The History of Sant Dunawd, The Parish Church of Bangor-on-Dee.

Summary of historical notes on its MONASTERY and The Parish Church of Bangor-on-Dee

 

BANGOR MONACHORUM Summary of historical notes on its MONASTERY and The Parish Church of Bangor-on-Dee.  (See Village Views Section 1 for images of the Church)

 

In A. D. 180 Lucius a king of Britain was converted by the preaching of one of the Christian Fathers to the Faith.  He is said to have founded the Monastery of BANGOR as a seat of learning.

 

The area was inhabited by the Britains until the ROMANS came and conquered it in 50 A.D.

 

The location was on the south side of the River DEE (now ploughed ground), it was over a mile in length and like a walled town.  There were two gates, the north gate was called Porth Hogan and the south gate – a mile away, was called Porth Clays.

 

There were seven Bishops of the Britain’s and the Monastery was divided into seven parts, with a ruler over each, and over 300 men in each part.

 

The Romans departed about the fifth century when the SAXONS ‘English’ arrived.  The Saxons coveted the rich cultivated meadows of the valley belonging to the Monks.  The warlike king of the English, Aethelfrith, raised a mighty Army and a battle ensued between Chester and Bangor-on-Dee – over 1200 Monks were killed and only about 50 managed to escape.  The Monastery did not survive the massacre – this was 613 A.D.

 

Bangor-on-Dee was recognised as a Rectory in 1300 A.D. and Bangor Church was dedicated in the name of St. Dunawd who was a distinguished Abbot of the ancient monastery.  It was originally built with wattles from the marsh and in the course of time the wattle and daub was replaced with timber, and it was many centuries later before a permanent building of stone was built.

 

The first Rector, in 1300, was William, son of Lord St. John, who was followed in 1325 by John Chyney, and there is a list of Rectors since then right up to the present Rector.

 

A Church of red sandstone was built about 1300 A. D. of which the Chancel still remains.

 

Important Dates and Facts about The Church:

 

The location was on the south side of the River DEE (now ploughed ground), it was over a mile in length and like a walled town.  There were two gates, the north gate was called Porth Hogan and the south gate – a mile away, was called Porth Clays.

 

There were seven Bishops of the Britain’s and the Monastery was divided into seven parts, with a ruler over each, and over 300 men in each part.

 

The Romans departed about the fifth century when the SAXONS ‘English’ arrived.  The Saxons coveted the rich cultivated meadows of the valley belonging to the Monks.  The warlike king of the English, Aethelfrith, raised a mighty Army and a battle ensued between Chester and Bangor-on-Dee – over 1200 Monks were killed and only about 50 managed to escape.  The Monastery did not survive the massacre – this was 613 A.D.

 

Bangor-on-Dee was recognised as a Rectory in 1300 A.D. and Bangor Church was dedicated in the name of St. Dunawd who was a distinguished Abbot of the ancient monastery.  It was originally built with wattles from the marsh and in the course of time the wattle and daub was replaced with timber, and it was many centuries later before a permanent building of stone was built.

 

The first Rector, in 1300, was William, son of Lord St. John, who was followed in 1325 by John Chyney, and there is a list of Rectors since then right up to the present Rector.

 

A Church of red sandstone was built about 1300 A. D. of which the Chancel still remains.

 

Important Dates and Facts about The Church:

 

1639 – The Chalice was presented to the Church.
1660 – The Chancel was levelled.
1675 – The Bangor Register begins.
1723 – The south aisle was rebuilt, and the Tower of the Church built.
1738 – The Communion Table of white marble was presented to the Church.
1869 – The south aisle was partly rebuilt and extended westward to form the present Baptistery.
1877 – Open Pews and the Porch were furnished.
1896 – The Clock was renewed.
1913 – The north aisle was extended eastward to form a spacious Vestry for Clergy and Choir and to house the Organ.
1949 – The present electric system was installed.
Lighting – up to the 19th Century Evensong was said in the afternoon whilst still daylight, and on special occasions candles were used – later paraffin lamps, in 1896 Acetylene Gas was introduced.
The FONT dates to 1500.
There are six Bells of which 4 are dated 1727, one 1811 and one 1865, the Bells were re-hung in 1946.
There are two Oak beams now resting in the west end of the Church, the heavier of the two is moulded with neat carving on one side, the other beam has indented ornamentations. Judging from the colour and the condition of the timber they probably date from 1300 when the Church was built.
The Rectory was built in 1868 on the site of the former Rectory whose history is not known.
Worthenbury was part of Bangor until 1689 when it was created a separate parish.
Overton was part of Bangor from 1402 until 1868 when it was constituted a Rectory.
The feast day of St. Dunawd is 22nd September.

 

The Open Church Network.  Sant Dunawd, The Parish Church of Bangor-on-Dee is part of the The Historic Churches of Wrexham Open Church Network.  An informative display of photographs and a narration in both Welsh and English, combined with various artifacts illustrate both the history of the church, the village and it’s inhabitants.