Llanfechell – St Mechell’s Church

History

   The church appeared for the first time in historical documents in 1254 on the annat list (Norwich Taxation), but the building is older and probably dates back to the 12th century. Perhaps in the 13th century the chancel of the church was extended to the east, but there is also the possibility that it is an extremely long 12th-century presbytery. In the fourteenth century, the southern transept was added, but it is unknown because of later modernization, when the northern transept was created. Transepts were once referred to as “Congl Siarad” and served as a kind of local court, in which local disputes were settled. In the sixteenth century, a tower was added, which three hundred years later received a crown in the form of a spire. The church was restored in 1840 and again in 1870 and in the 90s of the twentieth century.

Architecture

   The church at the end of the Middle Ages consisted of a long, rectangular nave and a rectangular, also long chancel, which were the oldest elements of the building. On the north and south sides, short and small arms of the transept were placed at the nave. The southern entrance to the nave was preceded by a porch, probably of a late medieval dating. In the 16th century, the west side was occupied by a four-sided tower with four-level elevations separated by wall steps, topped with a parapet and battlement. Perhaps the church from the 12th century yet had a central tower above the crossing, as evidenced by the irregularities and straight joints of the walls.

Current state

   St Mechell’s church is today an exceptionally grand medieval structure for rural parish buildings in North Wales. Its walls partly date back to the 12th century (the nave and at least the western part of the chancel), and the remaining elements date back to the Gothic period. The early modern transformations focused mainly on the Victorian window’s renovation. Inside the nave and presbytery, the 15th-century arch-braced roof has been preserved. In addition, the 12th-century pulpit in the western part of the nave is noteworthy.

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

Strona internetowa britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Mechell, A Grade II Listed Building in Llanfechell, Isle of Anglesey.