Llanynys – St Saeran’s Church

History

   Church of St. Saeran in Llanynys was probably built in the 13th century on the site of an early Christian temple from the 6th century. At the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries the building was enlarged considerably. Around 1768, the church was in a state close to ruin, even its total destruction was considered. Fortunately, a renovation was carried out, during which some of the windows, inter-naval arcades and a bellcote on the western side were added. In 1967, inside the church, medieval wall polychromes were discovered under plasters.

Architecture

   The late-medieval church consisted of a rectangular plan of the thirteenth-century northern aisle, without an externally separated chancel, and a rectangular southern aisle of the same length and slightly greater width. Both were raised around 1500 and extended eastward. In the 16th century, from the south-west side, a stone and wooden porch was built in front of the entrance. The older, stepped, pointed entrance portal also functioned in the western wall of the northern aisle. After the late Gothic rebuilding, the church lighting was provided by large pointed windows filled with elaborate tracery with openings topped with cinquefoils and ogee arches. Inside, the whole church was covered in a way typical for North Wales, namely with a wooden, open roof truss.

Current state

   St Saeran’s Church is today one of the best-preserved late-medieval sacral buildings in North Wales. Apart from the transformed windows of the southern wall, it has survived without major changes. Inside, the most valuable element is the 15th-century polychrome depicting St. Christopher, located in the western part of the northern aisle. It is considered one of the best preserved in Wales. In addition, two effigies of bishops from the 13th and 14th centuries and the late medieval roof truss have been preserved.

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bibliography:
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 britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Parish Church of St Saeran A Grade I Listed Building in Llanynys, Denbighshire.
Website coflein.gov.uk, St Saeran’s church, Llanynys.