The Marble Church, Bodelwyddan

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St Margaret’s Church, commonly known as the Marble Church, was built from 1856 to 1860. The church tower, 62 metres high, is a landmark visible from miles around and from vehicles passing on the A55 Expressway. The pictures here (from the Library of Congress collection) pre-date the First World War graves – see below.


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The church was commissioned by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Williams of Bodelwyddan Castle. She had married a Warwickshire baron but returned to her home area after his death in 1852. The Bishop of St Asaph, Dr Vowler Short, agreed to her request that Bodelwyddan be made a separate parish and given its own parish church. The church is dedicated to two saints: St Margaret of Antioch and St Kentigern.

The church was designed by John Gibson. He had studied with Sir Charles Barry, who rebuilt the Houses of Parliament after a fire in 1834 and whose architectural style was highly decorative. This influence is to be seen in the ornate Gothic carvings which decorate the Marble Church’s exterior. The interior features several kinds of marble, from Ireland, England, France and Italy. The Victorian stained-glass windows are also notable.

bodelwyddan_marble_church_interiorThe church was built with a type of limestone from nearby Llanddulas whose appearance resembles porcelain. Two nooks by the western entrance were made from Aberdeen granite, because St Kentigern hailed from Scotland. Expert stonemasons were recruited from around North Wales, especially Anglesey.

The churchyard contains the grave of Elizabeth Jones, mother of the renowned Victorian explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley, and the war graves of more than 80 Canadian people who died at a nearby army camp in 1918 and 1919. There is also a group of British war graves from the same war, and from the Second World War and Falklands conflict.

Postcode: LL18 5UR    View Location Map

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Marble Church website