St Cynfarch's Church Hope, the old Church of Ss Cyngar and St Cynfarch a medieval church in Flintshire Wales
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St Cynfarch's Church Hope

The Church of St Cynfarch's is situated in the village of Hope in Flintshire North East Wales. Hope Parish Church is dedicated to St Cynfarch of the 5th Century and St Cyngar of the 6th Century. Both were Celtic saints and descendants of Cunedda. Hope Parish Church is part of the diocese of St Asaph the Church in Wales.

History and Architecture:

The church was almost certainly founded in the early medieval period and parts of
St Cynfarch's Church Hope
the present structure may date from the end of the 13th Century. Although the church may have been in receipt of monies from Margaret Beaufort and her husband Thomas Stanley it does not have that "Stanley-Beaufort" appearance of other churches in the area. Rather it has more the appearance of a typical North Wales double naved church, albeit with a tower.

The earlier churches on the site would have been of wattle and daub construction but we can assume that in the last quarter of the 12th Century a small stone church was erected, the centre wall of the south aisle belonging to the early church. The church was extended eastwards in the 13th Century and to the west in the late 14th Century.

1490 to 1500 saw an extension to the north side. The expense of building the nave was borne by the Stanley family, the first Earl of Derby, overlord of Hopedale, Moldsdale and Hawarden and his second wife Margaret Beaufort (1441-1509), mother of Henry VII who lived at the old castle, Hawarden. The Tower was joined to the nave between 1520 and 1560. Once again, as with St Winefride's Holywell, St Mary's Mold, Ss Eurgain and Peter's Northop, St Giles' Wrexham it seems the Stanley family were benefactors to a North East Wales Church. It is likely that Edward Stanley the Third Earl of Derby was the benefactor for the building of the tower, being the only wealthy person in a district devoid of wealth at that time. During restoration work in 1953, two patches of wall paintings were discovered beneath limewash on the north side of the arcade. A date of 1533 was revealed on one of the roundels and this presumably related to reconstruction work undertaken by Lord and Lady Stanley, who also presented the church with a font bearing eagle's claws which has now been transferred to Llanfynydd Church.

The tower was completed in 1568. There is no record of a bell being installed at that time, but three original bells with dates of 1623, 1720 and 1793 were removed in 1920, and melted down to produce a ring of six cast by Taylors of Loughborough. Today the tower houses the bell chamber and the clock mechanism, above which
13th Century Mill-stone set into south wall at Hope Church
are the ring of six bells which are a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914 to 1918 and was dedicated in 1921.

In 1610, Sir John Trevor built Plas Teg Hall and became a major benefactor of the church. Monumental effigies of he and his wife Margaret in ermine and period dress were placed in the church, and the east end of the aisle is referred to as the Trevor Chapel. Coloured badges surrounding the effigies depict the lineage of the Trevors with the Royal and Noble Tribes of Wales.

There have been several restorations since 1825 culminating with the Millennium Restoration in 2000 costing over £537,000.

This was a major structural and internal restoration. The main problem was found to be that the structure of the south aisle was shifting from that of the north aisle. The church was gutted and the roof removed. The south aisle wall was concrete reinforced from east to west. The nave walls were tied from north to south with steel rods. The South aisle trusses were removed due to dry rot and new oak trusses were fashioned to be exact replicas of each of the old ones. Windows were removed and replaced after structural work was completed. Floor tiles were removed, the floor levelled and the tiles replaced. Walls were plastered and re-painted, and the font was moved from the top of the west end door steps to the new Lady Chapel.The tower too had moved. The parapet was dismantled and re-built; lead flashings replaced; lightning conductor replaced; shutters repaired; stone work repaired; clock movement removed, face painted and replaced after completion; joists and floor repaired; beams steel tied to roof beams!

Church Services:

"Our Sunday worship covers a wide range of styles as we seek to live out our faith by embracing the new whilst treasuring our traditions. We also hold a number of “Special” services throughout the year such as the very popular Christingle services on Christmas Eve."

St Cynfarch's Church Hope
Clock Tower of St Cynfarch's Church
1. St Cynfarch's Church Hope 2. Clock Tower of St Cynfarch's Church
Old south doorway St Cynfarch's Church Hope
13th Century Mill-stone set into south wall at Hope Church
3. Old south doorway St Cynfarch's Church 4. 13th Century Mill-stone set into south wall at Hope Church
View from the grave yard at Hope Church
North wall and tower at St Cynfarch's Church Hope
5. View from the grave yard at Hope Church 6. North wall and tower at St Cynfarch's Church Hope
OPENING TIMES: See Church Website
Click to enlarge the pictures. All pictures © Copyright Bernard Wellings Klick Internet Services Ltd.
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