Rug Chapel, Corwen, Wales (correctly known as the Holy Trinity at Rug)
This gem of a building strikingly preserves the spirit of late medieval church decoration, exuberantly demonstrating what local painters and carpenters could do when given free rein by a wealthy patron who scorned Puritan simplicity. Such was Colonel William Salesbury, a former pirate (privateer) nicknamed ‘Old Blue Stockings’ and later famed as the Royalist defender of Denbigh Castle, who commissioned the private chapel in 1637.
Modest in its garden setting, click here the exterior gives no warning of the richness within. There almost every available timber surface is either carved or painted, and frequently both click here Most spectacular of all is the roof, panelled and coloured from end to end, decked with cut-out angels, and lined with a frieze of flowers and beasts. Even more carved animals (real and imaginary) play among the foliage of the bench ends. Carved and canopied family pews flank the altar, looking westward through the (later) carved screen towards the painted cherub chandelier and the turned, carved, painted and marbled parapet of the gallery.
Rug Chapel is a fascinating and interesting place. It’s not only worth a visit but worth going out of the way to see.