Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Restoration 1856
A major restoration took place in 1856 under the direction of Sir George Gilbert Scott, a well established master of the Gothic revival. He removed the east wall, thus opening up the Chancel Arch beyond which he created a chancel consisting on one bay and a three sided apse, having taken his cue from two other Lady Beaufort churches, St Giles Wrexham and St Winifred’s Chapel Holywell. Thus he hoped to build a chancel as it might have originally been built back in the 15th Century.
Scott also organised the restoration of the central aisle roof and in an attempt to reinstate its Gothic integrity he modelled his new roof on the style of the original 15th century roof which still remained over the north side. The earlier restoration in the 18th century had merely given the church a contemporary roof without an architectural style, though as we are now well aware, only limited funds were available at the time. Reversing such transmutations on architecture style was one of the primary driving forces of the Gothic revivalists who were rampant in North Wales during the latter half of the 19th Century. Although Scott is accredited with the restoration of the roof, the work was actually carried out under his guidance by a local craftsman, Thomas Edwards, in 1857. However, by 1874 the central roof was again giving cause for concern, with Sir Gilbert Scott’s reputation at stake one can only assume the roof was repaired promptly.
In summary Gilbert Scott’s work consisted of: the East Wall was opened up and he built a five sided apse with five windows; Chancel and Sanctuary tiled with encaustic tiles; the rood screen was replaced and the external spiral staircase to the roof is now entered from inside the church; the box pews were removed and a wooden floor added, as were the pews, choir stalls and reading desks; the aisles were stone flagged. The carved roof over the centre aisle was added to match the original 15th century north roof. All this carved oak and woodwork was carried out by the local craftsman Thomas Edwards between 1857 and 1874. Porches were built over the North and South entrances, but the more ornate porch on the south entrance with its stone vaulted roof, is probably 17th Century, but was made Neo-Perpendicular when it was restored by Prothero, Phillott and Barnard in 1911. The Font was moved to its present position. The majority of the Stained Glass windows were introduced during this restoration period. A new organ was built which completely filled the area of the Lady Chapel.