Sunday, 25 September 2011

St Margaret, Eartham

St Margaret’s is a delightful village church (although so small, it might almost be called a chapel) in a pretty village situated on a wide sweep of the Downs near Arundel. The church stands on a bank by a sharp bend in the lane, near the rather grand entrance of Eartham House next door (now a school).

Though not mentioned in the Domesday book, the church has Norman origins, as the nave and chancel were probably built around 1100. The chancel was rebuilt in 13th century, when the small south aisle was also added. A rather thorough restoration in 1869 renewed the exterior, replaced most of the windows, replaced a boarded bell turret with the present shingled one, and added the south porch.

The obvious Victorian exterior restoration doesn’t initially bode well, but inside there is much of interest. The west door (inside the porch), with its round arch and plain tympanum, is Norman; so is the lovely round-headed chancel arch, though its impact is now reduced by the (Victorian) openings either side.

Closer up, though, the chancel arch is even better: the volute capitals have delightful carvings. On the south there is a bearded man, and on the north a rather fierce looking rabbit (or hare), with tall, pointy ears. The small aisle is separated from the nave by just two bays of pointed arches, of early 13th century date, as is the tiny east lancet window.

There are some fittings of interest: the chancel has a pretty floor of Victorian encaustic tiles, and a rough 17th wall monument to two young daughters of the the then vicar. The attractive organ is actually modern (1945). Other monuments include one to Thomas (d. 1800), the son of the poet William Hayley; and (behind the organ) to William Huskisson (d. 1830), former MP for Liverpool and owner of Eartham House. He was famous as the first reported railway casualty, having been run over by the Rocket on the opening day of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

The church has a monthly morning service, and a monthly Evensong in summer.

off Britten's Lane, Eartham, near Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0LP

Sunday, 18 September 2011

St Mary, Barcombe

Barcombe is a small, scattered village, which in Victorian times had three mills on the river Ouse. It has an attractive church in a pretty churchyard, a short detour from the Ouse Valley Way long-distance path.


The Domesday book mentions three and a half mills, but no church in Barcombe. However, one must have been begun shortly after, as the nave dates from around 1100. To this were added, in the 13th century, the tower, chancel and a small south chapel. A small south aisle was added around 1400, and also from this time date the tower arch and west and north doorways.

The church was heavily restored in 1879, when the aisle and transept were replaced by the present, large south aisle and a vestry was added further to the east. Most of the windows were also replaced. More recently, a lovely parish room was added further to the south.

The church

From the exterior, the most notable feature is the tall broach spire, the base of which is actually lower than the nave roof. Inside, the wide arches of the arcade mean that the nave and south aisle work together to feel like a single, unified space. The two arches of the aisle are distinctively different from the smaller, third arch, which opened originally into the south transept.

The only windows of any age are one of the north wall lancets (13th century), and the two- and three-light windows, both of which are from the 15th century. One of these has interesting glass, dated 1657, from Goltho Church in Lincolnshire. There is some glass by Kempe in the south aisle. The font is from the 14th century, and has interesting incised decoration consisting of trefoil lancets and quatrefoils.

The church remains the centre of a vibrant worshipping community, with regular services, and a variety of groups for children.

Church Road, Barcombe, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5TS

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

St Peter, Hamsey

Hamsey is a wonderful place: an inland island (the name is Anglo-Saxon for ‘settlement on the island’) formed by a loop of the River Ouse, north of Lewes, its isolated and unrestored church is hugely atmospheric.


The exact origins of Hamsey are obscured by time, but it was important enough in Saxon times for King Athelstan to hold his court there in 925AD, and there is mention of a church in the Domesday Book in 1086. However, the village declined in the late mediaeval period when the population moved west to the nearby village of Offham. Remains of a Manor House were visible near the church until 1777.

The nave and chancel of the present church date from the 12th century, although a number of windows were enlarged as lancets around 1300, when the east window of the chancel was inserted and a north chapel (demolished in the 17th century) was also built. A robust Perpendicular tower was added late in the 14th century, and a porch in the early 15th century.

Hamsey remained the parish church until the middle of the 19th century, by which time the local Vicar was complaining that it was poorly located for the parishioners, who lived mostly in Offham. A new church was built there in 1860, and Hamsey thereafter went into decline, though for a time it was used as a mortuary chapel for the graveyard.

However, plans to demolish it were never carried out, and some people still chose to have their memorials erected in the church. Repairs were undertaken in the 1920s.

The Church

The church is principally interesting for the isolated and atmospheric hilltop location, and its unrestored condition. This is how many churches must have felt around 1800, before Victorian restoration and the advent of electricity.

The chancel arch is a simple Norman feature, without ornament; there are small Norman windows in both nave and chancel. The early 14th century three-light east window is particularly attractive. There is a distinctive, low squint between the south side of the nave and chancel, and the 15th century south door was clearly inserted below a much taller 12th century one.

Furnishings of interest include a Perpendicular font; remnants of mediaeval glass in a south window; a fine tomb, to Edward Markwick (d. 1538) in the form of a recessed tomb-chest with cusped quatrefoil decoration, next to the High Altar; and a well preserved decorated piscina.

The walls are crowded with monuments, many dating from after the building of the new church in 1860; those on the chancel’s south wall commemorate the Shiffner family, who lived at nearby Coombe Place. Above the chancel arch are the Royal Arms of George III, and several funeral hatchments adorn the nave walls. The furniture includes some rustic, old pews, which add to the atmosphere.

It now forms part of the parish of Offham; monthly services are held in summer (there is no electricity), as well as occasional concerts, and a popular candlelit Carol service is held in winter.

Ivors Lane, Hamsey, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5TD

Monday, 12 September 2011

St George's Bloomsbury, London

St George’s is regarded by many as one of London’s most elegant churches, and certainly has the most idiosyncratic spire.


The church was one of 12 established by the Act of 1711 which set out to build 50 new churches. The architect was Nicholas Hawksmoor, the leading exponent of the English Baroque, and the new church (and his last) was opened in 1730. Soon after, it was re-orientated north-south to accommodate more seating, and additional galleries were added.

For much of its life, it ministered to what was a relatively poor parish with many slum areas, but as the population of the area declined towards the end of the 20th century, it fell into neglect. A major restoration scheme part funded by the World Monuments Fund was completed in 2009, which restored the orientation and interior closer to its original condition.

The church

The church itself is based on a Greek Cross plan, fronted by an impressive Corinithian portico with a light and spacious interior. The steeple is extraordinary: the base has miniature porticoes on each side, and the steep sided roof is topped by a statue of George I in Roman dress, while at the base four lions - one on each corner - represent the ending of the Jacobite rebellion.

The interior has a square nave, with proscenium arches on each side except the east, which has an apsed sanctuary. There are north and south galleries according to Hawksmoor's original plan. The sanctuary contains the original, large classical reredps and altar of inlaid mahogany; other major item of interest is the vast 17th century Dutch chandelier, loaned from the Victoria and Albert museum, which hangs in the centre of the nave.

Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HR

St Giles-in-the-Fields, London

St Giles is the parish church for a significant part of the area near Tottenham Court Road tube, but the church itself is tucked away, under the shadow of Centrepoint. There has been a church on the site for over 900 years and it has an interesting and complex history.


The church was originally founded in 1101 by Queen Matilda, wife of Henry I, as a monastic foundation to serve a leper hospital. At that time, St Giles was a small village outside London. At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the hospital's chapel became the parish church. This building was replaced in 1630 by a new church, paid for by donations by Alicia, Duchess Dudley. The area soon became densely populated, and the great plague of London started in the parish in 1665. The graveyard is one of several in London particularly noted for being used for plague victims.

By the early 18th century, structural problems with the 'new' church necessitated its replacement, and the present church was erected 1730-4, designed in the Palladian style by Henry Flitcroft. Until 1783, the church was the last on the route to the Tyburn gallows, and by tradition the churchwardens paid for the condemned prisoners to have a last drink at the adjacent Angel pub. The church also has connections to Maryland in the USA, being the resting place of its founder, the 1st Lord Baltimore.

Since then, the parish has had a varied history, much of the time being known as a byword for slums, although now it includes some of the most expensive property in the UK, and the resident population is outnumbered by the number of people who work and visit the parish. The church was renovated in 1896, and again in 1952.

The church

The broad design of an elegant 'Classical Box' is similar to many London churches built around this time: the dominant external feature is the west tower, which has an octagonal lantern topped with a spire. The large upper windows are all round-headed. The rectangular plan incorporates a large nave of five bays, with galleries above the aisles, looking onto a shallow but impressively tall sanctuary. The tunnel-vault roof is supported on elegant Ionic columns, and the whitewashed plaster is picked out in a decorative scheme of gold and pale blue.

There are some interesting furnishings, many of which pre-date the present building. These include the pulpit (in the north aisle) from the West Street chapel, from which John and Charles Wesley preached regularly during the years 1743-1791. The organ, from the previous church, dates from 1671 and was rebuilt in the present case in 1734. The pulpit, of inlaid mahogany, dates from 1676. Of the many monuments, that of George Chapman (translator of Homer), dated 1634, was probably designed by Inigo Jones. The nave has some splendid 18th century style chandeliers and there is a wooden model of the church in the north aisle.

The church today ministers to a very varied parish, with services daily except Saturday, and is a venue for regular concerts and music recitals.

St Giles High Street, London, WC2H 8LG

Metropolitan Cathedral of St David, Cardiff

St David's the newer and smaller of Cardiff's two cathedrals but, unlike the ancient foundation of Llandaff, several miles to the north-west, St David's is at the heart of the modern city.


The growth of Cardiff during the industrial revolution saw a growing mission by the Roman Catholic Church to the population of this burgeoning city. From 1839 a support fund for a new church was developed, augmented by fund-raising in Ireland, and the first church was consecrated on a site in David Street in 1842. It was named after the Principality's patron saint at the request of Lady Catherine Eyre of Bath, a major benefactress.

By the end of the century, however, it was becoming too small for the growing congregation, and the present building was erected in Charles Street. It was opened in 1887 to designs by the architectural firm Pugin & Pugin. It contained elaborate furnishings in the Neo-Gothic style, with the High Altar and Reredos alone costing the then substantial sum of £1,000. In 1915, Cardiff was designated an Archdiocese and in 1920 St David's was designated the cathedral.

However, the cathedral was destroyed during an enemy air-raid on 3rd March 1941. Rebuilding began in 1953, and St David's reopened in 1959, albeit with furnishings in a more modern style.

The Church

The church is designed in a restrained, Decorated Gothic style. The exterior is executed in rock-faced Pennant stone with red sandstone ashlar dressings. The interior consists of a single large nave, with a large chancel arch leading into a small sanctuary, and a large stone west gallery supported on two substantial piers. The walls have arches to each bay, some housing confessional boxes, others small chapels. The most interesting decoration is the stained glass, some of which was saved from the original building.

Charles Street, Cardiff, Wales CF10 2SF

Sunday, 11 September 2011

St Grwst, Llanrwst

Llanwrst is a small but historic town in the Conwy Valley, perhaps known best for its attractive 17th century bridge. It has an interesting church, which includes the Gwydir Chapel, containing a remarkable set of funeral monuments to the Wynne family, former owners of nearby Gwydir Castle.


The first church was built nearby by the 6th century Celtic Saint Grwst, but the present site was donated in the 12th century by local lord Rhun ap Nefydd Hardd, to atone for his father’s sin of murdering Prince Idwal, son of Owain, King of Gwynedd. The church , begun around 1170, suffered during the turbulent history of the area; it was partly destroyed in the early 1400s during Owain Glyndwr’s uprising, and burned to the ground in 1468 during the Wars of the Roses by the men of the Yorkist Earl of Pembroke. The present church is the replacement built in 1470. It was restored in 1884, when the present tower was added.

The adjacent Gwydir Chapel was built by Sir Robert Wynne in 1633-4, Treasurer to Queen Henrietta Maria and owner of Gwydir Castle, who also helped finance the town’s bridge. It served as both family chapel and mausoleum until the building of Gwydir Uchaf chapel, nearer the castle in 1673. Ironically, Sir Robert himself is buried in Wimbledon.

The Church

The church consists of a nave and large north aisle, separated by an arcade, all executed in the perpendicular Gothic style. There is no chancel arch, but in the North Aisle is the stone staircase leading up to the Rood Loft. The main attraction is the Rood Screen, a magnificent survival. Although its niches of the musicians’ gallery lack the statues of the saints they were intended to house, the carving of the screen below is superlative. It includes images of both Tudor Roses and Pomegranates, symbol of Catherine of Aragon.

The screen’s panels each contain swirling filigree carving of a different designs: one depicts vines and bunches of grapes, another pigs eating acorns. The depiction of the symbols of Christ’s Passion, including a ladder, spear, nails and crown of thorns, and of a cock crowing (from the betrayal of St Peter), are particularly rare.

