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Denbighshire Churches Survey

Church of St Trillo , Llandrillo yn Edeyrnion

Llandrillo yn Edeyrnion Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Llandrillo in the county of Denbighshire. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SJ0343337075.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16833 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Llandrillo yn Edeyrnion Church, CPAT copyright photo 86MB1067.JPG

Summary

St Trillo's church lies in the centre of Llandrillo village about 5 miles south-west of Corwen. The present church with its west tower dates from 1875 and incorporates fabric of its 1776 predecessor, but nothing from an earlier date. Internally it has little of interest, although the 13thC Blaen-y-cwm stone has been placed here for safety and there is a medieval font bowl as well as a few 18th furnishings and fittings.

The churchyard is near circular and raised, but has been cut back to accommodate cottages on the north-western side. It contains a sundial and an interesting range of 18thC graveslabs.

A new church was built in 1776 but only lower walls and lower part of tower survive. The rest was rebuilt in 1875/77.

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

History

Undoubtedly an early medieval foundation on the basis of its dedication, churchyard and siting.

The Taxatio of 1254 refers to 'Ecc'a de Lantreullo' at a value of 2 and the 1291 Taxatio to 'Eccl'ia de Landerillo' at 12.

Of the medieval building little is known. A visitation of 1749 referred to a rood screen and loft, which included a band of carved work with dragons, lions, interlacings and roses.

Church was rebuilt in 1776 with a nave and chancel in one and a west tower which provided the main entrance. Details given in the 1875 faculty indicate that it was a low building 90 feet long by 22 feet wide, and the tower about 10 feet square.

Further work took place in 1852 when it was renovated and re-seated, and alterations made to the screen.

Glynne visited the church in 1865. Apart from the 18thC features, he recorded a Perpendicular window at the east end but thought it had recently been put in, the lower part of the screen with 'curious panelling', pierced by small round holes and intersecting arches. A gallery or loft at the west end of the church contained late Perpendicular panelling and pierced tracery with a cornice of animals and foliage. There were also some old open seats with armorial shields.

In 1875 because of decay the church was rebuilt by Pountney Smith of Shrewsbury at a cost of 3166. The nave was largely replaced as were all the windows, and a new porch, chancel and vestry were added. The tower was renovated and modified, with a new arch into the church and the west door blocked off. Most of the fittings were replaced, though the nave seats were partly constructed from old materials. The churchyard wall was completely rebuilt at the same time. The new church was consecrated in 1877.

Architecture

Llandrillo church comprises a nave and a slightly narrower chancel, a north porch, a west tower and as an adjunct to the south side of the chancel, a vestry and organ chamber.

The church is oriented on a south-west/north-east axis but for descriptive purposes 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted for the building, though not for the churchyard.

Fabrics: 'A' consists of medium to large shaley slate, some coursing; sparse remnant limewash. 'B' is of regularly shaped slabs of shale, predominantly grey in colour; coursed; dressings in pink or yellow sandstone, the latter used for quoins. 'C' is of regularly shaped blocks of dressed sandstone.

'A' is 18thC, 'B' and 'C' 19thC.

Roof: slates, reconstituted clay ridge tiles; no finials.

Drainage: drains around the whole building.

Exterior

Tower. General. Chamfered plinth at a height of c.0.5m+ and set on projecting slabs of slate at ground level (visible on north and west sides). Above the first stage, which is in 'A', is an overhanging broach roof and above this an octagonal second stage which is in 'B' but may also have some re-used stone in it. This is battlemented and its string course has gargoyles. Finally an octagonal spire in 'C', lit on four sides by two quatrefoil lights with stopped hoodmoulds and surmounted by a cross.

North wall: plain, but for later (Victorian) stair turret in 'B', projecting at north-east angle. The second stage has a Victorian belfry window of a trefoiled, louvred light, with a quatrefoil above, and a hoodmould with head-stops.

East wall: nave roof rises to base of belfry window.

South wall: the first stage has two slit windows, the lower with its large jamb stones is blocked, the upper which lights the ringing chamber lacks vertical jamb stones and could be more recent. Standard belfry window.

West wall: blocked doorway at base of tower, opposite original churchyard entrance; lintel or arch has been removed, and two-centred arched window with two trefoiled lights inserted with a surrounding blocking in 'B'. Standard belfry window.

Nave. General. Wall base in 'A' though shows some variety in the stonework and has been heavily pointed.

North wall: 'A' to window sill level (i.e. c.1.3m), 'B' above; two three-light windows with two-centred arches, hoodmoulds with head-stops and relieving arches. Four buttresses.

East wall: not present.

