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ST MARY AND CHRIST CHURCH, LLANFAIRFECHEN

Site Details

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

NPRN 43665

Map Reference SH67SE

Grid Reference SH6813574684

Unitary (Local) Authority Conwy

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Llanfairfechan

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century

Site Description Christ Church is located above the south-west bank of the Afon Llanfairfechan at the western edge of the village. It was built in 1864 in Decorated style to designs of architects C & J Shaw, of Saddleworth, paid for by a native of Lancashire John Platt of Bryn-y-Neuadd Hall, Llanfairfechan. The north aisle was built in 1874 in memory of Platt (d.1872), and a new chancel, vestry and organ chamber were built in 1892. The church, described as 'brazenly English', was built with the intention of stemming the tide of Nonconformity in the area, where eight chapels were built between 1863 and 1900, and also to cater for the increasing numbers of English holidaymakers. It is constructed of buff rock-faced coursed stone with freestone dressings (imported from Lancashire), and slate roofs banded purple and green over nave and south aisle. The church consists of nave with lean-to south aisle and gabled north aisle, south-west tower with spire, gabled north-west porch, and chancel with south vestry and north organ chamber. The three-stage tower is set in the angle between nave and south aisle. The bell stage makes the transition to a tall octagonal stone spire with freestone banding, with alternating broaches and trefoil windows to the faces of an octagon. The tower has diagonal buttress and a clasping projection with stairs.
Inside, the nave is of five bays with alternating octagonal and cylindrical shafts. The nave and north aisle have common rafter roofs, while the eastmost two bays of the south aisle have ornate late medieval style roof and, against the wall, canopied wooden stalls. Behind the wrought iron chancel screen the chancel roof is ribbed and boarded with painted floral decoration and inscriptions (designed by H L North, architect, of Llanfairfechan). Fittings and furnishings include an alabaster reredos with statues flanking the east window; wooden traceried war memorial altar and reredos in the Lady Chapel (also by North, c.1921); and a heavily ornamented font with a tall, simplified wooden cover. Stained glass includes works by Hardman (1872), Clayton & Bell, and Kempe (1900, 1902 & 1905).
Following the closure of the old parish church in 1999, Christ Church was re-dedicated to incorporate the historic dedication to St Mary. The church was decorated, re-wired, and fitted with a new lighting scheme and a public address system in 2004.
Sources:
Cadw Listing description.
R.Haslam, J.Orbach & Adam Voelcker, Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd (2009), p.435-6.
http://www.llanfairfechan.org.uk/

RCAHMW, 8 March 2016

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