Ann's Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

St Ann’s Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

Date

10 August 2014
Location

Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

SH 61038 66307; 53.17566°N, 4.08062°W

Information

The original St Ann’s Chapel today lies buried under the great sprawling spoil heaps of Penrhyn Quarry. Consecrated in 1813, it was built around 1807 by Richard Pennant (1737 – 1808), Baron Penrhyn of Penrhyn in the county of Louth, and named after his wife Anne Susannah Warburton, heiress to the Penrhyn Estate. The building of the chapel is one of the accomplishments commemorated on Westmacott’s grand Penrhyn monument in St Tegai’s Church, Llandygai.

The chapel was still included on the 1840 Ordnance Survey map. Together with the hamlet of Bryn Llys, it was, however, later engulfed as the workings at the slate quarry expanded. Its location is now occupied by the north-western end of the waste tips on the southern side of the B4409 Bethesda-to-Tregarth road.

A replacement church was constructed in 1865 by Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant (1800 – 1886), 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai (Richard Pennant’s second cousin’s son-in-law). The new St Ann’s Church was designed by Penrhyn Estate architect J O Roberts and was built in Bryn Eglwys, a new village built for quarry workers, about half a mile north west of the location of the original chapel.

St Ann’s Church was transferred from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England to the Church in Wales in 1921. Prohibitive costs of repairs to the church forced its closure in 1997 and the building was sold in 1999. Its churchyard is still maintained by the local Parochial Church Council and it is still in use for the burial of ashes.

Acknowledgement: grateful thanks are due to Rebecca Rabjohns,
Estates Officer of The Representative Body of the Church in Wales, for kindly providing some of the historical data.

 

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St Michael’s Old Church, Betws-y-Coed

St Michael's Old Church, Betws-y-Coed

St Michael’s Old Church, Betws-y-Coed

Date

2 August 2014
Location

Betws-y-Coed

SH 79578 56538; 53.09241°N, 3.79971°W

Information

The Grade II* listed St Michael’s Church, dating back to the 14th century and situated on the banks of the Afon Conwy, is the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed. Three huge yew trees in its churchyard are thought to be around 1000 years old and the church stands on the site of the original ‘Betws’ (prayer house) that gave the village its name.

Thomas Telford put Betws-y-Coed on the map by including it in his mail route from London to Holyhead. The scenic village’s popularity as a tourist destination saw a marked increase once his A5 road through the village opened in the 1820s. The church subsequently became too small to serve the needs of the community and it was therefore enlarged when it was rebuilt in 1843. A further surge in the numbers of visitors came with the opening in 1868 of the LNWR railway station in the village. A second, larger church — St Mary’s — was therefore built in 1873 as a replacement.

During the 20th century the use of St Michael’s declined and by the 1990s the building had fallen into a state of disrepair. It was declared redundant in 1996, but was not de-consecrated — at least two services are still held there annually. The building is leased from the Church in Wales by the charity Friends of St Michael’s, which was founded in 1994 and which has been responsible for its restoration.

Further Reading

Friends of St Michael’s

 

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Machpellah Cemetery, Deiniolen

Machpellah Cemetery, Deiniolen

Machpellah Cemetery, Deiniolen

Date

19 July 2014
Location

Deiniolen

SH 57775 63045; 53.14549°N, 4.12795°W

Information

Machpellah Cemetery in Deiniolen has been administered by Arfon Borough Council since 1978. It was founded by 11 local chapels of various denominations in 1844 and was expanded in the 1920s. The name comes from the Hebrew machpelah (‘double cave’), also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site near Hebron purchased, according to tradition, by Abraham as a family mausoleum.

Acknowledgement: grateful thanks are due to Annwen Jones, Gwynedd Council Archivist for providing historical details of the site.

 

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Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

Christ Church, Glanogwen, Bethesda

Date

28 June 2014
Location

Bethesda

SH 62562 66747; 53.18000°N, 4.05803°W

Information

Christ Church, Bethesda was built in 1855-56 by Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant (1800-1886), owner of Penrhyn Quarry and who, in 1866, became the 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandegai. This Anglican church was designed by London-based architect Thomas Henry Wyatt (1807-1880), second cousin once removed of Pennant’s Agent, James Wyatt. The church was restored in 1906 and received a Grade II listing in 1997.

Further Reading

Christ Church, Bethesda (British Listed Buildings)

 

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Christ Church, Deiniolen

Christ Church, Deiniolen

Christ Church, Deiniolen

Date

7 June 2014
Location

Deiniolen

SH 58357 63013; 53.14536°N, 4.11924°W

Information

Eglwys Crist (Christ Church) is a Church in Wales church situated on the edge of the village of Deiniolen. The Grade II listed building was designed by architect Henry Kennedy and was built in 1857. Its construction was funded by Thomas Assheton Smith, owner of the nearby Dinorwic Quarry, in order to provide a local church for his Anglican quarrymen, who received preferential treatment compared to their Non-conformist fellow workers.

