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St Mary and All Saints' Church Conwy, Formerly Aberconwy Abbey

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Map ReferenceSH77NE
Grid ReferenceSH7816377526
Unitary (Local) AuthorityConwy
Old CountyCaernarfonshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval

This was the church of Aberconwy Abbey, a Cistercian foundation of the period 1186-1197. It became the parish church of St Mary & All Saints in 1283-4 following the English conquest and the establishment of the borough (NPRN 33013) outside the magnificent new castle (NPRN 121). The abbey was tranferred to Maenan in the Conwy valley 12km to the south, where fragments of its buildings have been excavated (see NPRN 16475).
The abbey church was about 43m long and something of its fabric is preserved in the east and west walls of the present church. The western part would have been a great ailsed nave. Llewelyn's Hall may have been a guest house associated with the abbey (see NPRN 303129).
The church was largely rebuilt in the late thirteenth century. It consisted of an ailsed nave, a chancel and north vestry, and a western tower built in the end bay of the abbey church. The fine south trancept was added soon after. There were various other additions and rebuildings and the church was systematically restored in 1872. It stands within a roughly rectangular grave yard concealed behind the houses in High Street, Castle Street, Rose Hill Street and Lancaster Square. Fittings include a fine rood screen of about 1500 separating the nave and chancel.

Source: RCAHMW Caernarvonshire Inventory I (1956), 39-46

Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, p 29, 34-5, 39, 52, 66, 70 (RCAHMW 2021)

John Wiles 17.03.08

application/pdfGAT - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust ReportsGwynedd Archaeological Trust Report relating to Archaeological Watching Brief at St. Mary's Church, Conwy. Project No: G2157. Report No: 950.
application/pdfCPAT - Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust ReportsClwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust Report No 1340 entitled: 'The Monastic Granges of East Wales: A Scheduling Enhancement Project' prepared by R. J. Silvester and R. Hankinson 2015.