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Denbighshire Churches Survey

Church of St Bridget , Carrog

Carrog Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Corwen in the county of Denbighshire. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SJ1112843569.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16738 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Carrog Church, CPAT copyright photo 95C0114.JPG

Summary

St Bridget's church is situated at the western end of the small settlement at Carrog, less than 2 miles east of Corwen. The original church was destroyed by flooding and the present structure on a new site was erected in 1611, but of this only the north wall of the nave and the side walls of the porch remain, together with the roof timbers. Much of the nave was rebuilt in 1852 and the chancel completely in 1867. The only internal fixture of any age is the font which conceivably could have been rescued from the earlier church. The churchyard is an oblong shape set on a spur between the Dee terrace and a tributary valley. It may have been extended eastwards at some point, and contains a few memorials from the later 18thC and a fragmentary sundial of 1768.

Side walls of porch and north wall of nave are original and presumably date to 1611. The rest has been rebuilt though possibly at two different times in the 19thC: the nave perhaps in 1852 and the chancel in 1867, though an earlier phase of chancel is perhaps represented in lowest courses of north wall. All the windows are Victorian but one in the south wall of the nave may have been a completely new introduction after the wall was constructed.

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

History

Now renamed Carrog, the church and parish were earlier known as Llansantffraid Glyn Dyfrdwy.

The original church was recorded in the Norwich Taxation as 'Ecca de lansanfreyt' at a value of 13s 4d, and in the Lincoln Taxation of 1291 as 'Ecclia de Lansantfreyd' at 2.

The earlier church, supposedly sited on the bank of the River Dee, was swept away in the early 17thC, and the present church was built on a virgin spot, higher up, in 1611.

Restored in 1852, when open seating replaced the box pews, a gallery on the north side was removed, a vestry and bellcote added, and some of the window dressings were replaced. At this time too, perhaps, the south wall of the nave rebuilt.

Further restoration - in 1867 - led to the removal of the west gallery and the rebuilding of the chancel. A new pulpit was introduced.

The vestry was added in 1911.

Architecture

St Bridget's church comprises a nave, a narrower chancel, a vestry attached to the north-west corner of the nave and a south porch. The vestry has been extended to include a church room built in 1911, and there is also a brick-built boiler room against the west end. The building is oriented almost exactly east to west.

Fabrics: 'A' is of regular, medium to large slabs of shaley slate, grey or grey-brown in colour and coursed. Traces of limewash are visible. 'B' is also of slate slabs but incorporates boulder stones and shows some coursing. Traces of limewash visible. 'C' is of thinner slabs of slate with some coursing.

Roof: slate, fleur-de-lys ridge tiles; stone cross finials to nave, porch and chancel; a gabled, double bellcote at the west end.

Drainage: grave slabs and concrete slabs along north side might conceivably disguise a drain though this is perhaps unlikely. Otherwise nothing.

Exterior

Nave. North wall: in 'B'. Two square-headed windows with double two-centred arched lights; that to west has trefoil tracery, that to east cinquefoil tracery; the lintel stones are slightly different. Both windows in yellow sandstone, that to the east more obviously inserted. Angle buttress clearly an addition to the wall.

South wall: In 'A'. Three windows; that to the east has a two-centred arch, a hoodmould with ornamental stops, three cusped lights, a transom and cusped panels above; to the west is a two-light window with cinquefoil tracery and panels above, the arch and hoodmould the same as the more easterly window though the stops are different. Patches of infilled distinctive grey slate beside the window reveal that it was probably a later insertion. West of the porch is a square-headed window, its single light with an ogee head and cusping.

West wall: wall face rendered. Two single lancets in yellow freestone and, above them, the bellcote.

Chancel. General. String course which on north side is about 1.1m from ground level; diagonal buttresses at east corners.

North wall: most of the wall is in 'A' but the lowest 0.6m or so has grey blocks of rubble of uniform appearance. It is not clear whether this is a variation of the standard masonry elsewhere or the remnant of an earlier phase in the life of the chancel; the latter is perhaps more likely. A single square-headed, two-light window, the lights with cusped heads and all in pale yellow sandstone.

East wall: all in 'A'. Victorian east window has three lights, reticulated tracery and a hoodmould with foliate stops.

