Beaumaris church

button_lang_frenchChurch of Saints Mary and Nicholas, Beaumaris

The borough of Beaumaris was established in 1296 and this church was built c.30 years later. Many original features survive, including the nave. Alterations in the 16th century included an upward extension of the exterior walls to form a battlement-type parapet (shaped a bit like the top of a castle).

The choir stalls inside, dating from c.1500, are thought to have come from the friary at nearby Llanfaes following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. Llanfaes was a flourishing settlement before King Edward I depopulated it to strengthen Beaumaris’ position as the area’s main town.

The choir stalls feature 20 misericords – carvings which formed unofficial perch seats for monks who were supposed to stand during long services! Most of the misericords date from c.1500.

In the porch you can see the coffin and effigy of Joan (Siwan), Prince Llywelyn Fawr’s wife. Her father was King John. She died in 1237 and was buried near the shore at Llanfaes. Her coffin and effigy were saved when the friary was destroyed, and eventually found a new home in this church.

The church’s memorials relating to the powerful Bulkeley family go back as far as the 15th century, when members of the family moved to the area to strengthen the English hold on Beaumaris.

One of Beaumaris’ most colourful vicars was the Rev John Williams Meyrick. He was meant to take services here and at the parish’s original church in Llandegfan, where the congregation was rural. He neglected Llandegfan, and the Bishop of Bangor appointed a new curate to officiate there. In 1881 the Rev Meyrick unsuccessfully petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury to overturn the new curate’s appointment. Matters came to a head in March 1890 when the House of Lords suspended the vicar for two years, because the church at Llandegfan had been locked almost continuously since September 1888. He was still the incumbent when he died, aged 70, in 1900.

Beaumaris war memorial is set into the edge of the churchyard alongside Church Street.

Postcode: LL58 8AA    View Location Map

Parish website