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 Tysilio  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
The church stands in a very picturesque location set in a walled churchyard above the River Dee and below the road to Rhewl, c3km W of Llangollen.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

The church has C12 origins, as evidenced by surviving sculpture. It appears to have been rebuilt in the early-mid C15, and has a large N transept added in 1718. This was altered in the restoration of 1869, funded by F C Beyer. Robert Browning, the eminent poet, though not a regular churchgoer, worshipped at the church over 10 months in 1886 when he was staying in Llangollen as friend of Sir Theodore and Lady Martin, Helena Faucit, of Bryntysilio.  

Built of uncoursed rubble stonework with sandstone quoins and dressings and a slated roof. Boulder foundations are exposed on the S side. Re-used ashlar is incorporated in the E gable end. Nave and chancel in a single cell, the walls largely of medieval stonework, the nave narrowing slightly to the W. N transept and S porch. A stone gabled bellcote is raised on the W gable. Three-light square headed windows with labels with square terminals, and containing ogee cusped tracery; those on the N replaced in the C19. A small round headed window in the angle with the transept has quoins carved with foliate crosses from late C13-C14 graveslabs. E window is of 3 lights, C15 with panel tracery. In the transept, a 2-light early C14 N window, reset in the end, lights the vestry. One S window has the date of renewal of 1580. A graffito of 1760 appears on a SE chancel quoin. In the angle of the lean-to E vestry and the transept stands an external stone pulpit, probably dating from the 1869 refurbishment. The engraving of 1830 shows dormers on the S side, now gone.  

Nave and aisle in one cell, with 7 bays of knee-braced collar trusses with cusped raking struts, two tiers of purlins and cusped windbraces, all late medieval and restored. The E bay is ceiled as a segmental panelled vault. Walls plastered in C19. The chancel occupies the 2 eastern bays; raised marble floor. Arch and 3-light window opens to the transept, which contains the organ and was extended for a vestry. The chancel was refurbished in c1919 when a tall oak screen on the top chancel step was introduced, incorporating the pulpit, an altar with an elaborately carved front, and a similar reredos across the full width, all by R T Beckett. Font, C15, octagonal with panelled sides set on an octagonal base. The lectern is of special interest for the C15 black oak eagle, now remounted. Glass: The small N window has two C15 figures in yellow stain set in an architectural frame, the lower St James the Greater. E window, c1890-1910, Christ and archangels with scenes below, a memorial to Sir Theodore Martin donated by Lady Martin. S chancel, a nativity of 1926. In the nave, W end of S side Oakes memorial window, on the N side, east, window to Bond of Londonderry by same artist, and on the S side, E end of nave, coloured figures of St Tysilio, 1972, by T M Cox. Monuments: Nave: (a) Large white marble relief to Helena Faucit Martin, d.1898, depicting her sitting holding a book, books under her chair and a tondo with the head of her husband(?) behind. Unsigned. At the W end, N side (b) white marble aedicule with wide broken pediment, circular coloured shield above and putto on apron, to Henry Roberts of Rhyd Owen, d.1722, Elizabeth Meyrick added; (c) On the W wall, a footed monument on grey slate on base, the tablet draped and corniced, with two putti and mounted arms over, to Elizabeth Jones of Bwlch, d.1721, Simon and Richard Jones 'unkles' (sic), and Charles brother to husband Edward added. (d) S wall, a copper plaque on marble to William Herbert MD, d.1954 and (e) a memorial brass to Robert Browning. In the vestry, (f) a tablet, white marble on grey, to Sarah Edwards, d.1834 and David Edwards, d.1837, and high up, (g) a limestone Gothic aedicule monument to Mary Beech of Admaston, Salop, d.1861.  

Reason for designation
Included at Grade II* on account of the amount of surviving medieval roof and walling, and for the special interest of some of its internal fittings.  

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