South wall: all in 'A'. Two two-light windows of the same appearance as the north side.

Porch. East wall: in 'B'.

South wall: Fabric 'A' apart from some minor infilling. Two-centred arched doorway with stopped chamfers, a hoodmould with decorated stops, and all in buff-yellow freestone; quoins at wall angles in the same freestone. Light over doorway.

West wall: as east wall.

Vestry. General. Earliest portion of vestry is in 'C'; rebuilt in 1911.

Interior

Porch. General. Victorian floor tiles; plain walls plastered and painted; simple purlin and rafter roof but one substantial arched tie-beam directly resting on the wall top and supporting principal rafters to form a truss - 17thC?

North wall: doorway has segmental head and no chamfers. A large iron studded wooden door, probably original, of the 17thC.

East and west walls: wooden-topped stone benches.

Nave. General. Tiled floor, some encaustic; carpet down aisle covers grilles; benches raised on wooden boarding. Walls plastered and painted. Roof of seven bays with chamfered arch-braced collar trusses and raking struts, early 17thC.

North wall: rectangular splayed windows, a stone plaque beneath one of them noting that windows dedicated to Charles Lloyd who died in 1848. North doorway (leading to vestry) has segmental head and metal studded door. Wall memorials all of 20thC.

East wall: broad two-centred chancel arch, chamfered dressings, hoodmould with decorated stops; 19thC and comparable with chancel windows. Low stone screen.

South wall: three splayed windows, the central one with an inscription on the sill dedicating it to Julia Lloyd who died in 1841, matching those opposite and reinforcing the possibility that the window was inserted, although the glass itself was moved from the chancel. Marble mural tablet of 1798.

West wall: two splayed lancet windows.

Chancel. General. One step up to chancel, one to sanctuary, one to altar. Tiles throughout, though rear choir stalls raised on wooden boarding; encaustic tiles in sanctuary. Standard walls but with internal string-course over windows and along east wall. Roof of three bays with fine arch-braced collars and three cusped struts, and two sets of windbraces forming X patterns.

North wall: one 20thC memorial.

South wall: piscina with sedile beneath window; all 19thC. 19thC and 20thC wall monuments.

Churchyard

Carrog churchyard is long and irregular, its sides straight with little evidence of curvilinearity. There is no sign that it has been extended. It is overgrown on the north side but better maintained on the south and east. It is spur-sited with the River Dee in its valley to the south and a tributary to the west running down a deeply incised valley; there is a near vertical drop beyond the western end of the church.

Boundary: on the south is a mortared retaining wall, rising internally by up to 0.5m, but considerably more externally, and further east this acquires iron railings on top. On the north side is an ivy-covered dry-stone wall, while on the west are trees and bushes and it is not clear whether there is a specific boundary on this side.

Monuments: these are closely set on the south and east, there are a few to the west, and sparse burials to the north. Most are in reasonable condition though a few show signs of splitting. The oldest are on the south side, going back to the later 18thC with the earliest noted being of 1776. There are, however, also some late 18thC examples on the north side.

Furniture: near the northern perimeter is a sundial on a rectangular pedestal with a chamfered top, Nearly half the dial has been broken away but the inscription survives: "Meredith Hughes Fecit 1768".

Earthworks: it is conceivable that the churchyard has been extended eastwards for there is a slight scarp running northwards from where the railings begin on the south side, and externally the churchyard wall on the north has more boulders on it in its western length.

Ancillary features: double, wrought iron, ornamental gates on east, while a subsidiary entrance on the south has no gate. Tarmac paths to the porch and church rooms.

Vegetation: three yew trees, one of them quite mature, on south side, and two yew bushes on north; all of them lie around the boundary.

Sources consulted

Cadw Schedule of Listed Buildings 1995
CPAT AP: 95-004-0010/0012; 95-005-0019/21; 0025; 95-C-0114/0115; 0117/0118
CPAT Field Visit: 17 October 1996
Faculty 1867 (GAS/Z/PE/26/9): new chancel
Faculty 1911 (NLW): vestry
Quinquennial Report 1985
Quinquennial Report 1993
Thomas 1911, 167
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 Carrog Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.


The CPAT Denbighshire 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 ( 22:01:24 ).
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 - chrismartin@cpat.org.uk, website - www.cpat.org.uk.

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