CPAT logo
Back Home
Index to Eastern Conwy Churches survey

Eastern Conwy Churches Survey

Pentrefoelas Church

Pentrefoelas Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Pentrefoelas in the county of Conwy. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SH8731051580.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16935 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.


Pentrefoelas church which is not recorded as having a dedication, is located on the northern edge of its village a few miles to the east of Betws-y-coed. It is a Victorian construction which replaced a building of the 1760s, itself a replacement of a church elsewhere in the village. It has little distinctive architecture, and the only survivals from the 18thC church are two wall memorials and a disused font. The churchyard is rectilinear and contains a couple of late 18thC stones and a sundial from the early part of this century.

Present building completely Victorian except for two late 18thC/early 19thC wall memorials, and an 18thC font.

Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1986 publication The Buildings of Wales: Clwyd by Edward Hubbard


Originally in parish of Llannefydd on land granted in 1195 to the Abbey of Aberconway and known as Tir yr Abad Isa. In the Middle Ages it was a chapelry of Yspytty Ifan and was reportedly known by different names including Capel y Fidog and Capel y Foelas. The chapel lay in what is now the school playing field, some 200m south of the bridge (on the opposite side of the A5 and in the parish of Yspytty), and is marked by a yew tree. Its last lay reader died in 1769.

The medieval chapel was replaced by a church on a new site which was consecrated in 1771, though without a dedication. A south transept added in 1774, and a west gallery at a later date.

In 1857-9 a new church was built by Sir Gilbert Scott, at the expense of Charles Griffith Wynne of Voelas. South transept retained.

Further modifications in 1905 including new window on north side, new reredos etc.

A double Victorian bellcote has been removed in recent years.


Pentrefoelas church comprises a nave, a narrower chancel, a south transept, a south porch near the south-west angle of the nave, and a vestry off the north side of the chancel. It is oriented precisely east to west.

Fabrics: 'A' is of squared and dressed shale masonry.

Roof: slates with ridge slates.

Drainage: gully around the whole perimeter of the church.

Note: the church is wholly Victorian.


General. With exception of porch and the south and west walls of the nave which are in 'A', the exterior of church is covered in roughcast render. There is no reason to believe that there is anything other than the same sort of masonry beneath the render.

Architectural features include lancet windows, two-centred arched doorways and angle buttresses; dressings in tooled limestone. East and west walls have a slight batter.


Porch. General. Flagged floor, roof of scissor trusses. Narrow two-centred arched doorway leads into nave, with broach stops to chamfers.

Nave. General. Floor of red and black tiles with benches on flush wooden boarding. Walls plastered and painted but dressed stone of windows left bare. Three-bay roof plastered and painted, with two king-post tie-beam trusses and curving struts. No fittings of any age.

Chancel. General. Single steps up to chancel, to sanctuary and to altar; red and white stone and marble floor, patterned. Walls as nave. Roof of close-set scissor trusses. 19thC brass on north wall, commemorative stone and brass to Charles Wynne Finch (d.1903) on south wall, and panels with creed etc in Welsh on east wall.

South Transept. General. Contains several 19thC memorials to the Wynne Finches and the 1794 Griffith monument. Also a Wynne family vault in a crypt below the church, its access from the central aisle near its meeting with the chancel.


The churchyard is near rectangular in shape, well maintained and on a very slight slope from east to west. The location is a gentle south-facing hillside above the Merddwr, a tributary of the Conwy, and a short distance to the east of a tributary stream, Nant y Foel.

Boundary: boundary is a low drystone wall, except on the east where it acts as a retaining wall. Built in 1846.

Monuments: these are close-set and regularly laid out to the east of the church, but are less dense to the north and west. Near the south door are two grave markers from 1791, but otherwise the earliest observed were from the 1820s.

Furniture: sundial on a tapering marble pillar commemorating Morris Owen (d.1916); plate and gnomon survive. South of porch.

Earthworks: churchyard surface raised above external ground level on south and more so on west; lower on north and east.

Ancillary features: timber lychgate with tarmac path to porch. Two small wooden gates on north side with dirt path towards church.

Vegetation: coniferous and deciduous trees around perimeter. A number of mature yews on west side of church and one on north.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visit: 21 January 1997
Faculty n.d. (1857?): DRO/PD/85/4/85
Faculty 1905: NLW/ St Asaph Faculty Box
Faculty 1911: DRO/PD/85/4/87
Heald 1973, 266
Hubbard 1986, 258
Quinquennial Report 1987: DRO/PD/85/1/16
Thomas 1911, 348
Click here to view full project bibliography

Please note that many rural churches are closed to the public at certain times. It is advisable to check when the church will be open before visiting. Information about access, or how to contact parish clergy, can often be obtained from the relevant Diocesan Office which can be found through the Church in Wales website. Further information about Pentrefoelas Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.

The CPAT Eastern Conwy Churches Survey Project was funded by Cadw as part of an all Wales survey of medieval parish churches.

This HTML page has been generated from the Cadw Churches Survey database & CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record - 17/07/2007 ( 22:01:17 ).
Further information about this and other churches surveyed is available from the Regional Historic Environment Record, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 7a Church Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7DL tel - (01938) 553670, fax - (01938) 552179, email -, website -

Privacy and cookies