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ST MARY AND ST EGRYN'S CHURCH, LLANEGRYN

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 43890

Map Reference SH50NE

Grid Reference SH5961805786

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Merioneth

Community Llanegryn

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description St Mary and St Egryn’s Church is situated within a polygonal churchyard, which was extended eastward in 1883. The late medieval lych gate (NPRN 43844) (which has affinities with the church roof) was moved to its present location at this time. Built into the south wall of the present church building is an early medieval pillar stone with an incised cross (ECM 280), possibly dating to the twelfth or thirteenth century. The first known documentary reference to the church at Llanegryn dates to 1254. Its square font is thought to date to around this time, being twelfth or thirteenth century in style.

The church is a Grade I listed building, and consists of a continuous nave and chancel, separated by a rood screen with a loft above. There is also a south porch and a vestry and organ chamber on the north wall. The roof, rood screen and rood loft are thought to date to around 1520. The carved rood screen is considered one of the finest examples in Wales, and there is a story that it came from Cymer Abbey after the dissolution, but this is unproven. The loft has an arcade consisting of three bays each side of a wider central opening. It has thirteen bays of panelling, the centre bay with a cross. It is reached by a decorated wooden staircase. The roof retains arch-braced collar-beam trusses with decoration between the struts. It was repaired in 1770. The south porch is thought to be late medieval. The only surviving medieval opening is a two light window in the north wall of the nave. This was moved from the chancel in 1858. Part of a similar window head and a jamb have been re-set in a farm building bordering the northern boundary of the churchyard. The church building underwent two periods of restoration during the nineteenth century. Few details of the mid nineteenth century restoration work have survived, but it is thought that the remaining windows and south door date to this time. A bellcote was added to the west wall in the nineteenth century. The vestry and organ chamber were added in 1876, and the stonework indicates that the west end was also rebuilt at this time.

Sources include:
Beverley Smith, J, Beverley Smith Ll, 2001, History of Merioneth II: The Middle Ages, 349-50
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 2000, Historic Churches of Gwynedd: Gazetteer, Report 391
Haslam, Orbach and Voelcker (2009), The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd. Pevsner Architectural Guide, page 630.

RCAHMW, October 2009

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