Angel figure, Caernarfon
The angelic figure in bas relief above the front door of this building is dated 1628. The building itself dates from the 19th century, so it appears that the figure was removed from an earlier building.
The shield is said to show the coat of arms of the Foxwist family, influential in the Caernarfon area for many generations. The family moved here from Cheshire in the Tudor era. A Richard Foxwist, who died in 1500, is commemorated by a brass plaque in St Peblig’s Church which depicts him dying in bed holding a shield on which are the five sacred wounds of Christ on the cross.
The most celebrated Foxwist was William (1610-1673), son of Richard Foxwist. He entered Jesus College, Oxford, in 1628 (the year inscribed beside the angel figure), and was called to the bar in 1645. Among his many jobs were judge of the admiralty for North Wales, recorder of St Albans, and judge advocate for the Chester circuit (the regional lawcourts). His sympathy for the Parliamentarian cause brought him various appointments under Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate government from 1653. He was MP for Caernarfon in 1647-1648 and later MP for other areas.
A plaque on a building almost directly opposite the angel figure records that it was William Foxwist’s town house.
Postcode: LL55 1SE View Location Map