St Tegla’s Church, Llandegla

Link to French translationSt Tegla’s Church, Llandegla

A church on this site was recorded in 1273 as belonging to Valle Crucis Abbey, near Llangollen. The medieval walls were replaced by a new church in 1866 funded by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Williams of Bodelwyddan Castle. It’s thought the architect was John Gibson, who designed the Marble Church in Bodelwyddan – also funded by Margaret.

The church is dedicated to St Tegla (or St Tecla) of Iconium, now in Turkey. She was converted to Christianity by St Paul, and Christian Roman soldiers may have carried her story to Britain. St Tegla’s Well, where epilepsy sufferers sought a cure, is a short walk from the churchyard in Llandegla.

The projecting plinth at the east end of the church may be the only remnant of the medieval structure, but inside hangs a Flemish chandelier from the mid to late 15th century. It is made of brass and depicts, at its centre, the Virgin Mary. It may have been moved from Valle Crucis after the 16th-century dissolution of monasteries.

The font is medieval, possibly from the earlier church at Llandegla. The east window is a rare example of enamelled glass. It was made in 1799 by Birmingham-based artist Francis Eginton for St Asaph Cathedral. It moved here when Llandegla church and the cathedral were rebuilt in the 1860s. In the north wall of the nave is a 1948 memorial window to Glyn Price Jones and Francis Campbell Jones, local men killed in the Second World War and commemorated also on the war memorial by the churchyard.

The icon of St Tegla on the east wall was brought here by the Bishop of St Asaph in 2010 at the request of nuns he had met at the Convent of St Mary & St Tecla in Ma’aloula, Syria. The nuns care for St Tecla’s shrine there.

Among those buried in the churchyard is poet, hymnist and farmer William Jones (1815-1899), whose bardic name was Ehedydd Iâl (“Lark of Yale”). He kept a Llandegla pub (Tafarn y Gath) and the associated farm for eight years.

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Postcode: LL11 3AS

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