Llanengan – St Engan’s Church


   The church of Saint Engan in Llanengan was founded in the 13th century. During the late Middle Ages it became an important pilgrimage site, attracting the pilgrims to the grave of Saint Engan. He was the late fifth century ruler of the Lleyn peninsula, the founder of the Penmon Abbey on the island of Angelsey and the first church in Llanengan.
   Around 1520, the temple was completely rebuilt, and the earlier church became the nave of a new, much larger building. In 1534, a tower on the west side was added, a south porch and a pair of timber rood screens, which probably came from the then dissoluted Cymer Abbey. In the first half of the 19th century and again in 1937-1938, the church was renovated.


   The original church from the 13th century consisted of a nave, rectangular in plan, without an externally separated chancel. In the first half of the 16th century, the building was extended to the east, and then enlarged with a slightly narrower southern aisle of equal length, and a two-story porch added to the western part of the southern aisle. Then, in 1534, a four-sided tower was added on the west side of the old nave (northern aisle). It was reinforced with buttresses in the corners, decorated with battlement and crowned with four corner pinnacles.
   Inside the church, the part intended for lay people was separated from the presbytery by a late-medieval, carved rood screens. The aisles, on the other hand, were separated by five moulded arcades with slightly outlined pointed arches. The interior was covered with an open, wooden roof truss with semicircular collar beams based on stone consoles.

Current state

   The church has survived to this day in its late Gothic form. All the late-medieval windows, Gothic font, the 16th-century wooden roof truss have survived, and what is more, the magnificent wooden rood screens, the southern of which additionally retains the upper loft.

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Salter M., The old parish churches of North Wales, Malvern 1993.

Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britainexpress.com, Llanengan, St Engan’s Church.