St Marcella was the site of a holy well where Marcella, of Celtic descent, offered meditation and simple refuge for travellers around 900 years ago.
Come and learn the gospel anew as you study the events pictured in this church’s stunning stained-glass windows, one of which is famous for its connection to the Arts and Crafts movement. Walk around and look at the windows named: Scenes from the New Testament with the Twelve Apostles; The Crossing of the Red Sea and the Baptism of Christ; The Figure of Christ; Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Road to Emmaus; The Annunciation and Scenes from the Gospels; Christ Blessing the Children; Martha Meets Christ at the Gate of Bethany and the Three Women at the Empty Tomb; Scenes from the Resurrection of Christ.
Then stop to pray and light a candle in the chapel in the south choir before marvelling at the roof soaring above you, listening to a peal of eight bells from the tower, or studying the remnant of a dossal, the other part of which is in the V & A.
It may seem old, but the foundation stone for this eclectic Victorian Gothic style church was laid in 1871. It was intended as a replacement for the medieval St Hillary's, near the castle and just visible form the doorway. It was opened for services in 1874 but consecration did not take place until December 1875 as a result of a lawsuit over the reredos, carved in Caen stone, which was considered by some to be 'too Catholic in taste'. It is said that in 1874 the Bishop of St. Asaph announced that he would not conduct the consecration ceremony, because he considered that a panel of the reredos 'had a somewhat ritualistic tendency'. Eventually this panel was removed, and the bishop consecrated the church on Tuesday, 7 December 1875. People have relished the opportunity to worship here ever since and the panel has since been reinstalled and can be seen today.
The Lenten Pool originally close to the site of the church was drained in the 19th century following a cholera epidemic. It had previously been stocked with fish which provided food for people during Lent.