CADW Listed Building Database Record For more information about records from Cadw:
Plas Carew
Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QQ

In compliance with the Welsh Assembly's Government's Welsh Language Scheme, the full textual information contained in the listed building descriptions are currently only available on the portal in English. However, it may be viewed in a version with Welsh labels and headings.

St. Nidan's Church (Old Church)

Street Name and Number: ,
Listed Building Reference: 5538
Grade: II*
Date Listed: 30/01/1968
Date Amended: 20/05/1998
Co-ordinates: 249495,366903
Locality: Llanidan
Community: Llanidan
Council: Isle of Anglesey
National Park: No

Set within a stone walled circular churchyard, 20m N of Llanidan House, and c750m SE of the new Church of St. Nidan.

Founded by St. Nidan, son of Gwrfyw ab Pagen ab Urien Rheged, and Periglawr or Confessor to the Monastery of Penmon. The original church is said to have been built in 616AD, and his 'Holy Well' is W of the kitchen garden of Llanidan House. In Medieval times the parish of Llanidan and its rectory became annexed to the Augustinian Priory of Beddgelert. Records have been lost through fire and the date of this transfer is unknown, the earliest reference being in 'The Charter of Tre'r Beirdd' concerning a grant of land 'Given at Llanidan, in the monastery there' in 1360. Llanidan became a vicarage under the monastery, endowed with the third part of the emolument for the performance of the rites of religion. The oldest part of the present building is what remains of the S nave, thought to be medieval and extended to the N, with the addition of a second nave, in the late C15, the likely date of the arcade. The porch may also be a late C15 addition. The church was used as the parish church of Llanidan until 1839. In 1844 the eastern part of the church was demolished, leaving only the arcade standing, and a cross wall was built to enclose the western end. The building was then used as a mortuary chapel, the parish being served by the new church of St. Nidan on the outskirts of Brynsiencyn. The church building has been renovated in recent years by the current owners.

The double-naved W portion has a C15 roof of 4 bays with exposed arch braced trusses supported on sandstone corbels and renewed purlins and rafters. Masonry walls, once ornamented with texts from the scriptures,:most of these have been lost but part of the two verses from the 84th Psalm, in Welsh is still visible over the N doorway. Most of the internal fittings have been removed and the church now houses fittings from other churches in Gwynedd. Altar is modern, of Cumbrian granite, with moulded top and chamfered angles. Memorials: The church contains C17 and C18 memorials. Miscellaneous: The E wall of the porch contains a fluted stone water stoup.

The present building comprises the W end of the double-naved church, medieval with Decorated and Perpendicular tracery; with S porch and remains of the central arcade extending to the E. Walls are of local rubble masonry with sandstone dressings. W wall was partly rebuilt, probably in 1844, now with added buttresses; 2 low buttresses to S aisle and single diagonal stepped buttress at NW corner. Modern slate roof, W gable of S aisle with double bell-cote and stone copings. Main entrance through chamfered basket-headed doorway to S porch, leading to S door of church, of similar design. N wall has pointed arch-headed doorway of 2 chamfered orders to W end, with moulded label and carved human-head stops. Paired window of trefoil headed lights to E end with moulded label. E gables of N and S aisle both with pointed arched Perpendicular tracery windows; S aisle with re-set C15 tracery to upper part, otherwise tracery is modern replacement. The central arcade is of 6 bays with 4-centred arches of 2 hollow-chamfered orders supported on octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds with chamfered capitals and plain bases; the second pier from W end is embedded in the C19 cross wall.

Reason for Listing
Listed as a good example of a simple medieval rural church, enriched by C15 additions. During the C19 twenty seven of the old churches on Anglesey were re-built and most of the rest were restored and refitted; although the Church of St. Nidan was shortened mid C19, what remains can be considered a well preserved and important survival of a double-naved church, retaining many C15 features such as the central arcade.

Evans Rev. E, 'Llanidan and its Inhabitants', Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarians Society, 1921; RCAHMW, Anglesey Inventory, 1937, pp 99,100.