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Montgomeryshire Churches Survey

Church of St Cynog , Llangynog

Llangynog Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Llangynog in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SJ0530326103.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16482 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Llangynog Church, CPAT copyright photo 2405-08.JPG

Summary

St Cynog's is a small, single-chambered church which was rebuilt in 1791-2 and restored in 1894. The furnishings and fittings are all 19thC, and virtually the only things to survive the restoration are a series of slate grave slabs of late 18thC/early 19thC date and a few pieces of furniture. The church stands in a small, raised sub-circular churchyard in the centre of the village.

Small single-chambered church of late 18thC build with 19thC restoration work. The only Georgian survivals are the south doorway, and the ghost of a blocked priest's door.

Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1979 publication The Buildings of Wales: Powys by Richard Haslam

History

The dedication, location and churchyard morphology point to an early medieval foundation here.

The church is first mentioned as 'Ecc'a de Lankenant' in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 with a value of 1 6s 8d. In Pope Nicholas' Taxation of 1291 it appears as 'Ecclia de Langenank' at 3 6s 8d.

Virtually nothing is known about its history and development until the end of the 18thC. A new church was erected in 1791 in Georgian style with round-headed doors and windows.

(Note: Eisel's claim that the church was rebuilt in 1855 appears to be an error).

Extensive alterations occurred in 1894 with plans and specifications by William Spaull of Oswestry. The faculty refers to complete re-roofing with new timber, the removal of the west gallery, pews, benches, pulpit and reading desk and the complete refitting of the interior; one pew was converted into a sedile. The faculty also included the removal of all floors and their replacement with tiles. Materials were to be reused or disposed of, and a new heating chamber was to adjoin a new vestry. The porch was to be reconstructed, the east window renewed and the north and south walls were to have three new windows, replacements for the earlier wooden framed windows. The bellcote was reconstructed above the west wall. Steps and soil at the entrance to the graveyard were to be removed and an incline formed.

Architecture

The church comprises a nave and chancel in one, a vestry on the north-east side and a south porch. There is also a western bellcote. It is oriented almost precisely east to west.

Fabrics: 'A' consists of mainly medium-sized blocks of greyish sandstone, dark grey shale with occasional slate slabs, blocks of quartz and possibly pebblestones; long slabs for quoins; all irregularly coursed and some evidence of limewash residue.

'A' is generally assumed to represent late 18thC masonry but its sheer heterogeneity might suggest some degree of re-use of earlier stone from the medieval building.

Roofs: slates with black ceramic ridge tiles. A cross finial at the east end has broken off.

Drainage: 19thC guttering and downspouts lead to soakaways. A drainage trench is obvious on the north and west.

Exterior

General. Nave and chancel considered as one because no external differentiation. All in 'A'.

North wall: slightly battered at base. Two particularly large blocks of stone at the north-west corner and about half way along the wall are built into the wall face at ground level. Features from the west are: i) window with two-centred arch and a pair of septifoiled, two-centred lights with a small dog-tooth tracery light above; hoodmould with simple stops; all in buff-yellow sandstone and of Victorian date, set high in the wall so that the head is virtually under the eaves. ii) a second window directly above the boiler house has been blocked in, although the outline is still recognisable. iii) vestry with lean-to boiler house on west.

East wall: two-centred arch with three septifoiled, two-centred lights and above a large multifoil light with lesser lights to the sides.

South wall: features from west are: i) two-light Victorian window of similar form to that in the north wall. ii) porch. iii) window as i). iv) midway along the wall, there is a joint in the stonework where the earlier, priest's door was located; the dressed stones for the jambs are just visible and the high voussoired arch curves eastwards before being interrupted by v). v) window as i).

West wall: plain with no apertures.

Triangular-topped bellcote in dressed stone contains a single bell set in an aperture with a cusped four-centred head with a two-centred hoodmould over; from 1894.

Vestry. General. In 'A', though this is more regularly laid and the stone is more uniform in appearance. Dwarf diagonal buttresses at the north-east and north-west corners. The north wall has a square-headed window with a pair of foiled lights; grave slabs of 1841 and 1855 rest against the wall. Doorway with a shouldered arch in the east wall; graveslabs of 1849 and 1846 lean against the wall. West wall has a lean-to boiler room, and rising above this and against the north wall of the church is a chimney.

Porch. General. Dwarf buttresses to either side of the south two-centred doorway with chamfered outer jambs and engaged pillars with capitals recessed to support the inner arch; hoodmould. All in yellow sandstone and of Victorian date.

Interior

Porch. General. Open front, red tiled floor with grey brick surround, plastered and painted walls, and timber roof with exposed rafters forming simple trusses.

North wall: a high, 18thC, round-headed arch over the door to the nave; recessed by 0.5m, and completely plastered and painted over.

Nave. General. Red tiled floor; benches on flush wooden boarding to either side of the central aisle; no obvious grilles. All walls plastered and painted beige, while the dressed stonework is painted a deeper beige; splayed embrasures are set under rather flat, two-centred arches and have flat sills. 19thC roof of five bays extends across chancel. Four arch-braced collar trusses with king and raking struts; the principal trusses spring from the wall tops and the bracing is further supported on stone capitals; exposed rafters and through purlins.

North wall: one window; one 19thC and one 20thC brass plaque.

East wall: a low, modern wooden screen, c.0.7m high, divides the nave and chancel. A principal truss directly above.

South wall: a small brass records 1881 restoration bequest.

West wall: plain, though in line with the upper level of the eaves in the north and south walls, is a horizontal ridge, its nature uncertain.

Chancel. General. Two steps up from the nave and steps to sanctuary. Floor has encaustic tiles, with rather more in the sanctuary; carpet down the aisle and heating grilles beside the choir stalls.

North wall: opened up in 1894 to form a two-centred arch to a harmonium chamber recess which contains the entrance door to the vestry. Above the vestry door is a stone memorial of 1806.

East wall: above the window the wall is inset. The structural significance of this remains uncertain, unless it is related to a raising of the roof.

South wall: one window embrasure.

Vestry. General. Tiled floor, plastered walls, and wooden ceiling. Slate memorial tablets from 1784 to 1851, located on all walls, presumably removed from the main body of the church during the 1893-4 restoration work.

Churchyard

A small, raised, sub-circular churchyard. No extension.

Boundary: a high revetment wall up to c.2m high on the south, east and north sides; on the north-west side an ordinary wall rises about 1m above adjacent properties.

Monuments: locally quarried slate slabs closely set around the church, the oldest graves from the late 18thC. A slab of 1769 is laid flat near the south wall and there is a chest tomb of 1789 nearby.

Earthworks: raised interior to the churchyard on all sides except the west.

Furniture: none, but note a tablet inset into the wall adjoining the inn car park which records 'Elusen ac Ysgol-dy 1791'. The almshouse and school of 1791 were traditionally the resting place for pilgrims en route to Pennant Melangell.

Ancillary features: a steep flight of steps leads up from the road on the south side through a pair of iron gates with an over arch. Gravel path leads up to the south porch.

Vegetation: a single yew of considerable date located in south-west corner of churchyard.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visit: 23 March 1996 and 4 September 1998
Eisel 1986, 185
Faculty St Asaph 1893 (NLW): restoration
Haslam 1979, 139
NMR Aberystwyth
Powys SMR
Thomas 1911, 238
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 Llangynog Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.


The CPAT Montgomeryshire 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 ( 22:02:05 ).
Further information about this and other churches surveyed is available from the Regional Historic Environment Record, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7RR tel - (01938) 553670, fax - (01938) 552179, email - chrismartin@cpat.org.uk, website - www.cpat.org.uk.

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