St Paul’s Church, Conway Road, Colwyn Bay

button-theme-crimeSt Paul’s Church, Conway Road, Colwyn Bay

The original St Paul’s Church was built of iron in 1880, to replace a brick “Mission House” thrown up as Colwyn Bay began to emerge as a town. The iron church seated 550 people but was destroyed by a blaze on a Saturday evening in 1886 after the verger lit a fire to heat the interior for the following day’s services.

The Rev Venables Williams, vicar of Llandrillo, immediately announced the construction of a new, larger St Paul’s Church. In 1887 he said the church blaze was started by anti-tithe protestors. He had received a death threat over his refusal to reduce tithes (taxes to fund the Anglican church). 

The rapidly growing town remained part of Llandrillo parish until the separate Parish of Colwyn Bay was formed by an Order in Council on 15 May 1893. The Rev Venables Williams had petitioned Queen Victoria in his campaign to stop the new parish being formed. You can read more about him on our page about his grave in Llandrillo churchyard.

Old photo of St Paul's church in Colwyn Bay

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners endowed the new parish with £120 a year. John Douglas designed the new church and vicarage. He was responsible for hundreds of buildings in the region, and oversaw rebuilding of many churches. He designed for the Eastgate Clock, prominent above Chester’s Eastgate Street. Other buildings in this area by him include St David’s Church in Colwyn Bay, St John’s Church in Old Colwyn, Christ Church in Bryn-y-Maen and the Castle Hotel in Conwy.

The nave of St Paul’s Church was consecrated on 13 July 1888 and the chancel on 7 April 1895. The tower, to John Douglas’ design, was added 15 years later, after he’d died. The spire he envisaged was never built.

The expenditure on the entire church was £12,800. The vicarage cost an additional £2,210.

The south rose window in the church is the gift of the Dinglewood School pupils, a school which no longer exists. The pulpit was made by Edward Allen JP as his gift.

With thanks to Graham Roberts, of Colwyn Bay Civic Society, and Colwyn Bay Heritage group for the old photo

Postcode: LL29 7LG    View Location Map