Pilgrim Churches of the Llyn Peninsula
Inside the Church
Bueno's Church in Clynnog Fawr is the largest of the pilgrim
churches. A sturdy, studded door with huge hinges leads into
St Bueno's Church.
It is a large church and feels cold and a bit unloved There are problems with damp with green patches on the whitewashed walls. The wooden candlesticks on the walls were made by a local turner and are typical of the lighting used in churches 150 years ago.
The simple hammer beam wood roof in the nave is C16th and has carved bosses.
The transept roof is more elaborate with carved cross beams.
A wooden screen shuts off the base of the tower from the nave. The door was locked when we visited so there was no access to the vaulted stone passageway into St Bueno’s Chapel.
The north transept contains a worthy but rather turgid exhibition about Pilgrimage in North Wales. St Bueno’s Chest, the ancient wooden chest hollowed out of an ash trunk is here. This was used for collecting alms given by pilgrims and is now riddled with old woodworm holes.
The south transept contains the organ which was blown by hand until electricity arrived in the area. The bellows are still there. On the wall is a pair of dog tongs dating from 1815. Parishioners often arrived with their dogs and these were used to remove unruly dogs.
The rood screen beneath the chancel arch dates from 1531 and has been much restored. Traces of the original black and red paint can still be seen on it. The rood loft is accessed by a door at the north end. The panelled octagonal pulpit in front of the screen dates from about 1700.
The massive wood choir stalls in the chancel date from around 1500 and have carved ends, carved heads on the arms and misericords.
The altar is a wooden table with bottle green hangings behind it. The perpendicular east window has small stained glass roundels with a pelican plucking her breast. Agnus Dei, symbols of the Passion, crown of thorns and alpha and omega. On the north wall of the chancel is a three seater sedilia with a small piscina next to it.
On the walls of the church are memorials to the gentry of the parish.
From the outside this is a splendid church, the largest and most impressive of the pilgrim churches. The inside is almost disappointing in comparison. It is a huge church, too big for the parish now and unlike other pilgrim churches, feels cold, unloved and has an unused feel in spite of the exhibition in the north transept. The rood screen and choir stalls are splendid making this a worthwhile visit. Unfortunately St Bueno’s Chapel with its C8th carved stone was locked and there was no access to it.
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