A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Anglesey - Day 8 22nd June - Conwy Part 2: St Mary's Church and town centre
After visiting the castle I had a choice - visit the church or go round the town centre with the rest of the family. To be honest I wanted to do both and I would have liked to have visited Plas Mawr but B was keen to re-commence the journey home so I knew time was limited. In the end I decided on the church especially as after the crowds in the the castle (including those dreadful "selfie" sticks putting in appearances - sorry I am turning into a grumpy old woman!) I was keen to get some tranquility and solitude.
St Mary's Church
There was a religious settlement on the site of the present church even before the castle was built. In 1172 Cistercian monks started the foundations of Aberconwy Abbey beside the Conwy river. From 1186 the monks lived for a century a simple life under the patronage of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth the Great. It became the leading monastery in North Wales and Llewelyn was buried there in 1240.
The abbey was ransacked by by Henry III's army in 1245 and the Treaty of Aberconwy was signed here in 1277. In 1283 following his conquest King Edward I decided to build a castle and walled town in the same area as the abbey so the monks were forced to move to Maenan taking the remains of Llywelyn with them.
St Mary's has been the parish church of Conwy since 1284. The South Transept, porches, charnel house and part of the tower are 14th century and the tower was finished in the 15h century. In 1872 there was a major restoration by Sir Gilbert Scott and in the twentieth century the memorial chapel and choir vestry were added and Robert "Mouseman" Thompson made a new wooden altar rail.
This grave sent shivers up my spine for some reason.
Fox and cubs flowering everywhere.
The font is 15th century with a heavily moulded bowl and octagonal base. The steps may have come from the cross in the market place.
Is this one based on King Edward I?
Cistercian encaustic floor tiles now hanging on the wall in the sanctuary. These were just beautiful and presumably may have come from the original abbey. Sadly the position meant it was hard to get decent photos.
The tomb of Robert Wynn (1598) who built Plas Mawr (again it was in the Sanctuary and hard to get a photo).
John Wynn memorial
The choir stalls are 15th century - sadly most of photos were not very good but this owl turned out ok.
The stalls have ancient graffiti carved all over them.
"Christ the Redeemer" - this is a rare reproduction painting from the original by Florentine artist Andrea del Sarta (1487-1531)
Unfortunately my photo of the rood screen did not come out very well as it is far too dark and this is a trifle disappointing as I gather it is one of the finest in Europe (a pity I didn't realise this at the time as I would have made sure I got better pictures!).It is 15th century and marked the wedding of Henry VII's son Arthur to Catherine of Aragon.
Modern stone carvings?
I think these are stairs that would once have led to a loft or gallery above the rood screen.
Windows above depicting William Morgan and William Salesbury who translated the bible into Welsh
A marble bust of famous sculptor John Gibson who was baptised at the church in 1790
Not the best of photos but these two windows were made in the workshop of Burne Jones.
Even though I had longer in this church than Beaumaris there were still items I missed! A medieval processional cross and an ancient chest lid dated 1631 but which is believed to be 14th century. B and E appeared looking for me so I had to give up the hunt for Robert Thompson mice carvings!
A few photos taken by D in the town centre.
Plas Mawr - finest surviving Elizabethan town house in Britain
Back in England!
We all really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly return to Anglesey and would like to stay in the same house. There were a few places we didn't visit that I would have liked to - Brynn Celli Ddu burial chamber in particular. I would also have liked to have seen the Charles Tunniclife paintings in a gallery and Plas Newydd although the latter was always unlikey as D and E are too old now to be in family membership of the NT and B isn't keen on houses. There were also quite a few nature reserves that looked good.
*D Photos taken by my son with the Canon SX50HS bridge camera
Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FX3330 bridge camera
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.