Llangar – All Saints Church

History

   The church in Llangar was probably built in the thirteenth century, the first reference to it comes from 1291. In the fifteenth century, it was thoroughly rebuilt or erected again. Subsequent smaller transformations were made in the 16th and 17th century, when some windows were modernized and a porch was erected. In the mid-nineteenth century, a new church, built closer to the center of the village, was built. The old temple was then abandoned, thanks to which it happily avoided Victorian modernization. Its thorough renovation was carried out in 1974.

Architecture

   The original church was a simple, rural building erected on a plan similar to a rectangle, in which the nave was not externally separated from the presbytery. The walls of the church were very irregular, perhaps because of their construction on the slope falling towards the river. Characteristic was the narrowing of the southern wall more or less in the middle of the length, while the northern wall was much more straight. In addition, a porch was attached to the nave from the south in the 17th century.
   The interior was covered with a wooden arch braced roof) and the elevations were covered with wall paintings. On the north wall, they took the form of a series of rustic frames, which probably contained a series of paintings, perhaps representing passion. Next to them was a picture of an unknown bishop. The southern wall had images of the personifications of the seven deadly sins, and below the seven corporeal works of mercy. It was a relatively popular theme for late medieval wall paintings. In Llangar, each of the Seven Deadly Sins was represented by a person sitting on the back of an animal. The other paintings, including the great depiction of death, come from the early modern period.

Current state

   Although the church has retained its picturesque appearance, it was significantly transformed in the early modern period. Especially its western part was rebuilt, and the northern wall, due to the falling slope, was reinforced with a perpendicular wall thickening. The original medieval window has only been preserved in the eastern wall. Inside, on the west side of the nave, there is an early modern gallery with spiral, stone stairs leading to it. However, an exceptionally valuable roof truss from the 15th century and a set of medieval wall paintings have survived. The oldest roof truss consists of four bays in the middle of the church. At the west end, above the gallery, it was modernized in the 18th century, while at the presbytery it forms the so-called “honorary canopy” from the 15th century, although some of its material is of later origin.

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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 britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of All Saints A Grade I Listed Building in Cynwyd, Denbighshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, All Saints church, Llangar.
Website wikipedia.org, Llangar Church.