I recently blogged about the wonderful heritage display at Llandegla church. Portable, foldable, and detailed in its coverage of the parish’s archaeology and history, it stretches around and frames a kitchen area with facilities open to all, including walkers on the Offa’s Dyke footpath. What I hadn’t realised at the time of writing is that there are various other recent bespoke heritage boards in other Welsh churches.
Whitford, Flintshire – St Beuno and St Mary’s – is a large church and on a pilgrimmage trail through North Wales: The North Wales Pilgrim’s Way from Holywell in Flintshire to Aberdaron on the Llyn peninsula.
There is much to see in Whitford church, including many fine post-medieval memorials and the most bizarre, compressed arrangement of medieval spolia you are likely to see, some of it of considerable interest. There is also a display case with archaeological finds from the area, and an early medieval inscribed stone.
These I will cover in other blog posts. Here, I simply want to celebrate the compact, clear and smart heritage display. There are 5 panels, one about the early church, two about the Mostyn family – the local gentry family of the parish, a further one about the Mostyn family during the English Civil War, and one about the memorials in the church.
Sadly, the obvious absences from these panels any incorporation of the prehistoric, Roman and medieval archaeology of the parish, or the architecture and landscape of the parish. Notably, no mention is made of the fabulous 10th/early 11th-century free-standing cross close by at Maen Acwhyfan. Equally, there is no detailed discussion of the complex and varied medieval stones on the heritage panels. All this is a shame and the display is therefore no way as good as Llandegla’s. It is a pity that both sides of the board weren’t utilised as at Llandelga’s.
These criticisms aside, it is clear that this is a popular style of heritage board in Flintshire and Denbighshire churches, and they are smart, compact and portable. I wonder how many more I’ll find?