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Church of St Pabo

Street Name and Number: ,
Listed Building Reference: 5354
Grade: II*
Date Listed: 12/05/1970
Date Amended: 14/03/2001
Co-ordinates: 237805,386773
Locality: Llanbabo
Community: Tref Alaw
Council: Isle of Anglesey
National Park: No

Set within a circular churchyard at the SE side of a country road between Llechcynfarwy and Carreglefn.

Medieval rural church, listed in the Norwich Valuation of 1254, with predominantly C12 walls, C12 window in S wall and fragments of chevron and weathered faces reset over the S doorway (enlarged probably in early C19). The interior retains Medieval arch-braced trusses and a C12 font. The E wall was rebuilt in C14 and the church contains a C14 monument to St Pabo which was, according to Lewis Morris, discovered in the churchyard opposite the S door by the sexton when digging a grave in the second half of the C17. The E window is C14 and there is a late C14 or early C15 window in the S wall. There is a C18 doorway in the N wall which has been partially blocked and had a window inserted at the head. The church was restored and re-roofed in early C20, the interior fittings dated 1911.

Continuous nave and chancel with exposed roof of 6 bays; Medieval arch-braced trusses with modern purlins and rafters. The S door leads into the W end of the nave, above the doorway is a weathered head, similar to those on the exterior of the church, and a reset piece of weathered tracery. Set to the R (E) of the doorway is the C12 font, a circular bowl tapering to the top and with plain fillet round the base. The fittings are early C20, the sanctuary raised by one step with a simple rail on stick balusters with arched footrail. There are 2 recesses beneath the E window, and another on the N wall of the sanctuary. There is a marble memorial tablet to Williams Evans of Glanalaw Gent d1782 on the S wall of the nave and a stone memorial to William Rowland d1706 on the N wall. The latter is set to the R of a C14 monument effigy of St Pabo. This is a rectangular stone carved in low relief with the figure of a bearded king, crowned and wearing a loose, pleated, sideless tunic with lappet sleeves over another pleated garment with sleeves to the wrists; in his right hand is a sceptre and his head rests on a cushion beneath a cusped arch. The background is diapered with conventional flowers; a mutilated inscription in debased Lombardic letter on the sinister side runs: HIC : JACET : PA[BO] : POST : PRIID : CO (NF : GR) *** [T]EL (:I) MA (GINEM : OBTVLIT).

Simple Medieval rural church with continuous nave and chancel. Built of rubble masonry with freestone dressings. Modern roof of split shale with projecting eaves; E gable has stone coping, W gable has raking parapet with split shale laid as the roof and rough stone bellcote. Entry to the church is through an enlarged doorway at the W end of the S wall. The doorway has a rough stone (shale) voussoir head and rendered jambs; around the doorway, one above the centre and one to each side, are 3 weathered stone heads of crude design, probably contemporary with the chevron voussoirs. The central head is worked in relief, the others have been formed by sinking round the head and for the features. To the L (W) the head is egg-shaped and surrounded by a hoop or ring, to the R the head is rounder and supported on a short body with extended arms. The S wall has 3 windows; to the R (E) of the doorway is a narrow C12 lancet window with rounded head and widely splayed jambs, to its R is a modern rectangular window and at the far R (E) end is a late C14 or early C15 rectangular window with a single cinquefoil-headed light. The C14 E window is a single ogee-headed light with tracery in a pointed-arch frame with hoodmould. Along the N wall are 3 windows set at differing heights; all are modern, the central window set into a partially blocked C18 doorway.

Reason for Listing
Listed as a good, scarcely altered simple Medieval church which retains a great deal of the Medieval fabric, including decorative fragments of probable C12 date, and a fine later Medieval roof. During the C19 twenty seven of the old churches on Anglesey were re-built and most of the rest were restored and refitted, therefore the church of St Pabo can be considered an important survivor and is of particular interest for the extremely well-detailed C14 monument effigy of St Pabo.

Bloxam M H, The Monument of King Pabo at Llanbabo Church, Anglesey, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1874, pp 110-113; Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Historic Churches Project, 1997, pp 24-5; Holme G G, Three Local Monumental Effigies - St. Iestyn, St. Pabo, Eva wife of Anwel, Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, 1923, pp 38-45; Hughes H H, Early Christian Decorative Art in Anglesey, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1923, pp 64-6; Hughes H H, The Ancient Churches of Anglesey - Presidential Address, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Vol LXXXV Part II, 1930, pp 249, 258-9; Hughes H H, Notes on Llanbabo Church; Llanol; Llanfechell Church, Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, 1932, pp 57-9; Hulbert-Powell, Carved Corbels, Brackets and Label Stops in Anglesey Churches, Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, 1944, p 23; Longueville-Jones H, Mona Medieva No. XXV, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1861, pp 298-301; Salter M, The Old Parish Churches of North Wales, p 15; Anglesey Meeting - Report, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1908, pp 94-8; Longueville-Jones H, Mona Medieva No. XXV, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1861, pp 298-301; RCAHMW Inventory, 1937, p 34.