Llanferres

Other than the curious find of a barbed and tanged arrowhead of the Bronze Age in a cave in Llanferres, there is little to suggest antiquity in the village.  The find, it must be said, is curious since it is one of only two Bronze Age finds found in caves in North East Wales.  Why this is so has yet to be discovered, but it suggests that peoples of that time shunned ready-made shelters.  In fact, what is interesting about Llanferres is its strange anonymity.  Situated some 5 miles north east of Ruthin and 4 miles south west of Mold on the edge  of the limestone that stretches north towards the Flintshire coast, if indeed Llanferres’ past does stretch further back than mentions of its name in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 as, ‘Lanwerteys’, it would seem to centre on the dedication of the church to St Berres, of whom we know virtually nothing, other than a tradition he was a Welsh hermit of an early age.  Almost nothing is known of the history of the village.  Reliable antiquarians such as Leland and even Edward Lhuyd say nothing of the place, and even Ordnance Survey maps of the 19th century show little development other than the church and the Druid Inn.

The south transept was added in 1843 and included a rather beautiful gallery.  This addition was made possible with the added wealth from lead mining.

The Church itself was largely rebuilt from the 1770s, with further additions in 1843 and 1891, and it is quite beautiful.  Certainly, it had a medieval past, since sepulchral slabs of the 13th and early 14th century exist but nothing to push us further back than the mention in the Norwich Taxation.  Much of the internal furnishings are of post-Restoration, with a font dated 1684, and plaques that date from 1709 and some memorials from the 17th and 18th centuries.  The churchyard tells us little in a search for a connection to a pre-Conquest past, evidence of an early medieval foundation.  It is possible that the turnpike road, which curves around the village rather radically before reverting to its original route, took something from the churchyard, but there is little evidence.

The font is dated 1684 and bears the initials of the church wardens of the time.  It was built by John Ledsham for the sum of 9 shillings.

And yet, Llanferres is truly special, quiet and serene, with some of the most beautiful walks you could wish for.  Situated on a gentle slope on the eastern Clwydians below Fron Hen, it is well worth an hour or two of your time.

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