The Chapel

Executed in the Gothic style, this single room is a veritable treasure trove. The walls are lined with the stalls behind which the family would have sat, elaborately carved in the Jacobean style, the ends of the stalls adorned with peculiarly primitive heads. All around are the memorials of the Wynnes, with marble tablets and a set of rare engraved memorial brasses depicting the deceased in portrait form. On the south wall is the incredibly elaborate monument to Sir Robert’s father, Sir John (d. 1627).

On the floor are two earlier memorials: an empty and lidless stone coffin, decorated with quatrefoils, and said to the be the tomb of Llewellyn the Great (d. 1240), who was buried at nearby Maenen Abbey. Next to this is a very impressive 15th century stone effigy of a knight, said to be that of Hywel Coetmor (above), who fought for the Black Prince at Poitiers and later took part in the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr. The effigy is incredibly detailed and retains its sword.

St Grwst, Church Street, Llanrwst LL26 0LE

Friday, 9 September 2011

Streat Parish Church

Streat has a small but delightful parish church next to the impressive and historic house of Streat Place.

There has probably been a church on this site since Saxon times, but the core of the present nave (north and west walls) is Norman, probably from the late 12th century. The chancel was added in the 13th century, but extended around 1840-50. The east and south windows also date from this time. A more thorough restoration in 1854 added the south aisle (including the nave arcade) and replaced most of the windows. The porch and vestry were added in 1882. The age of the pretty bell turret is not known, although the church had a bell dated 1520, replaced by three new bells in 1900 when it was found to be cracked.

The interior of the church now has a very Victorian feel, but is delightful nevertheless. Most of the stained glass was added in the 19th century, but the north wall has an interesting depiction of St Francis dating from the 1960s.

There are a number of attractive memorials on the walls, but the most interesting fittings are the two early 18th century iron floor memorial slabs. The larger one, to the Gott family, is reputed to be the largest in England, weighing a ton. There is a also a hatchment with the coats of arms of Charles II, dated 1660, above the chancel arch.

The church is part of a joint parish with Ditchling and Westmeston. All three churches have regular services and are well worth a visit.

Streat Lane, Streat, Hassocks, East Sussex BN6 8RU

Thursday, 8 September 2011

St Mary and All Saints, Conwy

The North Wales town of Conwy is famous for its castle and mediaeval walls, which are among the most complete in the UK. But this World Heritage Site also has a large town church well worth a look, parts of which pre-date Edward I’s castle and walled town.


The church began life as a Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1172 and endowed by the Welsh Prince Llewellyn Fawr (Llewellyn the Great) in 1198. It was plundered by English forces of Henry III in 1245, but after the English conquest of this part of Wales in the 1280s, Edward I moved the abbey to Maenan a few miles away. St Mary’s therefore became the parish church of the new walled town built next to the castle as part of Edward’s conquest strategy. Parts of the walls survive from the 12th century abbey church in the present building.

The tower and chancel were rebuilt around 1300, with the south transept and south aisle following in the early to mid 14th century. The tower was completed in the late 15th century, and the rood screen and font installed around 1500. Some of the windows also date from the 15th-17th centuries. Extensive but relatively sensitive restoration in the late 19th century saw the nave roof and chancel floors both raised, the clerestory windows reset and the south transept window reconstructed.

The church

The church has a west tower, with an aisled nave and south transept. The north aisle is now a memorial chapel. From the outside, the three lancets in the tower and the west doorway, of c. 1235, are of particular interest. The interior is spacious, as befits the town’s importance, with a tall arcade of c. 1300, with carved heads at the join of each arch.

The most impressive feature is the rood screen, one of the best preserved in north Wales, and the adjoining choir stalls, both of around 1500. The stalls are vigorously carved, with figures and decoration resembling pinions and elaborate poppy-heads. The chancel also has some mediaeval floor tiles, now set in a wall next to the impressive arched tomb of Robert Wynne (d. 1598, builder of Plas Mawr house).

Other tombs and memorials include those to John Wynne (d. 1637) and Mary (d. 1585), mother of John Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury in Charles I’s reign (Williams was baptised in the early Tudor Perpendicular font at the west end). A fascinating tomb is that of Nicholas Hookes (d. 1637), who was the 41st child of his father William Hookes, and himself went on to have 27 children. Other items worth looking out for include a window by Burne-Jones in the south aisle, a reproduction of Andrea del Sarto’s ‘Christ’, and a bust of the sculptor John Gibson, who was baptised here in 1790.

