First published by the Bangor-on-Dee
Local History Society 1992
Over the centuries Bangor has been very
careless - or vandalistic - with the medieval tombstones
and/or coffin lids that were once in the church or have
been periodically turned up in the churchyard. Some
of them have disappeared only over the last hundred years
or so. What has been lost?
Firstly, the two tombstones mentioned
by Edward Lhwyd as lying in the chancel. They had vanished
by 1699 - (a) a stone with 'HIC IACET D[AVI]D AP MADOCK
AP ENNION' in 'old Saxon capitals' about a shield charged
on sinister side with a lion rampant; (b) on the south side
of the altar a gravestone with the inscription 'HIC IACET
ANEHARAT FILIA IERWERTH'. She was the wife of Madog
ap Gruffydd Ddu. These stones were probably destroyed
Secondly, of the five coffin lids illustrated
by Thomas Pennant in his Tour in Wales (1784) only one has
survived  Lost are:
 Stone with head above a shield carrying
a lion rampant and in a border, in Lombardic capitals, '+
HIC IACE/T : WILLIAM +/ LE FRENS : ' , sword lying diagonally
behind with pommel in top dexter corner.
 Stone with head and shoulders in coffin
above shield carrying lion rampant and in Lombardic border,
' + HIC IACE/T : ITHEL +/ KADWGON'
 'An ancient cross', more correctly
an expanded arm cross within a circle, with below, a griffin
passant and lion passant, interpreted by Pennant as 'the
early embracing for Christianity by the nations of our island'.
The griffin or griffon, half eagle, half lion, was
anciently a symbol of divine power or a guardian of the
 A conventional checky heraldic shield,
sword behind set bend-wise, and remaining space filled with
curving stems branching out into tri-lobed leaves.
A similar shield and sword lid  went
missing but was found in 1924 in the grounds of Maes-y-nant
(present Cross Lanes Hotel) and is now in the National Museum
of Wales, Cardiff.
So at the present time all that there
is in Bangor Church (east end, north aisle) is the lower
half of a 14th century lid (not illustrated). Design
is a simple fretted central rib with a series of curved
volutes in pairs, with sufficient variation in design, style
and workmanship to suggest that more than one mason worked
on the stone.
Overton Church, as a former Perpetual
Curacy of Bangor, has been equally badly served, but still
to be seen are:
 The weathered lower half of a c.1300
slab to the memory of Angharad verch Einion, with a central
pattern of twisted stems and leaves emerging from lion's
mouth at the bottom. A border of Lombardic capitals
reads: '...RAT : FILIA :/ EUN/IAWN : OR...' ('Here lies
Angharad daughter of Einion. Pray for her').
 Fragment of expanded arm cross formed
in circle, inserted upside down into base of westernmost
pier of south arcade.
 Badly mutilated fragment(s) of early
14th century four-circle ribbed cross slab. Hanmer Church
lost several medieval tombstones in the great fire of 1889.
What excuses have Bangor and Overton?