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ST MARY AND ST BODFAN'S, LLANABER

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 43859

Cyfeirnod Map SH51NE

Cyfeirnod Grid SH5993218026

Awdurdod Lleol Gwynedd 

Hen Sir Meirionnydd

Cymuned Barmouth

Math o Safle EGLWYS

Cyfnod Ôl-Ganoloesol, Canoloesol

Disgrifiad o´r Safle St Mary and St Bodfan's Church is located within a rectilinear churchyard. Both churchyard and church building are terraced into sloping ground, which is separated from the foreshore by a cliff face. The churchyard has undergone several phases of enlargement. Its original southern boundary can be traced as a low bank. Another low bank is located nearer to the church, possibly indicating an earlier boundary. The churchyard was extended to the south in 1861. At this time a cottage was located to the immediate south-west of the church building. This is visible on historic (1885-1901) Ordnance Survey mapping, but is now only visible as an earthwork. In 1861 the road leading to the cottage was re-routed, with the original being incorporated into the churchyard. The lych gate (NPRN 307134) dates from this time. The churchyard has since been further extended to the south and west.

Two fifth to sixth century stones (known as the ‘Calixtus Stones’), inscribed in Latin, are located in the north aisle. These are not in their original location, and are reported to have been found between Barmouth and Llanaber.

The church is a Grade II listed building, and its existing layout dates from the thirteenth century. The building consists of a north and south aisled nave, a south porch, and a chancel with a north vestry. It is built in the Early English style of architecture, which is little represented in north-west Wales. The style of the masonry has been compared with that at Castell-y-Bere and it has been suggested that both church and castle were commissioned by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. A late thirteenth century cross is built into the wall of the west nave. The single chambered arch in the north wall of the chancel is thought to date to the thirteenth century. The octagonal font is thought to date to the fourteenth century. The roofs of first the chancel and then the nave were replaced in the later medieval period. The fifteenth century chancel roof is constructed of arch braced collar beam trusses. The tie-beam trusses of the nave are thought to date to the sixteenth or seventeenth century. A north chapel was added to the chancel at some time after the Reformation, which is known to have had two rectangular windows in the north wall and one in the west wall. Its measurements were noted in a terrier of 1793 as 7.5 yards length x 6.5 width. The church was heavily restored between 1858 and 1860. The work involved the complete rebuilding of the west front to a new design, and the removal of the north chapel. The vestry, built on the site of the north chapel, and the porch were added at this time. Certain openings were also renewed and the wainscoting of an earlier rood screen was re-erected in the chancel. in 1910 the reredos was added, the alter rails and choir stalls were replaced, and the porch roof was replaced. The building has been more recently restored by Cadw. The work included the replacement of most of the external window mouldings.

Sources include:
Beverley smith, J, Beverley Smith, Ll, 2001, History of Merioneth II, 340-1
Ordnance Survey, 1889, First edition 25inch
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 2000, Historic churches of Gwynedd: gazetteer, 391
Ordnance Survey, 1907, Second edition 25inch
www.churchinwales.org.uk/parishholding/bangor/b508-en/churches-en/st-mary-and-st-bodfan_-en/church_view

RCAHMW, April 2012

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