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St Thomas's - Bylchau

Between 1856-8, Scott built this single cell church from roughly hewn dark stone. It has a north porch, south vestry, western bellcote, with single lancet windows throughout, except for triple lancets at the east end.


St Bridget and St Gwinnin's - Dyserth

The last of the group of churches that Scott worked on within walking distance of St. Asaph Cathedral was at Dyserth, two miles east of Rhuddlan. This was for Mrs Rowley Conwy of nearby Bodrhyddan House, who laid the foundation stone in 1870 for what was to be an almost complete rebuilding of the little church with a new north transept, vestry and south porch. Scott made the western gable, which faces the road, into a show facade incorporating a circular window over a pair of lancets, one of his favourite features. He restored the flat-arched central doorway and crowned the façade with a restored bellcote. His fittings included new seats, pulpit and prayer desk. The work was completed in 1875, but by that time Scott's journeys to North Wales would have included a visit to Chester, only twenty-five miles from St. Asaph, where, in 1868, he had taken over the restoration of the great cathedral.

See plaque in churchyard.
Thomas, D. R., History of the Diocese of St Asaph (Oswestry, 1906-13), vol. I, p. 415.
Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 343.
Pevsner, N., and Hubbard, E., Cheshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1971), p. 136.

St Deiniol's - Hawarden

From 1855-6, this church was restored by James Harrison of Chester. However, in October 1857 it was gutted by fire and Scott was called in to rebuilt the destroyed roofs of the nave, chancel and aisles and also provide an organ gallery, pulpit, screen and other fittings, including the font. Scott rebuilt it in Perpendicular style from sandstone. The original tower had survived but Scott added a spire with pinnacles at the crossing. An organ chamber was added to the north side of the chancel and the south porch built, the work completed in 1859. The site was supervised by James Howes, Scott providing the designs.


St Deiniol's reredos - Hawarden

In 1873, Scott designed the reredos for St Deiniol's Church in memory of the Rev. Henry Gylnn.

Hafodunos - Llangernyw

This is the third of the country houses which Scott built in the wake of the publication of the Remarks, and is in North Wales, near the village of Llangernyw, eight miles south of Colwyn Bay.

In 1832, Henry Robertson Sandbach (1807-95) married Margaret, daughter of William Roscoe, who had been a generous benefactor to Liverpool, but he became bankrupt in 1820. Roscoe had helped John Gibson in his early days as a struggling sculptor in Liverpool, and as a consequence of this help, Margaret Sandbach had acquired a large collection of Gibson's sculpture after her father's death in 1831. Henry Sandbach inherited Hafodunos after his father died in 1851, but his wife died in the following year. So Sandbach also inherited the Gibson collection and three years after Margaret’s death he remarried. The second Mrs Sandbach produced two sons. Perhaps she wanted something more up-to-date to serve the needs of her growing family and Sandbach needed a better setting for his Gibson collection, so they commissioned Scott to rebuild the house in 1860. Building work started on Hafodunos in 1861 and the house was completed by 1866. After Scott's death, John Oldrid added a large conservatory to the west side of the house.

Perhaps Sandbach had read about Kelham in The Building News of November 1858, as Hafodunos derives directly from it rather than Walton. It has a lively skyline of chimneys, dormers, and gables, but it lacks the grand scale and height of Kelham. Built from brick with a multi-coloured diaper pattern predominantly in pink, it had stone dressings, slate roofs and pink granite shafts. It is built on a steeply sloping south-facing site, with a symmetrical south front overlooking the terrace and gardens beyond. The north side is much more irregular with two towers, one of which closely resembles the clock tower at Kelham. The entrance is under this tower, and just to the south of it is the windowless octagon of the billiard room with its own steep-pitched roof capped by a lantern. This seems to have been designed to accommodate Gibson’s marble reliefs which have since been removed to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Scott also designed the entrance lodge and gates in the same style as the mansion and, in the end, the cost of £30,000 was as much as Walton but cheaper than Kelham. Sandbach died in 1895, and the house eventually stood derelict for many years until it was gutted in 2004. It is now in the process of being restored.

Scott was clearly proud of Kelham, Walton and Hafodunos, and mentions them all twice in the portion of his Recollections written in 1864, even though Hafodunos was not complete at the time. He felt that they were a practical demonstration of the type of secular architecture that he was trying to promote.

Scott, G. G., Personal and Professional Recollections, Stamp, G. (ed.), (Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1995), p. 520.
Curtis, P. (ed.), Patronage and Practice, Sculpture on Merseyside (Tate Gallery Publications, Liverpool, 1989), p. 52.
The Building News, IV, 26 November 1858, p. 1176.

