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Things of Interest

in Abergele Parish Church

1 Porch and Lych Gate

The porch and the lychgate are Victorian. The porch bears the date 1879 and was built during the Victorian renovations, replacing a previous stone one. The lychgate was erected to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.

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2 Font

The Font in St Michael’s is actually made of three different pieces, all dating from different times. The oldest part is the middle piece, or pedestal. Its design (known as ‘perpendicular’) suggests that it was carved sometimes around the year 1400. The next oldest part is the bowl at the top. A date of 1663 can clearly be seen carved on it, along with the initials of the Churchwardens of that year. The bowl was a gift of the Vicar, Henry Pugh (you can see his memorial slab on the north wall under the plain window). It is thought that the previous bowl, which would have been much more ornate, was destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers. The final part of the font is the base which was probably added in 1879 during the restoration of the Church in the reign of Queen Victoria.

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3 Oak Chest

The oak chest is of particular historical interest as, unlike most parish chests, it has been shaped and constructed entirely from a single tree trunk. Various metal straps and locks have been added to it over the years and the area around the hinge seems to have been replaced but the remainder appears to be original. This is impressive considering the chest may actually date back as far as the time of Richard I (1189-1199). At that time, during the middle ages, it is likely to have been used to store simple but valuable items such as church plate, vestments, alms for the poor, precious books, etc.

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4 Pulpit

The pulpit is 17th century and was moved from the north wall as part of the 19th century restoration of the church. The panels are carved with a leaf, flower and fruit pattern, typical of the Jacobean designs of the time.

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5 Screen

The rood screen, which extends across both naves, is constructed in the Welsh style, with a continuous middle rail rather than with the standards running straight through. The middle rails and head beam are ancient, as are six panels of the wainscot with varyingly patterned squints but none of the tracery is original. The screen has been considerably altered and was originally positioned a little further to the east.

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6 Reredos

The wooden reredos was erected in memory of two soldiers, who died in the First World War. A little to the left of centre is a carved figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the right one of St John. A bunch of grapes, representing the wine of the Holy Communion is carved to the left of St Mary and ears of wheat, representing the bread to the right of St John.

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7 Organ

The organ has recently been moved from the west end of the church to its original site in the chancel to facilitate choir and general musical work. At the same time the opportunity was taken to modernise the pneumatic action and also to augment the tonal scheme. As each section of the organ was refurbished or replaced the instrument was rebuilt on the selected site in the chancel. St Michael’s now has an organ of great depth and presence. The flexibility of the instrument makes it extremely useful as a recital and performance instrument.

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8 Cromwell sword/arrow marks

The north and south aisles of the church are separated by an arcade of pillars and at least two of these have deep vertical grooves. Cromwell's solders are said to have occupied the church during the civil war of 1642-1649 and the marks are thought to be cuts made by the soldiers sharpening their swords by pushing the blades downwards against the sandstone pillar.

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9 Bells

The oldest bell (dated 1723) is the sanctus bell which was traditionally rung to mark the consecration of the bread and wine at the Holy Eucharist. Of the six bells in the peal two were cast by J Taylor and Son of Loughborough and are dated 1887, two are dated 1844, one 1895 and the sixth from 1730. The peal of bells probably dates from 1730 for an inscription on one bell reads Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester cast us all in 1730. It was probably this peal that suffered damage through the vigorous ringing to warn of the great fire at Kinmel Hall which took place in 1841. One of the bells has the inscription David Evans, Vicar, John Hannah and Henry Edwards, Churchwardens, 1887 – thus the bells were probably restored to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. One of the bells was inscribed Os meum annunciabit laudem tuam – My mouth will proclaim your praise, and one of the recast bells originally had the following inscription: Heddwch, dedwyddwch, a chymmydogaeth dda – Peace, happiness and friendship.

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