ITEMS of “heritage value” were removed from inside a “significant” Grade II listed church in Bangor without planning permission, council documents describe.
Cyngor Gwynedd has received a Listed Building Consent application for retrospective planning permission for “the removal of internal fittings undertaken without consent” at St David’s Church, on Caernarfon Road.
The application relates to the “removal of internal fittings” including pews, pulpit, font, reredos (a decorative stone screen at the rear of the altar) and wall memorials.
It has been made by Michael Plane, the “representative body for the Church in Wales.” The agent is noted as Elgan Jones of Cymdeithion Donald Insall Associates
The striking Gothic style building beside the A4087 south of Bangor city centre across the road from the Glanadda Cemetery, has been empty for about a decade and has featured on the open market.
It is currently being managed by the Church in Wales’s national property team.
Historically of interest, the building has been described as a “significant Gothic revivalist church,” created by the notable architect, Sir Arthur Bloomfield.
A heritage and design document by chartered architects and historic building consultants Donald Insall Associates, states:
“The interior of the building is described in Pevsner (2009) as ‘one of the best of its era in North Wales.’”
“The building’s reason for listing is predominately in relation to its striking interior.”
It also notes “…a number of internal fittings are recorded in written sources
but are no longer present.
“Unfortunately, the status and current location of the removed fittings is unknown.
“It is understood that these were removed without consent in various phases between 2016 and 2017” it states.
It also describes how some of the removed fittings such as the pews and monuments “have left scars on the remaining fabric denoting their original position.”
It documents that the “fittings recorded, present before the church closed, but now removed include “…pews to the Nave and both Transepts (unknown condition and date), a round font on marble columns circa 1889, pulpit (octagonal, Gothic in style with relief scenes from the New Testament, constructed in terracotta circa 1889).
It also describes a “Reredos,” a carved stone depicting The Last Supper in Gothic arcading circa 1889, and a bronzed figure of St David (date and location unknown) as well as numerous wall mounted memorials (dates also unknown).
“The building and its fittings hold historical value as a source
of information for local history,” it states.
Closure of the church was announced in 2013 amid reports of dwindling congregation numbers and rising costs.
Parishioners had fought to keep it open, and it is believed to have closed around 2014.
After being placed on the market, it would later feature in a widely publicised online auction in 2023 with its low guide price of £50,000.
Note: The cemetery remains under separate ownership and does not form part of the planning application