The church holds regular services in English and Welsh.

St Mary & All Saints, Church Street, Conwy, Wales LL32 8LD

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

St Dyfnog, Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch

With a name all but impossible for the average English speaker to pronounce, this village church is one of the Vale of Clwyd’s greatest treasures: it has what is widely regarded as the best surviving mediaeval stained glass in Wales, a stunning carved roof, and other items of historical interest.

A short walk away is the holy spring which gives its name to the village (Llanrhaeadr means ‘church enclosure by the waterfall’) and which was regarded in mediaeval times as having healing properties endowed by its founding Saint.


The church was founded by St Dyfnog in the Sixth century, deliberately located close to the healing well. Not much is known about Dyfnog himself except, in common with many other Celtic saints, he is said to have bathed in its freezing waters in just a hair shirt with a chain for a belt, by way of penance and prayer. One of the mediaeval Welsh poets mentioned the well ‘which gives grace to all nations and cures all ills’. The water was said to cure scabs and ‘the itch’, smallpox and even those who were deaf and dumb. In the 18th century it was described as being enclosed in an elaborate building, though only the pool itself now remains.

There is nothing left of the first church, which was probably made of wood, but a church was mentioned in records of 1254 and 1291. The oldest part of the building we see now is the robust tower, which dates from the 13th century, with the double-naved church – common in this part of Wales – erected in the 14th century. Both the surviving mediaeval windows were taken down and hidden from the iconoclasts and reinstalled after the Civil War. The porch is harder to date, but the carved sides may be formed from the original rood screen, from around 1530. The church was restored in 1879-80 and again in 1986-9.

The church

The interior is spacious, with the two naves separated by a handsome arcade or broad arches in blood-red sandstone. The walls have unfortunately been scraped of their plaster, though this does give it a rustic feel.

The famous east window is in the north nave: this is complete, and can be dated to 1533. It was the gift of the priest, Robert Jones, and depicts a simplified tree of Jesse, which illustrates the family tree of Christ from Jesse, through Kings David and Solomon, to Christ, shown with the Virgin. The figures are bold and expressive, and the local County guide-book points out that they rather resemble the form of playing cards, which achieved their traditional form around this period. In one or two places, the reinsertion has gone a little awry, but for the most part the scheme is as it would been originally. The colours – red, green, blue, gold and white predominate – are astonishingly vivid.

At the other end of the nave, the west window has glass dated to 1508, but this is more fragmentary, and the original images are mostly jumbled. The glass was discovered in a cottage in the 19th century.

The church’s other great treasure is its roof, contemporaneous with the windows, and carved and decorated with angels on the hammer-beams and corbels: the south nave over the sanctuary is particularly finely decorated, forming a ‘canopy of honour’.

Other items of interest include a golden pelican from 1762, feeding its young from its own blood; a huge ancient hewn chest beneath the Jesse window; and tucked away in the south east corner is the splendid classical monument to Maurice Jones, the local squire, who died in his early 30s in 1702. He reclines, resplendent in a huge periwig beneath a curtained archway, flanked with cherubs weeping into handkerchiefs.

The church is open every day, with an active congregation and choir, with the main Sunday service at 11.15.

St Dyfnog’s well is a short walk north of the churchyard; the various springs flow into a large stone-lined pool, sadly in need of restoration.

Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Denbigh, Wales LL16 4NL

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Collegiate and Parochial Church of St Peter, Ruthin

The pretty and historic town of Ruthin has a fine church, part of which dates from the 14th century. It has many interesting memorials dating from the 16th century onwards, and a particularly fine decorated roof from the early 16th century.


The church was built by John de Grey (of Ruthin Castle) in 1310, and founded as a collegiate church with a small community of 7 priests overseen by a Warden (a title still held by the Vicar). After the dissolution, the College was refounded as a grammar school, with the addition of almshouses.

The earliest part of the church is the north aisle (the tower room - now a vestry - was the original choir). The original chancel (demolished in 1663) originally stood east of this, and the cloisters to the north now form part of the old college buildings. The south nave was constructed in the late 14th century, which included the insertion of the fine arcade, with its carved corbels.

The magnificent roofs over the two naves was inserted around 1500-1540, and extensive restorations were carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries, the spire being erected in the 1850s.