Valle Crucis Abbey - Llantysilio

Scott is said to have repaired the west end of this Cistercian abbey in 1872.


St Mary's - Mold

In 1853-6, Scott carried out a restoration and extension to this church, adding an apsidal chancel in Perpendicular style, a new nave roof, opening up the chancel arch and adding a new north porch. The west gallery was removed and fittings provided including pews, a pulpit, lectern and choir stalls. Carving was carried out by J. Blinstone.


Pentrefoelas Church - Pentrefoelas

Scott built this church for Mr Charles Griffith Wynn of Voelas on the site of an eighteenth century church and incorporated the south transept of the previous church. He added a porch and western bellcote and used lancet windows. It is built from grey stone, rendered on the south and west faces.

St Mary's - Rhuddlan

At the same time that he was working on St. Asaph, Scott restored and refitted nearby Rhuddlan Church. It was built in the thirteenth century to serve King Edward's new town there but has later extensions to the east and a squat tower to the west. Scott treated the old building gently, lowering the floor in the nave and raising it in the chancel, providing some new windows, seating, a vestry and rebuilding the south porch. He also provided a vestry screen, pulpit, an eagle lectern, altar rail and chancel seats. The work, which cost £2000, started in 1868 and was completed a year later. He also provided a design for a new lych-gate.

Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 425.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 64 [b & c ].
Scott’s Drawings Collection (RIBA), p. 64 (c).

St Thomas's design - Rhyl

In 1858 Scott produced a design for a new church at Rhyl, which was a rapidly developing seaside town five miles to the north of St. Asaph, for the Rev. Canon Morgan.

Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 429.

St Thomas's - Rhyl

The building of the church started in May 1861, when Beanland of Bradford were appointed to carry out the work, and was eventually completed in March 1869. The plans were initially rejected by the Incorporated Church Building Society for a grant in 1860, but the nave opened in 1862, chancel was built in 1867, the aisles, vestries and north porch with a room over the top, all completed by 1869. Rhyl Church is a major essay in Scott's Early English style, with a grand interior, including much naturalistic carving, an alabaster pulpit, a marble font, an alabaster reredos given by Mr and Mrs Bamford-Hesketh of Gwrych Castle, choir stalls and an eagle lectern given by Archdeacon Morgan. The whole building cost £13,000.

Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds),The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 64 [c], 65 [a].
RIBA Drawings Collection, Ledger of Scott’s Office, 1875-1914, p. 32.
National Library of Wales, SA/CK/96.

St Thomas's Church tower - Rhyl

In 1874, Scott added a tower to the church. This was capped by a squat version of his familiar gabled clock-face and spire ensemble to provide an effective landmark on the surrounding coastal plain.

Memorial window, St Asaph's - St Asaph

Scott started work on the cathedral of St. Asaph in 1864, when he designed replacement tracery for the east window which had contained a crude Geometric design of about 1780. Scott's new window was a memorial to Bishop Carey and his wife, with tracery in the early fourteenth century Curvilinear style.

Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 489.

St Asaph's Cathedral - St Asaph

The problems of funding which Scott encountered at Bangor did not occur with his restoration of St. Asaph’s Cathedral. Although only thirty miles from Bangor, the diocese is closer to the industrial areas of England, particularly Liverpool, and it became an area of tranquillity to where the wealthy industrialist could retreat with his family away from the smoke and grime. Scott, as a fashionable London architect, received a number of commissions in the area around St. Asaph even before he had started on Hafodunos for Henry Sandbach in 1861.

Scott started work on the cathedral of St. Asaph in 1864, when he designed replacement tracery for the east window which had contained a crude Geometric design of about 1780. Scott's new window was a memorial to Bishop Carey and his wife, with tracery in the early fourteenth century Curvilinear style. It must have been about the time that Scott produced his first report on Bangor Cathedral that he also made suggestions to the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph as to how their cathedral could be restored. Freeman had inspected the cathedral in 1854 and thought that it was ludicrous that the nave was vacant and the choir choked with seats. Scott concurred, saying that the choir was:

occupied by the congregation whose wants increasing have led to the addition of pew upon pew, till the very altar itself is invaded and scarcely allowed room to exist, while the nave and transepts are comparatively if not wholly useless for any purposes of worship.

This was the main reason for Scott's involvement. But clearly, as with St. David's and Bangor, there was a need to re-assert the place of the Church of England as the main religion of the people of Wales. Scott was expected to make the cathedral into an appropriate setting for the post-Oxford Movement form of Anglican worship. In fitting it out he was able to provide the wealthy inhabitants, such as the Glynnes and Gladstones at Hawarden, the Bamford-Heskeths at Gwrych Castle, and the Sandbachs at Hafodunos, an opportunity to display their wealth in a morally acceptable way.

