St Michael’s Church, Abergele

St Michael’s Church, Abergele

The Bishop of Bangor granted a site for a religious establishment in Abergele in the 8th century. A stone church was built here after the Norman invasion. One of the existing building’s two naves could date back to the 14th century, but experts have not been able to determine which was built first. Medieval roof timbers survive. Parts of the rood screen also date from the 14th century.

Old photo of Abergele churchThere are marks on two of the pillars inside St Michael’s Church where tools were sharpened on the stones. Some have suggested the marks were made by troops sharpening swords while stationed in the church during the Civil War of the 17th century.

Parliamentarians disliked and damaged religious iconography. Here they may have removed or wrecked the font bowl – the current one from 1663 is c.200 years older than the pedestal it stands on – and a stained glass window. Several fragments of medieval glass survived and are now in the vestry window.

Inside the church is an ancient oak chest carved from a single piece of timber. It was used for storing the church’s valuables and alms for the poor.

The Victorians made various alterations to the building, including adding to the height of the tower and placing a castellated wall around the top. The tower hosts seven bells, the oldest of which was cast in 1723.

The church clock was maintained in Victorian times by the poet Clwydfardd, a clockmaker by trade and famous as the first Archdruid of Wales. He restored the clock in 1883, shortly after his 83rd birthday!

In the churchyard you can see a sundial, standing on a pedestal dated 1817. Many of the grave slabs date from the 18th century. Near the Victorian lychgate stands Abergele war memorial. North of the church is the mass grave of 33 people who died in the Abergele train crash in 1868.

Postcode: LL22 7AN     View Location Map

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