Memorials, monuments and effigies in the old Church of All Saint's Gresford, Wrexham Wales
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Memorials monuments and effigies in All Saint's Church Gresford


All Saints Church at Gresford, Wrexham, North East Wales, has been claimed as one of the finest parish churches in Wales. It has a nave and chancel, a west tower and a clerestory rising above north and south aisles.
Monument to Richard and Katherine Trevor All Saint's Church Gresford

Within the church there are panelled and ornamented camberbeam roofs, 15th Century screens of English style, and a wide variety of monuments and memorials. Externally there is an abundance of stone carvings ...from animals with weird heads to a variety of grotesques and demons, interspersed with what appear to be a cross section of faces of medieval folk, from Kings and Queens to common drunkards.

The chancel:

The great east window was donated by Thomas Stanley in 1500 and has been restored in Victorian times. Elaborately carved screens and stalls date from the 15th Century. The stalls have misericords or mercy seats with fine carvings.

The north wall:

Beneath the fourth window from the west there is a recess with a moulded, peaked arch and a 14th Century heraldic slab beneath. The stone bears a shield decorated with acorns and foliage and at the foot a lion's face. A latin inscription proclaims "Here lies Gronwy (Gronw) son of Iorwerth whose soul may God absolve"

Close by are 14th Century effigy fragments whose dress suggests the wardrobe of a judge. It is thought that it represents Sir David Hamner whose son John married Eva grand-daughter of Gronw ap Iorwerth.

There are a number of mural tablets, mainly marble and three of 18th Century date, together with some 19th Century and 20th Century brasses.

The south chapel:

Fine sculpted and colourful effigies of Richard and Katherine Trevor are displayed within the south chapel - also known as the Trevor Chapel. Another monument celebrates Sion Trevor Trevalyn.... who appears to be a medieval magician! A modern mural commemorating the Gresford Colliery disaster of 1934 can also be found withi the Trevor Chapel.

The south wall:

On the south wall is to be found a recess with a stone effigy attired in chain mail, with sword and shield, and at the back of the recess a long stone with a continuous pattern of plain shields in quatrefoils. A latin inscription reads "Here lies Madoc ap Llywelyn .... " who is said to have died in 1331. A Welsh document describes him as "the best man that ever was in Maelor Gymraeg".  

Close by is an ancient stone, excavated near the east wall, and believed to
14th Century stone effigy of Madoc ap Llywelyn, attired in chain mail, with sword and shield All Saint's Church
be part of a Romano British altar. A carved figure with shears may be Atropos who cut the fate of life.

Several marble memorials ranging from 1659 to 1806.

The Lady chapel:

The east window in the Lady chapel has fine 15th Century glass. The upper part depicts the four evangelists while the twelve panels below depict the Virgin's birth and life. Close to the altar a canopied niche with paint traces can be found resting on a corbel decorated with a 'green man'. Originally it may have held an object venerated by pilgrims, but now contains an early 20th Century Virgin and Child statue by William Webb.

The north porch:

The porch was added in 1921 and was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson in Portland stone as a war memorial. Above the entrance is a figure of St George and the dragon. The eight small windows in this porch contain fragments of old glass which came originally from a window in the north aisle.

Other items of interest include a carved stone medieval font, chandeliers and Organ.



The Stanley-Beaufort Connection:

Thomas Stanley, the Earl of Derby, and his wife Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII made bequests to several churches in the area. St Winifride's Holywell; Hope Parish Church; St Giles Wrexham; and St Mary the Virgin Mold are late 15th century churches known as "Stanley Churches".

It is known that it was Thomas Stanley who gave the great east window at Gresford, but there are no heraldic emblems of the family, as there are in other churches.

Externally, below the crenellated parapets, is to be found a typical "Stanley" string course ornamented with flowers, faces and scampering animals. Hood moulds end in carved heads and grotesques and the downspouts are held by monkeys or grotesque creatures.