The cathedral was founded in 1143 but only completed in its present form in 1391 with the addition of the central tower. However, in 1402, Glendower carried out one of his devastating raids on the building and it was not until the late fifteenth century that it was fully restored. Today the cathedral is basically a medieval building with an Early English choir, a Decorated nave and transepts, and a Perpendicular tower, with some excellent choir stalls surviving from that period. In 1822 Lewis Wyatt, the nephew of James Wyatt, installed plaster ceilings in the nave and transepts. His ceiling to the nave was an immense barrel-vault that came so far down the nave walls that it obscured the clerestory windows as well as producing an echo. A meeting was held in the Chapter Room on 26 July 1866, at which the Bishop presided. The Glynnes and the Mainwarings played leading parts in the proceedings, with Sir Stephen Glynne seconding the motion to launch the fund and Townshend Mainwaring, with Sir Stephen's brother, proposing and seconding respectively, the motion to set up a restoration committee. The Glynne and Gladstone families promised £151, the Mainwarings £60, and Henry Sandbach £10. Lord Dudley promised £250 on condition that it was matched by another layman, but the largest contributions came from the clergy, with the Dean promising £400, and the Bishop donating £200 for two windows. By December 1870, £5022-19s-2d had been raised, which roughly accorded with Scott's estimate.

Perhaps the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph were anxious not to embark on the wholesale rebuilding that Scott was carrying out at Bangor, and Scott wrote long peevish accounts against their decision not to allow him ‘to explore the old walls first’. He said that the exterior of the choir had been renewed in ‘costly stone but horrid architecture’, with:

not the smallest trace of its old design being left. There were early prints of it and from these I made a design for its restoration - but accompanied it by earnest advice not to act upon it till the old work had been stripped of its modern concealment, & evidences of its original design searched after. This Dean and Chapter ignored saying that they could not have their cathl disturbed earlier than was necessary & I in an evil moment of weakness yielded I introduced two couplets on either side as closely as I could from the prints - when at length, in approaching the central tower to our dismay the old details made their appearance …

These he faithfully restored, ‘but the others remain monuments of weak compliance - & beacons to warn others against such foolish conduct’. Scott's new windows so closely resemble the old ones that he discovered that his pique at being denied the opportunity to indulge in one of his architectural jig-saws seems quite unjustified when looking at the final effect.

Internally, he did away with the 1830’s stone screen, with the organ on top, and moved the stalls under the tower. These are the only surviving medieval canopied stalls in Wales, which he restored, adding some new stalls and designed a new bishop's throne. Two sets of steps were introduced into the choir and the sanctuary was paved with decorative encaustic tiles and bands of Anglesey marble. New oak ceilings were formed over the choir and under the tower and Scott reconstructed the sedilia on the south side of the sanctuary from fragments that he had discovered.

Robert Bamford-Hesketh (1826-1894) of Gwrych Castle decided to donate the reredos at a cost of £600. This is a magnificent design in alabaster with marble colonettes, and was carved by the man whom Scott called Street's ‘hand-piece’, Thomas Earp (1828-1893), who finished it in 1871. There was, it seems, a pause in the restoration to enable further funds to be raised for the nave, where Scott had recommended the removal of Wyatt's plaster ceiling. Funds were again rapidly forthcoming and the work restarted in about 1874. Scott reopened what he called the ‘curious’ square clerestory windows, which Wyatt had covered, on the south side and on the north side he reinstated similar windows which had disappeared. He said that his timber ceiling had ribs that follow the pattern of the ribs at York, but unlike York, his ceiling is flat-sided rather than arch-shaped.

On 17 June 1874, Sir Stephen Glynne suddenly died. An appeal was launched for a memorial and Scott was commissioned to design new north and west doorways to the cathedral to commemorate Glynne's involvement in the restoration. He had helped to organise the original fund-raising, was a generous contributor and with a life-long interest in old churches, it is said that he personally surveyed and made notes on the architectural details of 5,530 English churches. He was probably deeply involved with Scott's restoration but as Gladstone described him as a man of ‘remarkable modesty’, it is not surprising that it is difficult to ascertain what he did. After nine years Scott's restoration was complete and a grand re-opening service was held on 2 September 1875 with sermons in both Welsh and English.

