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St Peter's Church, Llanbedr

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Map ReferenceSH52NE
Grid ReferenceSH5849826979
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
St Peter's Church was first mentioned in 13th century documents, and originated as a medieval chapel, dependent on Llandanwg (NPRN 43901). Following the abandonment of Landanwg in 1845 it became a parish church. The churchyard may have formerly been curvilinear, as reflected by its eastern side. Surrounding gardens have encroached upon its north, west and southern sides. The lych gate is eighteenth century and was restored between 1987-1992. Some 152m to the west of the churchyard is a pair of standing stones, Meini Hirion (NPRN 302694), whose proximity to the church suggests the two sites may be associated. The church contains an incised stone with a spiral pattern on its face, but this is noted as having been brought in from elsewhere. The distribution pattern of groups of churches along the seaboard of Ardudwy has been noted, the churches in each group being in close proximity to one another. St Peter's, along with St Tanwg's, Llandanwg (NPRN 43901) and St Mary's, Llanfair-juxta-Harlech (NPRN 43887), are one such group, being located within about a mile and a half of one another.

The church is a Grade II listed building, constructed of rubble stone. It consists of a nave and chancel, north vestry, south porch and west bellcote. The nave and chancel are thought to have originally been continuous, but are now divided by an arch, thought to be eighteenth or nineteenth century. Some of the walling is likely to be medieval. The north wall is thought to have contained a low rude arch, suggesting the former existence of an adjoining aisle or chapel. The octagonal font bowl is thought to be post medieval, and rests on a late medieval octagonal shaft. Another octagonal bowl lies loose adjacent to it. Three mortar stones or querns also lie loose beside the font. The church was heavily restored and the west wall partially rebuilt in 1883. A north vestry was added. The openings were all renewed, as was the floor. The roof was renewed, although it still contains reused medieval trusses, the earliest being fifteenth century arch-braced collar-beams. Two small recesses are situated either side of the font, one round-headed, the other square-headed. They are noted to have contained stoups in 1914.

Sources include:
Beverley Smith, J, Beverley Smith, Ll, 2001, History of Merioneth II, 342-343
Davidson, A, 2008, `Two new early medieval stones from Llandanwg?, Archaeology in Wales 48, 73-75
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 2000, Historic churches of Gwynedd: gazetteer, 391

N Vousden RCAHMW, May 2012