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St John's Church, Barmouth

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Map ReferenceSH61NW
Grid ReferenceSH6132615944
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St John's Church is situated on a shelf of rock overlooking the town of Barmouth. The new church was erected between 1889 and 1891, in order to help accomodate Barmouth's increasing numbers of residents and visitors. A substantial amount of the funding needed was donated by Mrs Perrins (who had a holiday residence in Barmouth), in memory of her husband, owner of the Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce factory. St John's Church Hall (NPRN 31944) was built in 1910, and is located to the immediate north-west of the church.

The church is a Grade II listed building and is considered one of the most splendid Victorian churches of Gwynedd. The cruciform building was designed by Douglas and Fordham, and consists of a long nave (whose aisles are framed by the gables of the transepts and porches), a great crossing tower (set well to the east), and a short, high chancel. Building work began in 1889 and the foundation stone was laid by Princess Beatrice of Battenburg. The building was nearly complete in 1891, when the tower collapsed, taking much of the nave with it. It was rebuilt, and finally consecrated in 1895. The design incorporated a purpose built area for an organ that was to be installed in the church upon completion of the building. This resulted in an organ with all parts easily accessible for maintenance. Prior to 1895 organs in churches in the surrounding area were virtually unheard of, and the organ at St John's was almost as big as the organ at Bangor cathedral (which was the largest in North Wales).

Sources include:
Haslam, Orbach and Voelcker, 2009, The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd. Pevsner Architectural Guide, 550

N Vousden, RCAHMW, May 2012.