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Eastern Conwy Churches Survey

Church of St George , St George

St George Church is in the Diocese of St Asaph, in the community of Abergele in the county of Conwy. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SH9739075806.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16956 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

St George Church, CPAT copyright photo CS972122.JPG

Summary

The church of St George in the eponymously named village lies close to the north Wales coast less than 5km from Abergele. The church is of Victorian build and contains only a few fittings transferred from its predecessor, which lay about 40m to the north-west and is now discernible only as a platform. The churchyard also contains a fine 19thC mausoleum and a range of graveslabs back to the late 17thC.

Victorian structure in the Perpendicular style.

Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1986 publication The Buildings of Wales: Clwyd by Edward Hubbard

History

Thomas recorded that the parish was named after its founder, Sior, but that its earlier name was "Kegidog". A well with curative properties for horses, Fynnon Sior, is in Kinmel Park nearby.

It appears in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 as "Ecc'a de Kegidauc", and in the Lincoln Taxation of 1291, as "Eccl'ia de Kegydauc' with a value of 4 2s 6d". In the 16thC Valor Ecclesiasticus it was recorded as "Rectoria de Kegidok" at 10 2s 11d.

Little information exists about the predecessor of the present building. Glynne visited the church in 1840 and again in 1869 and reported that it was double-naved with a late Perpendicular arcade, had a Tudor priest's door, a modern bellcote over the west end of the south nave and ugly new pews, and contained a few monuments to the Carters and others of Kinmel, and to the family of Lord Dinorben, who built for himself the mausoleum on the north side. The church was taken down late in the 19thC and the new one by C.H.M. Mileham at the expense of H. R. Hughes was consecrated in 1893.

Architecture

St George's church comprises a nave and chancel in one, a large south porch with a bellcote above, and leading off the chancel a south transept which houses the organ. It was constructed between 1887 and 1894. Lower storey on north side converted to meetings rooms etc in recent years.

The church is oriented south-east/north-west but for descriptive purposes 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted here; the churchyard is described in conventional terms.

Fabric: random limestone rubble, some coursing; quoins and dressings in yellow freestone.

Roof: slates with red clay ridge tiles.

Drainage: terraced into the slope.

Exterior

General. Chamfered plinth runs around building, which because of the natural slope is low to the ground on the south side and nearly 4m off the ground on the north. Above this, the walls are covered by roughcast render, the only exceptions being the east wall and the front of the porch and bellcote.

Windows have square heads, labels with dogs-leg stops and two-centred cusped lights; mostly three-light windows but one four-light window beneath. Doorways have flat heads and four-centred arches with complex mouldings.

Interior

Porch. General. Tiled floor, walls plastered and whitewashed, panelled ceiling. Two coats-of-arms, a wooden shield and a stone mural tablet on walls.

Nave. General. Wooden block floor, walls plastered and painted, panelled roof with two ornate tie-beams (one above the chancel screen) with crown posts. Tops of tie beams, wall beams and screen have crenellated decoration. North and south walls have 19thC and 20thC brass and marble memorials. West end has raised and panelled family pew with external entrance, and above this arranged around the walls are a series of six hatchments.

Chancel. General. Two steps up from nave, two staggered steps to sanctuary, one to altar. Tiled floor, some encaustic; choir stalls on raised wooden boarding. Walls as nave; piscina and sedile set in south side. Wooden reredos on east. Panelled ceiling.

Churchyard

The churchyard is rectilinear and elongated, a result of an original and somewhat irregular core at the west end and a more regular extension containing the new church to the east. The latter is set on a moderate slope, the former occupying a more level plot.

It is well-maintained and is used for modern burial on the slope below the church.

Boundary: stone wall on north side of new yard, on the east, and along the south where above the new church it is effectively a retaining wall. A wire fence edges the old yard on the north.

Monuments: in the new yard are 20thC memorials on the north and 19thC ones to the west, the south side devoid of any obvious burials. In the old yard are a few scattered stones in situ but many have been cleared to the sides and along a scarp bank surrounding the old church site (see below). Within the levelled area of the old church are ledgers going back to 1680. The NMR contains an undated list of the churchyard slabs, the earliest of which to William Style was dated 1608.

At the north end of old church is the Hughes mausoleum. Built by Thomas Jones, 1836, for W.L.Hughes, first Lord Dinorben. Square with angle buttresses, pinnacles and four gables, and with Jones's characteristically crisp and scholarly Tudor Gothic detail. Contained within a pointed arch is a finely carved coat of arms. Blank Perpendicular windows on the other three sides (Hubbard).

Furniture: the old font, perhaps of 18thC date, remains on its plinth in what was presumably its original position in the old church.

Earthworks: old church site represented by a levelled platform with stone blocks at corners, and south and west of this a scarp bank forming two sides of a rectangle.

Ancillary features: main entrance represented by double iron gates on south side, south-west of church, with further double gates at south-east corner. A single gate at north-east angle and a wooden one in north-west. Tarmac and concrete paths.

Vegetation: a large, old yew a few metres south of old church, and two smaller examples to the west. Small yew bushes edge path to porch of new church. Deciduous and evergreen species south of new church.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visit: 14 March 1997
Faculty 1892: DRO/PD/94/1/17
Glynne 1884, 98
Hubbard 1986, 284
NMR Aberystwyth
Thomas 1913, 227
Click here to view full project bibliography

Please note that many rural churches are closed to the public at certain times. It is advisable to check when the church will be open before visiting. Information about access, or how to contact parish clergy, can often be obtained from the relevant Diocesan Office which can be found through the Church in Wales website. Further information about St George Church may also be found on the St Asaph Diocese website.


The CPAT Eastern Conwy Churches Survey Project was funded by Cadw as part of an all Wales survey of medieval parish churches.

This HTML page has been generated from the Cadw Churches Survey database & CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record - 17/07/2007 ( 22:01:17 ).
Further information about this and other churches surveyed is available from the Regional Historic Environment Record, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 7a Church Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7DL tel - (01938) 553670, fax - (01938) 552179, email - chrismartin@cpat.org.uk, website - www.cpat.org.uk.

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