(1638) THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST. GWYNHOYDL (Fig. 83, Plates 9, 14, 18,20,21,26, 39) stands near the E. extremity of the parish. It consists ofthree aisles of equal length; the central aisle is divided from the side aisles by arcades, both of three bays, and contains the chancel though without structural division.

The N. aisle and arcade were added to a simple rectangular structure, in length a little more than double its width, in 1520, the date inscribed on the E. pier of the arcade. The S. aisle and arcade were added likewise, probably within ten years by comparison of the arcade with those in the nave of Bangor Cathedral (Vol. II, No. 681) which were built during the first quarter of the century. The S. aisle was probably the later, although situated on the easier slope, as the detailed resemblances and differences between the tracery in its E. window and that in the other aisles compare exactly with those found at Llanengan (No. 1590), where the S. aisle is certainly later; the arcades are also similar. The junctions are marked by straight joints in the E. and W. walls, the outer angles of the central aisle showing a batter at the base on ground sloping downwards from S. to N. The quoins of this part are not as well made as those at the other angles of the added aisles, but otherwise all three parts are similarly built of roughly coursed rubble with dressings of grey gritstone.

1638The oldest work remaining in the lower courses between the straight joints in the E. and W. walls is presumably no older than the 14th or 15th century.1

The church was repaired and restored in 1850. Of this date are the slate roof-coverings, the gable copings and the renewed bell-cote on the central W. gable, most of the gable crosses, some of the windows, and the open pews. The W. gables have been partly raised. Other repairs were made in 1943. Steps and a balustrade at the central altar have recently been added.

The church is important for its dated work, as a key to dating other churches or their extensions of the Tudor period in this region.
Architectural description.-The N. Aisle (39 ft. by 15ft. 6 ins.) has in its N. wall three windows dating from 1850, of which the central one, of three lights under a four-centred head, replaces a small loop like that still in the W. wall, while the W. window of the three replaces a doorway which was the entrance to a school in this aisle before 1850, the door jambs being visible below the window on the exterior. The window in the E. wall (Plate 18) dates from the erection of this aisle in 1520; of three cinquefoiled lights, the central one ogee-arched, the others pointed two-centred, it has vertical tracery under a pointed four-centred head and a hoodmould with human-headed stops (that on the N. a modern renewal), the jambs and reveals splayed and plain. The W. wall contains a small pointed light, now blocked. The arcade between the N. and central aisles (Plate 14) is of three bays; each arch is four-centred and of two chamfered orders; the piers or responds are elongated octagons or semi-octagons in plan, without capitals, and plain except for an ogee-pointed niche in the W. face of the E. pier (Plate 21) and the inscriptions on this pier and the E. respond recording the erection of this aisle in 1520 over the burial-place of the patron saint, Gwynhoydl.

The Central Aisle (38 ft. 9 ins. by I5 ft. 9 ins.) is bounded both to N. and S. by arcades replacing original walls. The E. window (Plate 18), of three lights, is almost exactly similar to that of the N. aisle, but its arch is flatter and the hood-mould has short returns instead of carved stops; it was probably inserted in place of a smaller window when the N. aisle was added. The W. window, of two lights and perpendicular  tracery in a pointed two-centred head, was inserted in 1850.

Below it are traces of a blocked doorway. The arcade between the central and S. aisles (Plate 14) is of three bays with four-centred arches like those of the N. arcade but is more elaborate. The arches have two hollow chamfered orders. The octagonal piers or responds are larger and nearly regular, have double cuts on the diagonal faces
(in plan as at Abererch, No. 1482, and Llanengan, No. 1590), and moulded capitals and bases combining roll and hollow. The arcade, like the S. Aisle, probably dates from ca. 1530.

The S. Aisle (39 ft. 3 ins. by 16 ft. 6 ins.) has thinner walls than the others. Its E. window (Plate 18) appears to be nearly contemporary with those of the central and N. aisles and resembles them, except that all three main lights are ogee moulded and that the upper side lights have straight supramullions instead of cusped tracery; its hood-mould has straight returns like those of the central window, the arch of which it matches in trace. Of the two windows in the S. wall, the E. window, of two trefoiled lights with square head and carved spandrels under a moulded label, is original with inner jambs and lintel re-set; the other, of three lights under a four-centred head, was inserted in 1850. The s. doorway (Plate 20) has casement-moulded jambs continuous with its four-centred arch under a hood-mould; although partly renewed it is substantially of the early 16th century.