Stone carving at All Saint's Church Gresford

Architecture and other information:

Above the chancel roof are a cross and two pinnacles.

The tower has a band of quatrefoil ornamentation which marks the level of the 14th century tower; the part above this was added after 1512, Between the eight pinnacles are eight figures; these are carved in front only, the backs being left plain. They have been variously described as kings, knights, evangelists and pilgrims. The pinnacles have crashed through the roof on at least five occasions.

On the buttresses at the angles of the tower are canopied niches two of which contain statues and, at the south-west angle and at a lower level, a figure that has sometimes been identified as Henry VII.

Above the door of the 15th century south porch a small niche with an ogee canopy contains a badly eroded statue of the Virgin.

The Peal of Bells at All Saints is one of the seven wonders of Wales.

A Yew Tree within the grounds is reputed to be 1700 years old.

In 2007 The Welsh heritage organisation Cadw awarded a grant of £30,000 towards masonry and stonework repairs, ....and guess who arrived in November 2009 with camera at the ready to take pictures of the fine Perpendicular Tower, to be thwarted by a mass of scaffolding enveloping the tower for the first time in 500 years?

Fortunately another bit of news has arisen concerning Gresford Church, which will make my revisiting the church worth while. It seems that during the renovations one of the old blocks of stone had to be replaced and rather than leave it blank it was decided to carve the face of a local man, Mr Hilton Roberts, onto the stone. Mr Roberts has been a bell ringer at All Saint's for 50 years and as such well deserves his reward. ....Hmmm if I start bell ringing now I will be 111 years old before I get my face carved in stone. Its definitely a young man's job this bell ringing!
The stone carver who sculpted Mr Roberts face was Mr Nick Roberson.



Monument to Richard and Katherine Trevor
Memorial in Trevor Chapel All Saint's Church Gresford
1. Monument to Richard and Katherine Trevor Gresford Church 2. Memorial in Trevor Chapel All Saint's Church Gresford
Monument to Katherine Trevor
Memorial to Gresford Mining Disaster
3. Monument to Katherine Trevor within the south chapel All Saint's Church Gresford 4. Memorial to Gresford Mining Disaster
14th Century heraldic slab of Gronw ap Iorwerth, All Saint's Church
14th Century stone effigy of Madoc ap Llywelyn, attired in chain mail, with sword and shield All Saint's Church
5. 14th Century heraldic slab with inscription All Saint's Church 6. 14th Century stone effigy attired in chain mail, with sword and shield All Saint's Church
14th Century effigy fragments in Church Gresford
Romano-British altar stone in All Saint's Church Gresford
7. 14th Century effigy fragments in Gresford All Saint's Church 8. Romano-British altar stone in All Saint's Church Gresford
Detail of Carved ceiling at All Saint's Church
Misericords at All Saint's Church Gresford
9. Detail of Carved ceiling at All Saint's Church 10. Misericords at All Saint's Church Gresford
Ale drinker or drunkard at All Saint's Church
Female Ale drinker or drunkard Nun at All Saint's Church
11. Ale drinker or drunkard at All Saint's Church 12. Female Ale drinker or drunkard Nun at All Saint's Church
Knight headstop at All Saint's Church
Peasant figure at Gresford Church
13. Knight headstop at All Saint's Church 14. Peasant figure at Gresford Church
Grotesque carving at All Saint's Church
Demonic headstop at Gresford Church
15. Grotesque carving at All Saint's Church 16. Demonic headstop at Gresford Church
Grotesque headstop at All Saint's Church
Fool headstop at Gresford Church
17.Grotesque headstop at All Saint's Church 18. Fool headstop at Gresford Church
String course of carved animals at Gresford Church
String course of carved animals at Gresford Church
19. String course of carved animals at Gresford Church 20. String course of carved animals at Gresford Church
Weather worn Virgin and Child at All Saint's Church
Go to Page 1 of  Gresford Church
21. Weather worn Virgin and Child at All Saint's Church 22. Go to Page 1 of Gresford Church
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