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.Cadwaladr  


Unitary Authority
Isle of Anglesey  
Street Side
Located within an enclosed rectangular churchyard (now extended to the SE); set back from the N side of the A4080 in the hamlet of Llangadwaladr.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

The church is thought to have been founded in C7, one of a number of Celtic churches on the island; built for Cadwaladr, canonised in 689AD, and serving the Court of the Princes of Gwynedd at Aberffraw. There is little known about the original church; a C7 memorial stone is now set into the N wall of the nave. This is the tombstone of Cadfan, ruler of Gwynedd, who died c.625; it was a gift of his grandson, Cadwaladr, and bears the inscription: CATAMUS / REX SAPIENTISI / MUS OPINATISIM / US OMNIUM / REG / UM; it is also believed to be the first tombstone to bear the Celtic cross. The oldest part of the present church is represented by the nave, built late C12 or early C13; this was extended by the addition of a chancel in C14. A N chapel was built in 1640 (rebuilt completely in 1801) and the S chapel added in 1661. The S porch was added when renovations to the church were carried out in 1856.  

Church, with exterior character largely determined by Perpendicular style detailing, including fenestration to nave and N and S chapels. T-shaped in plan with 3-bay nave, and N and S chapels off chancel; nave has S porch and W bellcote. Built of snecked masonry with freestone dressings, the walls of the S chapel with rough rendered elevations. Modern slate roof with tiled ridge and stone copings; stone crosses at gable apexes and W gabled bellcote (built to house 3 bells) surmounted by iron cross. The E wall is articulated by offset buttresses; diagonal buttresses at corners, and also along S wall of S chapel. Entry is through a pointed-arched doorway of 2 hollow chamfered orders in the S porch; the porch has a plinth with moulded top and moulded kneelers, and a window of 2 quatrefoil lights in the W wall. The S wall of the nave has windows either side of the porch; that to W a rectangular window of 4 trefoil-headed lights, that to E, also rectangular, with paired trefoil-headed lights under quatrefoils, there is a stags head in relief in the stone over the window. The N wall has similarly detailed windows; the E window (as for S wall, W window) of 3-lights, the central window (as for S wall E window) of 4-lights. To the W end is a blocked, late C12 doorway; it has chamfered jambs with fluted imposts, a 2-centred head with roll-moulded architrave and soffit, and a moulded label. The S chapel has an ogee moulded plinth at its base and entrance through a basket-headed doorway in the W wall; the doorway is set in a square frame, has moulded jambs with broach stops and the arch has a shaped keystone of triangular section with a fleur-de-lys and the date and initials 1661 A O; the keystone projects above the line of the label which is carried around it. Left (N) of the doorway is a deeply recessed, round-headed light set in a square frame with deep lintel and weathered hoodmould. Above the doorway is a moulded sunk panel flanked by Doric quarter-columns and an impaled shield above recording the building of the chapel in 1661 by Anne Owen in memory of her husband Hugh Owen Esqr. The S wall of the S chapel is dominated by a slightly advanced central gabled bay, with angle buttresses and moulded finials at the kneelers. The bay contains an exceptionally large pointed-arched window of 4 trefoil-headed lights; with a battlemented transom and Perpendicular tracery, another transom at the head. The window has a deep hollow moulded surround and moulded label and is flanked by recessed, paired trefoil-headed lights in square frames with weathered labels. The E elevation of the church is articulated by 3 large windows; the E wall of the S chapel has similarly detailed window to the advanced bay of the S wall; the E chancel window is a pointed-arched window of 3 trefoil-headed lights over 3 quatrefoil panels, with cusped tracery, a chamfered surround and moulded label with human head stops; and the E window of the N chapel is a pointed-arched window of 3 trefoil-headed lights and geometric tracery, with hollow-moulded surround and moulded label with floriate stops. The N window of the N chapel is similarly detailed to the E window, and the W wall has no windows; there are 2 stone plaques at the top of the wall which record the building of the original N chapel in 1640 by Richard Owen Meyrick Esq. and of a vault beneath by his great grandson Owen Meyrick, 1730; and also the rebuilding of the N chapel by Owen Putland Meyrick Esqr. in 1801.  