Freeman, E. A., Archaeologie Cambrinsio (1854), II, V, p. 279, cited Pritchard, T. W., St. Asaph Cathedral, Eglwys Gadeinol Llanelwy (Guide book, St. Asaph, 1997), p. 9, also pp. 9, 18.
Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), pp. 435-9.
Goulstone, T. K. K., St Asaph Cathedral Yesterday and Today 560-1999 (W.E.A., North Wales, 1999), p. 7.
National Library of Wales, SA 1997D/ 37, 39.
National Library of Wales, SA/CR/96.
Scott’s Recollections, II 439, III 356-8, IV 132-3.
King, R. J., Handbook to the Cathedrals of Wales, LLandaff, St David’s, St Asaph, Bangor (John Murray, London, 1873), p. 264.
National Library of Wales, SA/MB/34, fee account, 6 November 1875.
Morley, J., The Life of William Ewart Gladstone (Edward Lloyd Ltd, London, 1908), vol. I, p. 80.
Hopley, G., St. Asaph Cathedral, Eglwys Gadeinol Llanelwy (Guide book, 1970), p. 11.

St Kentigern and St Asaph's - St Asaph

In 1872 Scott also restored the parish church of St. Asaph, which is on the east bank of the river Elwy, about two hundred yards below the cathedral. It is largely a fifteenth century double nave building on which Scott carried out another self-effacing restoration, although he provided a new roof, south porch, a vestry and a bellcote over the west wall of the south aisle. He also removed a gallery and pews, moved the organ and reseated and refitted it, providing a new pulpit . This cost £1825.

Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 441.

Holy Trinity - Trefnant

In 1853, he was commissioned to rebuild the church at Trefnant, three miles south of St. Asaph. Although Scott's restoration of Ellesmere Church in Shropshire in 1847 was largely financed by Lord Ellesmere, there was also a big contribution from Charles Kynaston Mainwaring (1803-1861) of nearby Oteley Park. In 1853 Mainwaring's wife decided, with her sister, also Mrs Mainwaring, that they would rebuild Trefnant church as a memorial to their parents, Colonel and Mrs. Salusbury, who had lived close to Trefnant at Galltfaenan Hall. The Mainwarings had large estates in Shropshire, Cheshire and Wales, and the two Mrs Mainwarings spared no expense on a memorial church to their parents. Presumably knowing about Worsley through the Ellesmere connection, they asked Scott to provide an equally impressive monument as an expression of their grief.

The foundation stone of Trefnant was laid in 1853, and the work completed in 1855, at a cost of just under £4,000. It is an exact contemporary with St. Paul's, Dundee, and St. Andrew's, Westminster, and like these two buildings, it is a Geometric style hall-church, although in a diminutive form, with north porch and south chapel. Five tall aisle windows, set in gables, provide the only light to the nave which is flanked by arcades of highly polished Anglesey marble columns with very ornate naturalistic capitals based on ‘natural specimens gathered from the woods and hedges around’. These were carved by J. Blinstone of Denbigh who was sent to the Architectural Museum in London to study naturalistic French carving 'under Mr. Scott's direction'. The Mainwarings also commissioned Scott to design a large Early English style church at Bromborough, in Cheshire, in 1862, and in 1863 he built a small church at Welshampton, near Oteley, for them. Scott thus obtained at least three churches and a school from the Mainwarings, and Townshend was also involved in the restoration of St. Asaph’s Cathedral.

Thomas, D. R., History of the Diocese of St Asaph (Oswestry, 1906-13), vol. I, p. 207, vol. II, p. 63.
The Builder, 1855.
John Williams’ Ancient and Modern Denbigh, cited Read, B., Victorian Sculpture (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984), pp. 266, 394.
Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 289.
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 57.
National Library of Wales, SA/CR/96.

Trefnant Rectory - Trefnant

Close to Holy Trinity Church, Scott built the rectory, in 1855, at a cost of £1800 paid for by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. It is built of a light grey random coursed ashlar, with a green slate roof in an asymmetrical style with gables, a bay window, square headed windows with mullions and transoms, and pointed doorways.

Thomas, D. R., History of the Diocese of St Asaph (Oswestry, 1906-13), vol. II, p. 63.
Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 290.

Trefnant School - Trefnant

Trefnant School was donated by Townshend Mainwaring in 1860, at a cost of £700, and Scott built it in the same material as the Rectory, with pointed windows and a school master’s house to the north.

Thomas, D. R., History of the Diocese of St Asaph (Oswestry, 1906-13), vol. II, p. 63.
Hubbard, E., Clwyd, Buildings of Wales (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1986), p. 290.

St John's - Trofarth

Scott built this church for Mr John Lloyd-Wynne of Coedoch, in 1873, when the parish was created. It was built of dark grey random rubble with ashlar dressings and blue slates, with courses of green forming a pattern on the roof. It has a nave, chancel, south porch and north vestry with a small spire on a turret over the west end. It has a single lancet at the west end, with lancets in the nave and chancel, and plate tracery to windows at the east end. It has been redundant but permission has recently been given for conversion to domestic use.