St. Margaret of Antioch Church (The Marble Church)

The Marble Church. Bodelwyddan

St. Margaret of Antioch Church (The Marble Church) Bodelwyddan, is a prominent landmark in the lower Vale of Clwyd in Denbighshire, close to the popular seaside town of Rhyl.

The church was erected by Lady Willoughby de Broke in memory of her husband, Henry Peyton-Verney, 16th Baron Willoughby de Broke. She laid the foundation stone on the 24th of July 1856 and the new church designed by John Gibson was consecrated by the Bishop of St. Asaph on the 23rd of August 1860 after construction at a cost of £60,000. The new parish of Bodelwyddan was created on the 3rd of August 1860, from the communities of Bodelwyddan, Faenol and Pengwern, which until that date had been part of the parish of St. Asaph.

The church contains pillars made of Belgian Red marble, and the nave entrance is made from “Anglesey marble”. It also contains elaborate woodwork, and in the tower can be found windows of stained glass on the North and South sides, featuring Saint Margaret and Saint Kentigern.

Inside

Immediately to the west of the church is Kinmel Camp, which was a military camp located in the grounds of Kinmel Hall. The camp was used by Canadian troops during the First World War. The churchyard contains the graves of numerous victims of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 in the camp. On 4–5 March 1919 a riot occurred in the camp when the ship allocated to return the troops to Canada was diverted to carry food supplies to Russia. Five Canadian soldiers were killed in the disturbances, four of whom were buried in St Margaret’s Churchyard, with the fifth, Gunner John Frederick Hickman, being buried in Dorchester, New Brunswick.

In total there are 112 Commonwealth service personnel commemorated here from World War One. More than 80 of the graves are Canadian, and there are also Special Memorial headstones to 4 British soldiers who were buried at St Peter’s Churchyard in Holywell. There are 2 war graves of British servicemen from World War Two.

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