Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Parish Church of St Grwst  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Beyond W end of Tan yr Eglwys, in churchyard overlooking Afon Conwy.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Late C15 (said to have been rebuilt in 1470's following destruction of Llanrwst in 1468 by Earl of Pembroke) with early C19 tower; later C19 N aisle and restoration 1882-1884 by Paley and Austin, architects; attached Gwydir Chapel added By Sir John Wynn 1633-34.  

Nave and chancel of uniform height with C19 N aisle; W tower; S porch; Gwydir Chapel at SE corner. Church in random grey rubble with pale limestone dressings; tower in roughly coursed rubble with limestone dressings; Gwydir Chapel in coursed dark grey stone with pale limestone dressings. Tower has castellations (stepped up to W supporting cross); diagonal buttresses; three storeys; two windows to each side of bell stage, stage band stepped up to W above 2-light window (single light windows in N & S elevations; windows of bottom stage have square lintels with Gothic arches below. S elevation of nave has square-headed windows (hoodmoulds over); to L of porch, C19 window of two cinquefoil lights, to R of porch C15 window of three cinquefoil lights, to R of this C19 window of 3-lights in style of early C16. C19 gabled porch, timbered above, stone below. Gothic arched entrance doorway. Nave to NE of tower has window of three 3-centre arch lights. N aisle has window with Y-tracery in W gable. To N, two 3-light windows with conventionalised panel tracery above in free late Perpendicular style (stepped buttress between) and similar 2-light window to L. W gable of aisle has Tudor style arched doorway, and to L, 2-light window with panel tracery over. Nave E window of c1500 with 4-lights with brattished transom and panel tracery over. At SE corner, Gwydir Chapel, late Perpendicular style. Castellated parapet with pinnacles to S; stepped buttresses. E elevation has large broad window of four cinquefoil cusped lights with panel tracery above. Two bays to S elevation each with 3-light window in same style as E elevation. W elevation has window as E elevation and, to R, round-headed entrance doorway; heraldic shield over with inscription recording founding of chapel; smaller shield to L of door head. The church is set in attractive churchyard beside river. Churchyard has yew trees and good (mainly early C19) box tombs and tombstones including obelisk. In E wall of churchyard is C17 grey stone plaque with Lamb of God, formerly badge of Jesus Hospital.  

Church nave has C15 arch-braced roof with small cusped wind braces. N aisle (1880's) has lighter roof in similar style; elongated octagonal piers to arcade of three bays; wooden panelled altar and reredos to E. To N of chancel, organ chamber/vestry; to S entrance to Gwydir Chapel. At entrance to chancel, late C15/early C16 lofted rood screen, one of finest in Wales. Loft has vine-trail rail, and parapet with vaulted and pinnacled niches; parapet on bressumer with vine trail and oak-leaf and acorn bands. Twelve bays to screen with open traceried heads (one with instruments of Passion, one with pigs eating acorns) and canopies with vaulting and panelled soffit, with to W, straight-sided pendant arches. At centre, doorway with square frame and cambered head. Some open traceried panels in wainscoting flanking doorway. Stone stairs to N date from C19 restoration. To W of nave, C19 wooden panelling to tall round-headed tower arch. Gwydir Chapel: interior retains C17 fixtures and fittings in characterful 'Artisan Renaissance' style. Very low-pitched camber-beam roof panelled with decorative bosses, heraldic shields, date '1634', initials 'I:W' and 'R:W'. To W beam supported by two square posts. Stone flagged floor in alternating slabs of grey slate and brown lias stone. To N, broad arch to body of church with wooden panelling and door with unmitred mouldings; wooden sculpture of eagle over door. Panelling to walls (circa 1.5m high) with pierced and traceried upper panels. Stalls with pierced fronts to round-headed arches, and finials in the form of heads. Lectern with front similar to wall panelling; wooden communion table with turned legs. Low stone table on which is alabaster effigy of infant (Sydney Wynn died 1639). Near entrance from churchyard, fine C13 coffin, said to be that of Llewelyn the Great, with sunk quatrefoil panelling. Effigy of knight, said to be Hywel Coetmore, (circa 1440) plate and mail armour, dog at feet. On S wall monument to Sir John Wynn and his wife Sydney; two enriched obelisks with heraldic finials, inscribed oval bosses and cherub heads below; behind obelisks, tablet with angel head and skull and crossed bones. Near NE corner, marble tablet (by Nicholas Stone) in crude outer frame records history of chapel. Below tablet, rectangular engraved brass with three-quarter portrait of Sarah Wynn, died 1671 (by William Vaughan) in engraved cartouche, with winged cherubs etc. Round walls, lozenge-shaped brasses with portrait heads of Sir John Wynn, died 1626, Sydney Wynn died 1632; Sir Owen Wynn died 1660; Katherine Lewis died 1669; Mary Mostyn died 1653 (signed Silvanus Crue).  

Reason for designation
Graded I for exceptional interest of Medieval fabric including screen and Gwydir Chapel of 1633-34. Group value.  

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