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Llangar Church (All Saints)
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 100815 Trust : Clwyd Powys Community : Cynwyd Unitary authority : Denbighshire NGR : SJ0635542452 Site Type (preferred type first) : MEDIEVAL CHURCH Status : state care , listed building B, listed building A, scheduled monument
Description : Old parish church of Llangar replaced in 19th century by a new church. The old church said to date to 13th century or earlier, however excavation by Shoesmith failed to reveal anything earlier than 15th century. Many burials found in nave. S M 93.
The porch has date of 1702 on collar-beam truss but this probably dates the replacement of the roof only. A faint date of 1684 can be seen on the plaster above th doorway. The pulpit dates from around c1700. At the east end of the north wall a blocked doorway may be the remains of a storage area for churchplate. The roof has been modified on more than one occasion with the possibility of reuse of timber from another building. (NMR)
Late 14th or 15th century wall paintings depict seven deadly sins. Painted in red oxide. Boar=? gluttony; Lion=? Pride/Anger; set in rectangular brown frames. Traces of frames below may have enclosed seven mercies. Centre of north wall is wall and towered city - perhaps heavenly city of the temple of Jerusalem. On east side of wall, painting of Lord's Prayer. On left of wall, post-reformation painting of death. Small door below balcony has what may be a St Christopher (Edwards I 1993, 23.5).
The church was formerly used for Anglican worship and is maintained by Cadw. It is an excellent example of a fairly remote and rustic parish church interior, remodelled in the early 18th century. Here the emphasis is on the pulpit rather than the altar. The pulpit was half way down one of the long walls with the seats facing even if they face away from the altar, like a Nonconformist chapel (Yates, W N, 1993)
The first full description of the church dates from a 1730 survey. The church then measured 60 by 15 feet and had been newly plastered outside but not inside. It underwent substantial alteration in 1732. In 1854 it was said to be in a very dilapidated condition and became disused not long afterwards when a new parish church was built at Cynwyd. Restoration work began in 1974 and much of the interior of the church was excavated and the surviving architectural features were surveyed. The wall paintings have been conserved and this was completed in 1991. Medieval remains include the wall paintings that survive on most of the walls, the earliest probably 14th century, the easternmost roof trusses and the window opening at the east end of the south wall. There is ancient graffiti dating to the 17th century, as does the porch, the main window in the south wall, the east window and an earlier two-light version of the north window. In the late 17th century the western end of the church was rebuilt, the two subsequently blocked windows west of the north door and the doorway itself were probably also inserted at this time. The west wall seems to have been rebuilt again in the early 18th century and the porch reroofed. A coved plaster ceiling was added in the 18th century and partitioning diving up the gallery and area beneath it was added in the 19th century. These were removed during conservation and not replaced (Yates, W N, 1993)
The interior contains important wall paintings from the 14th to late 18th century, a late Medieval roof and almost complete group of 18th century fittings. There is a canopy of honour and the floor is flagged with rough slabs. The earliest piece of furniture is the font set into the wall of the church near the south door. It is probably late Medieval (Yates, W N, 1993)
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