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Site Details

NPRN 43654

Map Reference SH12NE

Grid Reference SH1753027254

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Aberdaron

Type of Site CHURCH


Period 19th Century

Site Description St Hywyl's new church lies within a rectangular churchyard used as a cemetery, located about half a mile north of the old church (NPRN 43749) along a narrow lane off the B4413. It was built in 1841 in a neo-Romanesque style to designs of John Welch of St Asaph, to replace the then decayed medieval church in Aberdaron. The design attracted a level of criticism that led to the old church being repaired between 1849 and 1868.
It is built of coursed, large squared rough granite blocks with minimal dressings in grey stone, with a broad low-pitched slate roof and coped gables on thin corbels. It consists of a neo-Romanesque six-window nave, twin-towered west front with gabled porch between, gabled north-east vestry and minimal (and narrower) chancel. The broad west end is articulated with outer square buttresses, raised plinth and two thin square towers, with stair-towers to a former gallery now removed. The tower tops (now blocked) have a belvedere-like Italianate appearance, flank a broad neo-Romanesque porch with big round arched entry with chamfered piers and heavily rusticated arch, the arch blocks alternately chamfered. The overall effect is reminiscent of North Italy.
The spacious interior, floored with quarry tiles, is roofed with queenpost trusses braced on wall-posts and is unaltered save for the loss of the gallery. Fittings and furnishings survive completely in grey-painted timber and include box pews with an unusual mixture of forward and side orientation.
The new church continued in use until the 1940s, and has been used for burial services only thereafter. It remains an unusual survival of a church interior of the early part of the Gothic Revival.
Cadw Listing description.
R.Haslam, J.Orbach & Adam Voelcker, Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd (2009), p.227-8.
Google Street View, March 2010.

RCAHMW, 9 February 2016