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Site 22

Llanelidan

Church of St. Elidan

Llanelidan is a pretty, scattered hamlet in the green valley of the Afon y Maes, a tributary of the Clwyd. The church - uniquely dedicated to an obscure local saint - stands beside the inn, surrounded by yews and old Welsh tombstones. Built in the 15h century and ‘double-naved’ in the distinctive local style, it retains many medieval features despite extensive Victorian restoration. There are a pair of barrel-vaulted ‘canopies of honour’ over the altar spaces, fragments of medieval glass - notably the symbols of the crucifixion in blue shields above the altar - and above all a wonderful display of carved woodwork. Sections of the medieval rood screen (which must have been especially fine) are set by the pulpit, including horse-like beasts, intricate roundels, and trails of vines and ivy-berries. The Jacobean pulpit has carvings of its own, with more panels of the same date behind the altar. Old box pews, monuments to successive squires of nearby Nantclwyd Hall, and a touching portrait of the local Roman Catholic martyr Edward Jones all help to make this a church well worth a detour.

Church usually open daylight hours.

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Carved woodwork, Llanelidan

Carved woodwork, Llanelidan