In each aisle the roof is of five bays with four trusses, all of arch-braced collar-beam type and of the 15th or early 16th century but partly re-arranged. Those in the N. aisle have raking struts, cusped at the E. and W. trusses, plain at the other two; those in the other aisles are without struts. All the trusses rest -on modern stone corbels, and most of the purlins and rafters have been renewed.

Fittings.-Books: see p. cxxxv. Bell: in bell-cote, inscribed ST. GWYNHOYDYL ANN DOM 1788. For Celtic hand-bell formerly kept in the church and now at National Museum of Wales, see under Finds, p. xli. According to the present occupants of Bryn-y-gloch (No. 1687), there is a local tradition that it was found under the hearth there. Font (Plate 26): of gritstone, octagonal, the bowl chafmered and filleted below, the faces carved in sunk relief, at S. a mitred head full-face, at N. a human face with head-dress perhaps a crown, a E. a
fleur-de-lis, at W. a shield with a plain cross, at S.W. the blackletter
initials ‘i h c’, on each of the other faces a flower of different pattern; on a plain octagonal pedestal and chamfered plinth. Total height 3 ft. I in., width of bowl 1 ft. I0 ins. Probably ca. 1520. Glass: odd fragments of stained glass re-set at top of upper lights in the central E. window.2 Inscriptionsl
(Plate 2I): on N. arcade, (i) on E. respond, black-letter in sunk relief, on both S.W. and S.E. faces ‘Ihc’ (or s); below round all three faces ‘s(anctus) gwynhoydyl I iacet : hic’; (ii) on E. pier, similarly cut, starting at the S.W. in one line running as far as niche in W. face ‘hec edes edificata est in an(n)o d(omi)ni,’ below niche on W. face ‘ihro’, blackletter forms of the arabic numerals 1520, opposite which a
small flower of six petals on the E. face. Memorials: (i) in S. aisle upright against E. wall, grit slab to John Lloyd, 1667. also to his wife Elizabeth, 1696, daughter of William Wynne, of Glynne (Merioneth).3 (ii) in N. aisle upright against E. wall, slate slab to Catherine Owen, 1717, great-granddaughter to John Lloyd in (i). (iii) In churchyard, on S., table tomb on slate to Francis Lloyd, of Nantgwnadl, 1694;4 inscription much defaced, renewed by his descendant Anabella, wife of Richard Edwards, of Nanhoron. Niche (Plate 21): in E. pier of N.
arcade, on W. face, a shallow ogee-headed opening. Plate: (i) Silver chalice (Plate 39), with deep beaker-shaped bowl flaring slightly, on a short stem moulded above the plain ring and at the foot, the bowl engraved near the rim with interlacing strapwork and foliage, also below the middle with a band of hyphens in four rows, the foot engraved similarly in three rows. Inscribed inside the base I : G. London dateletter for 1574-5. Maker’s mark, H S in monogram in hollowshaped shield (for Henry Sutton?).5 Height 5.5 ins. (ii) Silver paten-cover, inscribed + 1574. Same marks as (i). Diameter 3.25 ins. Miscellaneous: Set in the inner face of the E. wall of the S. aisle is a stone inscribed with a circle and cross: three ends are bifurcated but the base has a small foot; perhaps ca. 600.6

The condition of the church before 1850 is described in Arch. Camb., 1848, pp. 146-50. The architect for the restoration in that year was Henry Kennedy (M. L. Clarke, Trans. Caerns. Hist. Soc., XXII (1961), p. 30, n. 23). Subsequent descriptions appear in Arch. Camb., 1900, pp. 315-16 (state in 1855) and 1956, pp. 147-9·

Condition: good.
SH 20883322                               10 ix 60                                           39 S.W.

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