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Wrexham Churches Survey

Church of St Paul , Isycoed

Isycoed Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Holt in the county of Wrexham. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SJ4040350102.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 17136 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Isycoed Church, CPAT copyright photo CS963001.JPG

Summary

The church of St Paul is of late Georgian build, and is located in a large extended churchyard. There are no early features but it does include box pews in the west gallery.

The present church was built wholly of brick in 1829 in Georgian style The interior was restored at the end of the 19thC.

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

History

Isycoed was formerly regarded as a part of Holt and it may not have become a separate parish until 1827. There was a church (or chapel) on the site in 1718 and this was superseded by a new structure in 1742, but it is unclear whether there was a medieval structure here - currently there is no evidence for one.

The old church was demolished and a completely new church built in 1829 by John Butler at a cost of 700.

The interior of the present church was altered at some point in the later 19thC, probably c.1871. The box pews were removed from the nave, a new roof replaced the old and the interior was re-painted. The south-west vestry door was moved from its position in the vestry east wall to its present position in the north wall. The north and south wall doorways were bricked up, the chancel given a new oak wagon ceiling, and it was refloored along with the nave. Presumably at this time, the pulpit and reading desks were moved from their positions to either side of the chancel, where the longitudinal stalls and organ are now located. Prior to this alteration, a stove was located in a central position in the north aisle.

A report on the poor state of repair of the church in 1890 was followed by the programme of restoration work to plans prepared by Howel Davies of Wrexham.

Architecture

The church has a nave and chancel in one, and a small but narrow sanctuary. There is also a small western tower which is set into the west end of the nave. The church is oriented north-north-west/south-south-east but 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted in the description that follows.

Fabric: 'A' consists of red brick in Flemish bond.

Roof:- slates with black ceramic ridge tiles.

Drainage:- no obvious drainage trench around the church, although on three sides there is a tarmac surface.

Note: as this is a wholly 19thC building the following report is a summary only.

Exterior

General: a continuous brick plinth up to three courses high above ground level is visible on all walls, though because of the natural ground slope it is not visible at the western end of the nave. All the windows have wooden frames.

Tower - General. A four-stage structure though no division between the first two stages. The top of the second stage is marked by a protruding brick course and the third stage by a moulded freestone string course at nave roof level. Finally above the belfry stage there is another freestone sting course which is topped by crown finials at the corners. Above this rises a smaller octagonal turret with a domed and leaded roof which has a weathervane marked 'LIRE CW 1742'.

North wall:- a small round-headed louvred belfry window, the arch turned in brick but with a stone sill.

East wall:- belfry window as north wall.

South wall:- belfry window as north wall.

West wall:- a pair of panelled entrance doors (from 1964) under a round-headed arch turned in brick. The second stage has a round-headed window with plain glass. In place of the belfry window is a blind roundel with a sandstone frame.

Nave - General.

North wall:- five tall and rather narrow round-headed windows with brick voussoirs. At the west end is a blocked doorway, also round-headed with long brick voussoirs; it is approached by a worn sandstone step. There is a blank sandstone slab with moulded edge, presumably an unused datestone, above the doorway. To the west of the door is a blind window to the same pattern as the windows further east, and either side of this are tie-rod plates, and adjacent is a metal chimney.

East wall:- a round-headed window of standard form to either side of the sanctuary.

South wall:- in all essentials, including the blind window at the west end, it is the same as the north wall, except that there is no sandstone slab above the doorway.

West wall:- round-headed windows of standard appearance to either side of the tower.

Sanctuary - General. A small projecting compartment.

East wall:- a round-headed window, wider than those in the nave, over the only stained glass window.

Interior

Tower - General. Tiled floor to entrance, plastered and painted walls; plastered ceiling.

Nave - General. Carpetted, but woodblock floors beneath the benches. Plastered walls painted pink and buff. Ceiling of 104 square panels filled with tongue and groove planking.

North wall:- the doorway at the west end shows as an arched alcove. Radiators against the wall.

East wall:- a low screen with built-in pulpit and reader's desk.

South wall:- as north wall.

West wall:- the west gallery is supported on four cast iron columns, and has a panelled wooden front. It retains its numbered box pews. A ladder leads up to the belfry from the rear of this gallery. Beneath the gallery is the entrance to the vestry on the south side, and to the north an alcove acting as a baptistry with an encaustic tiled floor and two triptychs on the wall. North of this the stairs to the gallery itself.

Chancel - General. At the same level as the nave with no division but a low screen. Floor, walls and ceiling as nave.

North wall:- the organ against the wall.

East wall:- wall painted blue, metal Decalogue boards to either side of a large, plain segmental arch with 'Glory to God in the Highest' painted over it.

South wall:- nothing to report.

Sanctuary - General. One step up from the chancel. Carpetted, the walls painted blue. Panelled woden ceiling. Plain north and south walls and a stained glass window in the east wall.

Vestry - General. In the south-west corner of the church below the gallery. Woodblock floors, plastered and painted walls and ceiling. A cast-iron fire grate in the south wall.

Churchyard

The original rectangular churchyard on level ground is supposed to have been extended to the south, though the date of this has not been established.

Boundary:- on the east a low red brick wall surmounted by stone capping and iron railings forms the eastern roadside boundary Hedges on the north, south and west.

Monuments:- the earliest graves are located to the east of the church. One small round-headed slab by the sanctuary is carved 'E.D. 1752'. Otherwise apart from a gravestone of 1790 all are 19thC and 20thC.

Earthworks:- most of the churchyard is set over ridge and furrow. Clear on the south side less obvious to the north of the church. The churchyard is raised by perhaps 0.5m on the east side, but not elsewhere.

Furniture:- south-east of the sanctuary is a stepped base, probably for a low sundial that has now gone.

Ancillary features:- a pair of iron gates set in sandstone pillars and dating from1964 form the main entrance. A single gate to a field on the west side. Tarmac paths all round.

Vegetation:- deciduous trees to either side of the west gate, and yews to either side of the east entrance, and two more deciduous trees to the north of it. One yew in the north-west corner.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visits: 29 June 1996 and 5 February 1999
CPAT SMR
Denbighshire County Record Office: D/BP/1063 (1871) plan of church
Hubbard 1986, 184
Faculty: St Asaph 1890 (NLW): restoration
Faculty: St Asaph 1915 (NLW): addition to churchyard
Faculty: St Asaph 1944 (NLW): addition to churchyard
Thomas 1908, 452
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 Isycoed Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.


The CPAT Wrexham 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 ( 22:03:19 ).
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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