Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Mary  


Unitary Authority
Walled town  
Street Side
At the N end of the street and incorporated into the Town Wall.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Begun c1307 when Henry of Ellerton, deputy and subsequently master mason of Caernarfon Castle, obtained a licence to build a chantry chapel. However, the scale of the building indicates that it was also originally intended to serve as a chapel for the garrison stationed at Caernarfon, and has always been a chapel-of-ease to Llanbeblig parish church. The building was near completion by 1316 when the windows were being glazed. The chapel was built against the Town Wall, the NW tower of which, now known as the Bell Tower, was used as a vestry and accommodation for the chaplain. The church was restored 1811-14 by Benjamin Wyatt, architect to the Penrhyn Estate, who rebuilt the S and E walls, and re-set the original E window in the W wall.  

An early Decorated church, its exterior mainly of early C19 character, comprising aisled nave and chancel, of coursed dressed stone and slate roof. Some earlier C19 graded slates are retained to the chancel but the roof is mostly of later replaced slates. The S aisle is 5 main bays framed by stepped buttresses rising to broad pinacles, with porches to the end bays, and a further half bay at the E end. The late C19 gabled porches have parapets, while the chamfered 2-centred doorways have studded doors and wood-mullioned overlights. Between the porches the S aisle has 3 windows with Y-tracery. The parapet has Gothic arched panels. The E end has 2-light aisle windows, with a blind trefoil to each gable, and string course at the base of the parapet, and a 3-light chancel window with Y-tracery beneath an embattled coping. The N aisle and W front are integral with the Town Wall, which has a tower abutting the NW angle of the church. The N aisle is otherwise similar to the S aisle with three 2-light windows. The nave has a 3-light W window with Decorated tracery (formerly the E window), above a blocked arched W doorway, possibly a postern gate in the original town wall.  

The nave has 4-bay N and S arcades with square piers set diagonally and 2-centred arches with 2 orders of chamfer. The arches have hood moulds, some of which retain head stops. The nave has a plastered keeled wagon roof of flat pitch, the aisles plainer plaster ceilings. The chancel arch has 2 orders of chamfer similar to the nave arcades, and the chancel has similar N and S arches to side chapels, with segmental arches at the ends of the aisles. The chancel has a plastered wagon roof similar to the nave, on a simple cornice. A stone reredos incorporates a shelf behind the altar, and has foliage cornices and round relief panels with foliage and quatrefoils. In the S wall is an ogee-headed piscina. In the N wall of the N chapel is a Tudor-arched recess with crocketed ogee hood. The octagonal font has plain C19 tooling. The pulpit, donated in 1911, is polygonal with open Gothic-traceried panels. The altar is stone. Choir stalls in the S chapel have simple moulded ends, while rear panels are in late medieval style with blind arcading and vine trails to the cornice. The pews have moulded ends. In the S wall of the S aisle are 2 memorial tablets, commemorating the fallen on the parish and a separate memorial to Lieutenant Morys Wynne-Jones of the Royal Engineers. The E window of c1910 has figures of SS George, Mary and Alban, and regimental badges in the tracery lights. The S aisle E window of 1910 portrays the Tree of Jesse. The NE window, dated 1933, is by C.E. Kempe & Co and depicts Annunciation, Nativity and Crucifixion, with a 4th panel probably depicting the death of the Virgin. The W window has a panel missing but probably represents the Adoration of the Magi. At the W end of the N aisle is a panelled screen incorporating a door, leading to the vestry at the base of the tower. On its L side is a panelled door with strap hinges, leading to a mural stair to the upper stage of the bell tower. At the top of the stair is a window seat partly removed. A doorway with shouldered lintel leads into the upper chamber. This has a chimneypiece with a tripartite lintel projecting on brackets, and a raked hood. A blocked window on the SE side has a segmental rere-arch and seat. To its R is a lintelled doorway with steps, and a lintelled doorway above it. Another lintelled doorway on the L side of the SE window opens to a former garderobe. Both the vestry and upper chamber have high joist-beam ceilings and corbelled brackets.  

Reason for designation
Listed grade I as a medieval church retaining fine original arcades and good early C19 detail, and integral with the Town Wall.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]