All Saints Church, Penylan

All Saints Church, Penylan, Ruabon

This small church is situated in the rural southern part of Ruabon parish. It was built for public worship by industrialist James Ormrod as a memorial to his late wife Cordelia. He laid the “memorial stone” in 1887 and lived just long enough to see the church open in 1889. He died, aged 80, on 12 November 1889 at his main home, Halliwell Lodge near Bolton. His fortune came from the Ormrod, Hardcastle & Co cotton mills in Lancashire. He was also a founder of the Hardcastle, Cross & Co bank, now part of the RBS group.

James Ormrod inherited the Bryn Penylan estate from his brother in law, Thomas Hardcastle. In 1883 Bryn Farm, then in his ownership, was temporarily declared an infected area after Foot and Mouth Disease was confirmed there.

The church is built of dark red sandstone which was quarried on the Bryn estate. The wood furnishings were made from oak felled on the estate.

All Saints also has some fine 19th-century stained glass illustrating many of the Saints. The chancel floor features antique tiles from the local firm of JC Edwards. They are encaustic tiles, where the pattern is formed from clay of different colours pressed into the surface.

James Coster Edwards, who died in 1896, lived at Trevor Hall and owned three large factories, which produced many of the terracotta pieces and glazed bricks for which Ruabon was famed. He was a magistrate and High Sheriff of Denbighshire.

After designing this church, architect Richard Knill Freeman specified Ruabon terracotta for some of his later buildings.

With thanks to the Rev Kate Tiltman

Postcode: LL14 6HP    View Location Map

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