North East Wales

Ruthin's St Peter's Church gates lit up by art project

Illuminated gates at St Peter's Church, Ruthin
The use of solar panels on the church roof will off-set the cost of the lighting

An art project is lighting up the historic ornate gates of a 700-year-old church in Denbighshire.

The 18th Century wrought iron gates of Ruthin's St Peter's Church have long been a focal point off the town square.

Local artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones used solar powered lighting as a way to link history with the town's modern culture.

The lighting forms part of a new art trail which will see newly commissioned works connecting the town centre with nearby Ruthin Craft Centre.

A detail of the ornate gates at St Peter's Church in Ruthin

St Peter's warden the Reverend Stuart Evans said the project allowed the church to develop a modern identity for the gates.

They were made by Robert Davies, who produced fine wrought iron work for many buildings throughout the region, including the gates of Chirk Castle and the nearby Wrexham parish church, St Giles.

The gates at St Peter's include elaborate scrollwork with a central cherub and Corinthian caps to the piers.

The artist said: "The illumination of the gates is a key feature of the town square.

"The contemporary lighting of the historically important gates re-enforces Ruthin as a town of history and culture."

'Inspire others'

The use of solar panels on the church roof will off-set the cost of the lighting scheme and other energy use.

The gates were restored as part of the overall project following funding from the Welsh Government's Rural Development Plan and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Matching funding was also received from Ruthin Town Council along with support from rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd.

Silas Jones, energy officer with Cadwyn Clwyd, said: "The St Peter's gates lighting project signifies an important step in developing a sustainable economy for Denbighshire, and we hope will inspire others to make a contribution to a sustainable future."

There have been calls for Llangollen's Castell Dinas Brân to be illuminated at key times of the year

News of the project came as Clwyd South AM Ken Skates has put forward the idea of lighting the ruins of Castell Dinas Brân after dark at key times in the year such as the tourist season.

He said that while it was an attractive landmark looking out over Llangollen by day, it was "completely forgotten" at night.

The ruins of the Jubilee Tower memorial on Moel Famau, near Mold, were illuminated in October 2010 to mark the landmark's 200th anniversary.

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