Further Reading

Eglwys Crist (Christ Church), Llanddeiniolen (British Listed Buildings)

 

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St Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan

St Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

Date

26 May 2014
Location

Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire

SJ 00409 75476; 53.26688°N, 3.49467°W

Information

Church in Wales’ St Margaret’s Church, also known as the ‘Marble Church’, was designed by architect John Gibson and was constructed from 1856 to 1860. The project cost £60,000 and was funded by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Williams of Bodelwyddan Castle, in memory of her husband, Warwickshire baron Lord Willoughby de Broke, who died in 1852. The church was built in local limestone and its interior features pillars and flooring of various types of marble from several different countries.

In the church’s cemetery there are 116 military graves: 33 British and 83 Canadian. The Canadian service personnel buried there were from the nearby Kinmel Park Camp and most of those perished in the 1918/19 Spanish flu pandemic. Four graves, however, belong to soldiers killed in a two-day riot that broke out in March 1919. According to official figures, five people lost their lives in the uprising, although it is suspected that many more may have been killed. Around 17,000 Canadian troops were stationed at the transit camp for many months following the end of World War I. Poor conditions and the long delays led to growing unrest amongst the ranks, with the revolt being sparked when it came to light that ships that had been reserved to transport the troops back home to Canada were being used for other purposes.

Further Reading

Marble Church, Bodelwyddan (Wikipedia);
90 year mystery of soldier riots (BBC News)

 

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Eglwys Garmon Sant, Betws Garmon

Eglwys Garmon Sant

Eglwys Garmon Sant

Date

25 January 2014
Location

Betws Garmon

SH 53575 57587; 53.09533°N, 4.18821°W

Information

The Anglican church at Betws Garmon was dedicated to the Welsh saint Garmon, traditionally identified with Saint Germanus of Auxerre (c 378-448) who visited Britain around 429, shortly after the Roman withdrawal. The church was rebuilt in 1841-42 by George Alexander. The building, which is Grade II listed, was transferred to the Church in Wales in 1933.

Acknowledgement: grateful thanks are due to Rebecca Rabjohns, Estates Officer of The Representative Body of the Church in Wales, for kindly providing some of the historical data.

 

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St Cross Church, Tal-y-bont

St Cross Church, Tal-y-bont

St Cross Church, Tal-y-bont

Date

18 January 2014
Location

Tal-y-bont, Bangor

SH 60893 70820; 53.21616°N, 4.08475°W

Information

The Church of St Cross (Eglwys St Cross) received a Grade II listing in 2000 and is located on the eastern edge of the village of Tal-y-bont. The Anglican, neo-Norman style church was built in 1892 by the Penrhyn Estate with Thomas Dinham Atkinson (1864-1948) as architect.

Further Reading

St Cross’ Church (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

 

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St Mary’s Church, Beddgelert

St Mary's Church, Beddgelert

St Mary’s Church, Beddgelert

Date

11 January 2014
Location

Beddgelert

SH 59071 48038; 53.01103°N, 4.10200°W

Information

The Anglican St Mary’s Church in Beddgelert stands on one of Wales’ oldest Christian sites. There was a monastic community there from the 6th century and an Augustinian priory was founded in the 13th century. The priory became a parish church in the 16th century after Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. The church was rebuilt in the 15th century and further repairs and alterations were carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Further Reading

St Mary’s Church, Beddgelert (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

 

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St Edwen’s Church (Llanedwen Parish Church)

Llanedwen Parish Church

Grave of the 4th and 5th Marquesses of Anglesey, Llanedwen Parish Church

Date

12 October 2013
Location

Llanedwen, Anglesey

SH 51733 68234; 53.19046°N, 4.22062°W

Information

St Edwen, daughter or niece of St Edwin, King of Northumbria, founded the church at Llanedwen in 640. The original building was demolished and rebuilt by architect Henry Kennedy in 1856. The Church in Wales church stands on land belonging to the Plas Newydd estate and received a Grade II listing in 1998.

St Edwen’s Church, Llanedwen (Wikipedia)

 

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St Michael’s Church, Pentre Berw

St Michael's Church, Pentre Berw

St Michael’s Church, Pentre Berw

Date

5 October 2013
Location

Pentre Berw, Anglesey

SH 47883 73425; 53.23599°N, 4.28068°W

Information

The ruins of St Michael’s church, which dates back to the 15th century, stand somewhat isolated just to the north of Pentre Berw in Anglesey. The building was superseded in 1847 by the present Anglican St Michael’s Parish Church 1.4km to the south in Gaerwen.

St Michael’s Church (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

 

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St Mary’s Churchyard, Llanfairpwll

St Mary's, Llanfairpwll

St Mary’s, Llanfairpwll

Date

17 August 2013
Location

Llanfairpwll, Anglesey

SH 53640 71199; 53.21761°N, 4.19346°W

Information

St Mary’s, located close to the shore of the Menai Strait, is The Church in Wales’ parish church for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Religious use of the site is thought to date back to the 7th century. The present church was built in 1853 and replaced a medieval structure demolished in 1852.

History of St Mary’s Llanfairpwll (The Church in Wales);
Pronunciation of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

 

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