Building » Ruthin – Our Lady Help of the Christians

Ruthin – Our Lady Help of the Christians

Mwrog Street, Ruthin, LL15 1LG

The church and ancillary buildings make up a somewhat disparate group, strung out along the edge of the highway with the 1930s church hidden behind. Only the old school building dating from 1860 has any specific heritage interest, although as a group the buildings contribute to the character and appearance of the conservation area.  

Land was bought in Mwrog Street outside the town for the construction of a church and school in the mid-nineteenth century. The Coflein entry states that ‘the facade was designed by the architect Clutton in the nineteenth century’ but no evidence is provided. The distinguished Catholic architect Henry Clutton restored Ruthin Castle for Frederick Richard West between 1848 and 1853, but the Wests however were not a Catholic family, and the building is not characteristic of Clutton’s work.

The church was served by Jesuits from St Bueno’s College. Adjoining cottages were acquired over time to serve as a presbytery and sacristy, and in 1931-2 the church was tripled in length, giving a seating capacity of 250; the enlarged church was opened by the Bishop of Menevia in April 1932. The design allowed the sanctuary to be closed off from the body of the church, allowing the latter to double up as a parish hall. The end cottage, 114 Mwrog Street, was purchased later and its rear garden area used as a car park. The church was further extended in the 1950s. Today the church is served from Denbigh, and the presbytery is let to a retired priest.


The original school building, which now serves as a narthex, is built of random rubble red sandstone, and has a central projecting porch with iron gates flanked by two windows that project as gabled dormers above the low eaves level. The roof is of slate.

The 1930s church is a modest single-story building of brick with pebbledash render and a low-pitched roof clad in asbestos cement tiles. The sanctuary was built as an extension in the 1950s. There are five timber windows to each side and a roof light illuminates the sanctuary. A number of the windows have been fitted with stained glass, mostly imported from other churches. The sanctuary is raised up with two steps and is simply furnished. The exposed roof trusses are of late Victorian character, and may have been reused from another building.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1860

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed