Llanaber – St Mary and St Bodfan church

History

The church of St. Mary and St. Bodfan was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Celtic temple. The benefactor of the church was Hywel ap Meredydd ap Cynan, Lord of Ardudwy, a relative of the Welsh prince and leader Llywelyn the Great, and great-grandson of king Owain Gwynedd. The building has been thoroughly restored in the years 1858-1860. The works included a complete reconstruction of the west façade and the removal of the northern chapel. At that time, the sacristy was built on the place of the chapel and the porch was added.

Architecture

The church consists of three naves in the form of a basilica and an unusual very narrow and long chancel. From the north, the chapel was added into a chancel in the 16th century, rebuilt in the nineteenth century for the sacristy. The entrance to the nave is located on the south side, by the modern porch and the magnificent romanesque early English, sandstone portal. On the southern and eastern sides, the original narrow ogival windows have also been preserved. The timber ceiling, both in the nave and the presbytery, dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. In the north-west corner of the church there is a pair of early medieval stones with engraved inscriptions, perhaps from the 5th or 6th century. Inside you can also see the fourteenth-century font.

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bibliography:
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Parish Church of Saint Mary and Saint Bodfan. A Grade I Listed Building in Barmouth (Bermo), Gwynedd.