Entry to the church is through the pointed-arched, inner porch doorway; with broach stop chamfered surround. This leads into the nave; of 6 roof bays with exposed C19 collared trusses, lower curved braces with chamfered soffits, down to wall posts on decorated corbels (a mix of stiff-leafed foliage, human head, and angel corbels). The nave contains C19 and C20 memorials as well as the C7 'Catamus' stone set into the N wall. The chancel is raised by a single step, through a reconstructed C14 chancel arch of 2 chamfered orders; the N chapel is through a similarly styled C19 arch, the S chapel through an arch of 2 x 4-centred hollow chamfered orders, with semi-octagonal responds with moulded imposts and plain bases. The chancel has a late C15 stained glass window, said to have been hidden in a vault during Cromwell's rule and probably replaced when the S chapel was built; and also believed to have been given by Meuric ap Llywelyn ap Hwlcyn and his wife Marged, as a token of thanksgiving for the safe return of their son, Owain, from the battle of Bosworth in 1485. The window comprises 3-lights above a traceried panel, the central light depicts the Crucifixion and is unusual in that the translucent figure of Christ is painted to show the bones, like an X-ray in effect. Beneath an embattled arch is the portrait of St. Cadwaladr; the left hand light with a depiction of St. Mary, the right with St. John. The S chapel (the Bodowen chapel) has a mural monument above the doorway in the W wall, to Hugh Owen d.1659, erected by Ann Owen, his wife, in 1660. It has flanking Ionic columns on pedestals supporting an entablature on which is an achievement with an obelisk on either side. In the centre are 2 kneeling figures, male and female, in the costume of the period, in round-headed arched recesses with a prayer-desk between. Below is an inscription tablet flanked by 2 coats of arms. The N chapel (the Meyrick chapel) contains a number of memorials to members of the Meyrick family of Bodorgan. On the W wall is a marble memorial by M W Johnson of Liverpool; a white inscription tablet, with shield above and family coat of arms and motto below; to Owen Putland Meyrick, d.1825. On the E wall there are 2 memorials; that to N a highly ornate, carved marble memorial, the central recessed inscription tablet flanked by engaged columns; to Sarah Fuller, sister of Owen Fuller Meyrick. To the S is a marble memorial to the children of Augustus Elliot Fuller Esq. Between the two memorials is a stained glass window, the initials F M incorporated into the patterned design, representing Fuller Meyrick, the donor of the window. In c.1860, Owen Fuller Meyrick donated the N window with highly ornate carved grey marble surround. The base of the frame is formed in the manner of an altar table, with ornate cusped detailing to front, trefoil-headed recesses each bearing inscription tablets to members of the Meyrick family. The upper part of the window is recessed with engaged shafts at the angles; the reveals decorated with floriate quatrefoils. The window is of 3-lights; the central depicting the resurrection of Christ, the right hand light portrays Peter and John healing the crippled beggar beside the Beautiful gate, and the left hand light depicts Salome desiring that Christ should grant a place of honour to her two sons in his kingdom. The fittings are C19, many the gifts of Owen Putland Meyrick of Bodorgan.  

Reason for designation
Included at grade I as an exceptionally fine parish church of largely late medieval character. The church has traces of its early construction in the nave and chancel, but is particularly notable for its fine C17 memorial chapels, which represent interesting late examples of gothic work. It retains many noteworthy memorials dating from C17 and C19. The C15 stained glass chancel window is exceptional. St. Cadwaladr's also has a rich historic value, the earliest church on the site thought to be linked with the Princes of Gwynedd and the present building associated with the Meyrick family of Bodorgan and the Owen family of Bodowen.  

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