Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Set within its own rubble-walled churchyard containing many C19 gravestones and monuments.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Christ Church, Bala, was erected in 1855 and was constructed to designs by the architect Benjamin Ferrey, FSA. It superseded a Chapel of Ease which had been erected in the town in 1810.
Large mid-Victorian church in simple Lancet style; conventional plan with 4-bay aisled nave and 3-bay gabled chancel, with W tower having tall broach spire. Of local rough-dressed, uncoursed limestone with buff sandstone dressings; slate roof with tiled ridges and iron gable crosses. The N side has a single-storey porch with coped gable and 2-part diagonal butresses. Its entrance has a pointed compound arch with a splayed slit light above; further, paired slit lights to the sides. Decorative tiled pavement within, with pointed-arched inner entrance; simple boarded doors with decorative ironwork. The aisles have plate tracery windows, each with paired lancets below an oculus; similar window to the E on the N side only, and paired lancets to the W walls of both aisles. Small squat lancets light the upper nave on both sides.
The chancel has a chamfered plinth and a tall triple lancet group to the E end; returned labels, the stops left uncarved. Three tall lancets to the N side and one on the S; these have a continuous label mould. The S side has a lean-to vestry block extruded in the angle between the aisle and the chancel. This has a simple lateral chimney to the chancel roof above, and steps down to a boiler entrance to the E; this with boarded door. The square W tower has 3 stages with surmounting spire. 2-stage clasping buttresses to the SW corner (up to the second stage) and a semi-octagonal stair turret applied to the NW up to the third stage. The N face of this stair turret has a benchmark to its battered plinth. The tower itself has an entrance to the N with broach-stopped, shouldered-arched entrance; boarded door. There are slit lights to the second stage on both the N and S sides. The W elevation has a 2-light plate tracery window to its first stage and an oculus with trefoil tracery to the second stage. The third, bell stage, has 3 louvred lancets to each side. The spire has single small lancets within gablets to each face within the lower section.
Aisled nave with 4-bay pointed-arched arcades, the arches carried on columns with cushion capitals. Lancets to the clerestorey with wide pointed-arched inner splays. The roof has scissor trusses with angled braces carried down onto stone corbels below wall plate level; thin windbraces in two tiers. Original box pews of pitch pine. The S entrance has a shallow inner porch of pitch pine in simple Gothic style; this appears to be a later C19 addition. The aisles have similar, mono-pitch roofs and wide trefoil-headed window splays. Geometrical tiled pavements (obscured by carpeting at the time of survey, 6/01). Early English style sandstone font with chamfered rim to square bowl. This is carried on a large central column and four slender outer columns, all with shaft rings and `water-catching' bases. Fine polychrome tiled pavement around the font, placed in a square. Octagonal sandstone pulpit of conventional form. This has relief-carved Evangelist figures to each face.
Large chancel arch with outer and inner pointed and roll-moulded arches supported on engaged shafts and columns with waterleaf capitals, shaft rings and `water-catching' bases. Above the arch is affixed a contemporary painted inscription band on metal. The chancel is stepped up and has a low oak dado screen either side of a central opening with decorative iron gates. The screen sections each have 3 cusped oculi and moulded rails, and are surmounted by decorative iron railings with scrollwork and finials; the gates are similar. The chance has a 3-bay roof with elegant braced collar trusses. Fine C13-style polychromed tiles to the chancel and sanctuary. The latter has scrolled decorative iron altar rails with moulded oak rail. C20 oak choirstals, reredos and dado panelling. Early English E window group with inner shafts; moulded rings, capitals and bases. Gothic pine organ (late C19) by Cronacher and Co. of Huddersfield.
Original pine Gothic screen to lower W tower (to former vestry), with large modern intersecting tracery window above, lighting the nave; plain glazing. A modern screened robing enclosure stands in front of the W tower at the western end of the nave.
Stained and painted glass:
E window: C13-style mid C19 glass with foliated quatrefoils and roundels.
N aisle, easternmost window: Christ and the Two Marys; R of entrance Christ and the Children (1922 memorial to E Jones).
S aisle: Two similar windows, the first showing the Three Marys at the Sepulcre (to C.B. Williams, d.1920), and the second showing Christ appearing to the disciples (to E. Lewis, d.1919).
Reason for designation
Listed as a large and unaltered mid-Victorian town church in competent lancet style, by the architect Benjamin Ferrey.
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