Llanfrothen – St Brothen’s Church

History

   According to tradition, the church was built on the site of the hermitage or monastery cell founded at the end of the sixth century by Saint Brothen, allegedly one of the seven sons of the legendary prince Helig ap Glanawg. The building was erected in the 13th century and in the 15th century it was roofed again. The southern porch and small bellcote were probably added in the 17th century. The church was restored in the nineteenth century, when new windows were installed in the nave, and the floor was tiled.

Architecture

   The church was erected on an sloping place, so its floor was inclined towards the east – west. The building initially consisted of a rectangular nave and a chancel, forming one whole, 20 meters long and 6 meters wide, covered with one common gable roof. The entrances were placed in the western part of the nave, in the north and south walls, moreover, the facades were pierced with small, narrow lancet windows, arranged in the form of a triad in the eastern wall. Inside, the facades were covered with colorful polychromes, and between the nave and the presbytery there was an oak rood screen, separating the part of the church intended for lay people from the priestly part.

Current state

   The southern porch of the present church is a modern addition. Both original entrance portals from the 13th century have survived, although the southern one was plastered, the original windows in the eastern and western walls have also been preserved. The others were transformed in the 19th century. Inside the church, there are traces of wall polychromes and a 15th-century baptismal font. Dating of the rood screen showed that the wood used for its production came from trees cut between 1496 and 1506.

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

Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Brothen’s church, Llanfrothen.
Website wikipedia.org, St Brothen’s Church, Llanfrothen.