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Site Details

NPRN 11912

Map Reference SH53NE

Grid Reference SH5670638515

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Porthmadog

Type of Site CHURCH


Period Post Medieval

Site Description The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Porthmadog, was built in 1933 to designs by G. Rinvolucri, an Italian architect who was originally brought to Wales as a prisoner of war. He lived and worked in North Wales, and designed a number of other churches in Wales, including those at Abergele and Amlwch. This church was originally designed with a concrete roof, but the steep slate roof was added in the 1960's.

The church is in simplified Romanesque style, with Arts-and-Crafts influence. The nave, rached up a steep flight of stone steps, has boarded doors with strap hinges, under a lintel with date and the inscription 'ADDOLWYN A CHLODFORWN DI O GRIST. DHERWYDD TRWY DY CROES FENDIGAID TI A BRYNAiST Y BYD. The tympanum has thin voussoirs, and a representation of Christ on the Cross in low-relief - probably marble. It is inscribed with the text 'ADOREMUS TE ET BENEDICIMUS TIBI QUIA SANCTUM CRUCEM REDEMISTI MUNDUM'. To the right and left are small round-headed windows with steel-framed glazing and incorporating pivoting lights. Above is a large cross in low relief, superimposed on a round window.

The barn-like interior has a plaster tunnel vault, and plaster stripped to reveal rubble-stone walls. The chancel apse is blue mosaic and incorporates the figure of a dove. Apses in the side walls are in gold mosaic, and have fine stone statues of the Madonna and child and Christ the Redeemer; mosaic and statues are the work of Jonah Jones. Flanking the east apse are two round-arches: that to right is door to vestry over which is a high relief (timber?) mandorla with the Blessing of Christ; that to left contains a memorial of 1974, with a panel made up of fragments of medieval stained glass. The arrangement of the sanctuary reflects adaptation in the 1960s following the Second Vatican Council: the original rails remain, but other fittings are of the 1960s: altar and ambo are stone with marble framing, and have raised incised slate panels (also the work of Jonah Jones); the polished slate paschal candle-stand is an integral part of this design.

Reference: Cadw listed buildings description.

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