The church

On entering, the scale of the double-naved church is immediately apparent. The arcade has interesting carved corbels, one of which may depict a bearded Negro. Apart from the arcade, 14th century details are hidden behind the organ, and outside on the north wall, where the remains of the cloister and priests' dwellings are now part of the Masonic Hall and music rooms.

Back inside, look up, and let you eyes adjust to the gloom; the Tudor roofs over the naves are simply magnificent, containing over 408 carved panels and dozens of painted bosses.

The church also includes some fine memorials: there are rare early Welsh brasses to Edward Goodman (d. 1560), and unusually a separate one for his wife and family on which he appears again. One of their sons, Gabriel Goodman, became Dean of Westminster and chaplain to William Cecil, Elizabeth I's Chief Minister, and founded the grammar school and almshouses. His splendid memorial, complete with life-sized painted bust, overlooks the High Altar. There are a number of other elegant 17th, 18th and 19th century memorials.

The current congregation has an active church life and strong tradition of church music.

School Road, Ruthin, Wales LL15 1BL

Friday, 2 September 2011

Old and new St Peter, Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd

St Peter’s is a tale of two churches: one up the hill, towards the old Llanbedr Hall; and a Victorian replacement in the centre of the village.


The original church on the site of the original village, dates back to at least 1254, when it was mentioned in the Norwich Taxation. A simple, unaisled building, it became a ruin when the new church was erected in 1862-3 in the centre of the new village. The new church was designed by the Shrewsbury architectural firm of Poundley and Walker and was paid for by the Lord of the Manor.

More recently, access to the old church was the subject of a local dispute, resolved only in 2009 when a planning inspector designated the part of the driveway to Llanbedr Hall (from the main road as far as the church) a public right of way.

The old church

This is now a roofless ruin, but it was a simple, single-celled building with a bell-cote, which is well preserved. Aside from some Gothic doorways, little else is discernible, as the red sandstone has weathered badly. There are, however, a number of memorial tablets in the church, and the graveyard has many tombs and superb views over the Vale of Clwyd.

The new church

This is closer to the centre of the present village and has a large porch, single unaisled nave and chancel. The exterior is boldly decorated with bands of coloured stone and coloured roof tiles, some strong carving and it has a particularly vigorous spiked turret.

Inside, the nave is plainer, but has some interesting and attractive Victorian stained glass, and the chancel has good encaustic tiles. There are some wall tablets brought from the old church, as well as an interesting fragment of a 14th carved tomb from the old church, showing a man with curled hair. Recently restored to their rightful place behind the altar are tablets of illuminated-style script with the Creed, Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments in Welsh.

The church is open during daylight hours for prayer and visits, and has regular services in both traditional and modern styles.

Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Ruthin, Wales LL15 1UP

St Tyrnog, Llandyrnog

The parish church at Llandyrnog is typical of those in the Vale of Clwyd with a double nave, and has some magnificent mediaeval stained glass.

The church is an ancient foundation, first established by St Tyrnog in the 6th century. He was one of what must have been a formidable family of saints in the area: his brother Deifor established a church at Bodfari and his sister Marchell (Marcella) founded a hermitage and gave rise to the church in Denbigh that bears her name.

The present building dates largely from the 15th century, but was substantially restored in 1876-8 by William Eden Nesfield. It has the typical double-nave plan of the Vale of Clwyd, but the charming timbered porch and pale pink render are Nesfield's. The interior is well maintained and has a number of furnishings of note. The most outstanding of these is the East Window, which dates from about 1490. Re-assembled from fragments which had been hidden (presumably from iconoclasts), it depicts the Crucifixion and the seven sacraments of the church, with saints in the smaller lights above.

Although much of it is missing, the poignant, central figure of the crucified Christ, with streams of blood leading to the scenes of the sacraments, is beautifully preserved. The panels depicting ordination and marriage are also well preserved, whereas those of the last rites (extreme unction) and penance are more fragmentary. The panels depicting the mass, baptism and confirmation have unfortunately been lost.

Other items of interest include an Annunciation window by Kempe; the Coat of Arms of George II, a poor box dated 1687; some lovely Victorian encaustic tiling by Minton; and a stone carving of the head of a monk, rescued from the churchyard, and possibly depicting St Tyrnog himself.

If you wish to visit, a key is available from the nearby Post Office, for private prayer or simply a look around this lovely village church. Service details are on the parish website.

Opposite Church Square, Llandyrnog, Denbigh, Wales LL16 4HG