South wall: 'A' rises to variable height: at east end it has been almost entirely removed, but further west to just above sill level. Rest of wall in 'B' but probably more re-use of old stone, for some residual limewash. Three standard windows.

West wall: not present.

Chancel. General. Wall plinth to 0.5m high maximum, probably of old material re-used with Victorian freestone chamfer, for continues at base of vestry east wall. Above the plinth all in 'B'.

North wall: a standard window of two lights and a single trefoiled light for the sanctuary; both have standard hoodmoulds and relieving arches.

East wall: east window with two-centred arch and three lights, and a hexafoil light above.

South wall: obscured by vestry and organ chamber.

Vestry. General. Wholly Victorian.

Porch. General. Stone foundation walls in 'B' with timber superstructure. Against the west wall is a lump of slate with a large hole (for a boss?) and an inscription: "This church was rebuilt in the year 1776, John Evans, Griffith Jones Church Wardens".

Interior

Porch. General. Open fronted; floor of black and red tiles; walls of bare stone and timber. Roof of two bays with collar trusses and two tiers of cusped windbraces.

South wall: Victorian two-centred arched doorway in red and pink sandstone, ballflower ornament, hoodmould with head-stops.

Tower. General. Tiled floor, some carpet; walls plastered and painted; ceiled in wood above the level of the west window.

Nave. General. One step up from porch. Tiled floor with some carpet including the aisle where heating grilles in evidence. Benches raised on wooden boarding. Walls plastered and painted. Roof of six bays with arch-braced collars resting on stone corbels, king-post and raking struts, the later cusped; two tiers of windbraces.

North wall: doorway with splayed reveal and segmental head, three splayed window apertures, one 19thC marble mural tablet.

East wall: two-centred chancel arch of two orders, the inner springing from wall columns.

South wall: three splayed windows and late 19thC marble mural tablet.

West wall: tower arch is two-centred and has hoodmould with head-stops, chamfered dressings, all in Victorian pink sandstone.

Chancel. General. Two steps up to chancel, one to sanctuary, one to altar. Tiled floor including some encaustic, particularly in the sanctuary; rear choir stalls raised on wooden plinths. Walls as nave and roof of two bays also as nave but trusses lack raking struts. Stained glass in all windows.

North wall: splayed windows; aumbry below sanctuary window. A brass records the erection of the window and also the presence of a vault beneath the chancel for the Lloyd family of Hendwr.

East wall: splayed window only.

South wall: large two-centred arch to organ chamber, the organ filing the bay. Two sedilia in sanctuary.

Organ Chamber. General. Wooden boards for floor; standard walls; roof of simple purlins and rafters. West wall has two mural tablets of 1774 and 1788.

Vestry. General. Marble mural tablet of 1847.

Churchyard

The churchyard is small, near-circular, well-kept but closed for burial in 1899. It is also relatively level and clearly raised (see below). It is set on the western edge of the river terrace above Afon Ceidiog in the centre of Llandrillo village.

Boundary: a mortared stone wall, acting as a retaining wall on the south and parts of the east and west. Constructed in 1877, and possibly at this time the stone benches which ran round the inside of the wall "for the parishioners to sit upon before prayers" were removed. Buildings and yards edge the enclosure on the north-west.

Monuments: marked graves fill the yard and are dense in places; some are in poor condition or have collapsed, and on the west side some stones have been cleared to the churchyard wall. A good range of 18thC gravestones, many of them ledgers on low chest tombs. Earliest dated examples seen are from 1747 and 1752. Canopied tomb against south wall of church, that of Richard Wynne of Garth Gynnon.

Furniture: sundial, south of tower near churchyard boundary. No gnomon and no recognisable inscription. Plate set on a rectangular pillar with an iron band around the top. Is this an old cross-shaft re-used?

Earthworks: on the west and north raised by 1m, on the south-west by over 1m, on the east by upwards of 3m and on the south-east it could be 4m higher than the external ground levels.

Ancillary features: double, ornamental wrought iron gates on north with a gravel path leading to the porch. Tarmac path incorporating graveslabs around the tower and on to the south. Here a small iron gate, now chained off.

Vegetation: very large yew south of vestry, now split. Another smaller one to the west-north-west of the tower, and a few yew bushes also.

Sources consulted

Account of 1877 Restoration: GAS/ZM/1105/2 (Dolgellau)
Anon 1878
CPAT Field Visit: October 1996
Faculty: St Asaph 1875 (NLW)
Faculty: St Asaph 1959 (NLW)
Glynne 1884, 271
Quinquennial Review 1985
Ridgway 1997, 122
Thomas 1913, 100
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 Llandrillo yn Edeyrnion 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 ( 22:01:33 ).
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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