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 All Saints  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
In a rural location on the E banks of the River Dee, and set down from B4401. The church is set in a large churchyard, the stone boundary wall probably C18, and with many contemporary table tombs.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

A church was first recorded here in 1291, but the surviving fabric appears to be no earlier than the C14. It may have been enlarged to the W as there is a joint in the S wall near the porch, but wall painting evidence suggests that this also occurred in the C14. Substantial rebuilding of the external walls took place in the early C17, probably between 1615 and 1620. The S porch is dated 1617. The windows are C17-18, and are unusual for the continuation of the Perpendicular- and Tudor-styles at this late date. The W wall, prone to subsidence, has been rebuilt several times including in the early C18. Major restoration work was undertaken in 1974 as the church had fallen into disrepair, following its replacement by a new church in Cynwyd in 1856. This included construction of a large stone buttress along the N wall, obscuring a small window to the chancel.  

Single-chamber nave and chancel, W bellcote and S porch. Constructed of large blocks of white-washed random stone under a slate roof with raised stone copings and kneelers. The windows, mainly replaced in the C18, have moulded stone mullions and flat heads with quarry glazing. Gabled porch to L of centre, also with raised stone copings and kneelers. The entrance is under a cambered head of stone voussoirs, and contains an early boarded door with iron hinges and studs, and evidence of painting. Two-light window to L, and 3-light window to R of porch. Small single-light window to far R with segmental head and hollow moulding, medieval but with rebuilt jambs. The E end has a C17 3-light Perpendicular-style window with round-arched head. The L-hand side of the N elevation is supported by a large late C20 stone buttress, the eaves projecting over it in the form of a catslide. This has obscured a small window lighting the chancel. To the R is a round-arched doorway with monolithic stone head containing a boarded door; it may have been rebuilt in its original position. To its L and lighting the nave is a 3-light mullioned window of C18 date, which replaced an earlier narrower window. To the far R are 2 window openings blocked in the early C18, one at a high level. A raked half-dormer with 3-light window lights the gallery. The rebuilt W end has a wide gabled bell-cote and a former 3-light window reduced to one light, the outer lights infilled with stone. The single-bay porch has chamfered purlins with ogee stops and stone side benches. The S doorway, probably in its original position, has a replaced shallow-pointed arched head, and contains an early boarded door with iron hinges with chevron decoration, studs and engraved roundels. One of the door jambs is dated 1617. A further inscription in the porch reads 'EI CHW 1664', whilst a collar truss reads 'GW 1702', and probably reflects the reroofing of the porch.  

Undivided nave and chancel with gallery to W end. Six-bay roof to nave, partly restored with new wood during the 1974 restoration. The 2 bays over the gallery were altered in the C17-18 and are divided by a collar-beam truss. C15 arch-braced roof over the remaining 4 bays with diagonal struts above the braces. Cusped windbraces, except to W bay; 2nd brace from E has a dentilled soffit. Two rows of purlins, wooden wall-plate. Flagstone floor. The furnishings are mainly C18, with some panelling reused from the C17: Irregular box pews to N side, some with fine Jacobean decoration, that to centre reading 'I. H. 1711' and relating to the Hughes family of Gwerclas. Open wooden benches to S side, in between which is a wood-panelled triple combination of pulpit, reading desk and clerk's desk, also partly reused from former furnishings. Font set into wall to L of porch, a tall bowl, said to be late medieval. Large W gallery reached by spiral stone steps in NW corner. Seating on simple wooden benches of C18 date, and also an enclosure. These benches were mainly for the choir and there is a fine pyramidal music stand. The wood panelled gallery front has a moulded handrail and is plastered to the outer side. Underneath the gallery is a cross-beam with medium chamfer, supported to the L by a tapering stone pier possibly the base of a preaching cross. The chancel is ceiled by a C15 canopy of honour, though only a small part of the original survives. Fine C18 wooden altar rail with turned balusters; wood panelled reredos. The panelling continues around SE angle of chancel forming a small boxed enclosure, the door reading 'The Rector 1841'. Bench of 1768 to L of altar. To its L, on N wall, is a small pointed-arched door to a cupboard, inside which is a narrow blocked light, said to have been a squint. The box pews continue from the nave into the chancel; one has an arched head to the rear and reads 'W. J. Cefn Cymer, 1759.' The E window has a small area of stained glass to the top, in the form of flowers. It is flanked by Welsh decalogue boards. The interior has a particularly fine series of wall paintings, undertaken in at least 8 overlapping phases. The N wall includes a depiction of a bishop with hagiography to the rear, possibly representing Jerusalem; this is C14 and Flemish-influenced. Scenes to the L are probably C15; one figure is thought to be St Christopher. To the L of the porch on the S side is another C14 scene including a human head. A wild beast depicting one of the Seven Deadly Sins is to the R of the pulpit, above which are letter inscriptions of c1600. Two further beasts can also be made out. One of the clearest paintings is on the N wall adjacent to the gallery front; a figure of Death of C18 date. The plastered gallery front is decorated with classical-style roundels with a blind arch between and biblical references. These are also C18 and were painted by George Pritchard.  

Reason for designation
Listed grade I as a fine medieval and post-medieval church untouched by Victorian restoration, which retains exceptional medieval wall paintings, along with a rare and complete arrangement of C18 furnishings.  

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