10 Fascinating Churches of North Wales


1. St Cwyfan Church In The Sea

Image credit@Wales Directory

St Cwyfan church use to be part of the mainland, however over the centuries it’s been seperated and now stands on a tiny island, protected from the sea by it’s stone walls.

While the church that can be seen today dates back to the 12th century, there has been a church on the site since the 7th century, the original was made of wattle and daub.

The church is located on the West Coast of Anglesey, just minutes from the village of Aberffraw and can be reached by foot at low tide.

Stunning views of the Llyn Peninsula, Bardsey Island and Snowdonia can be seen on a clear day from the headland.

Saint Tudno’s Church, Great Orme

Image credit@Geograph

Saint Tudno’s was built in the 12th century and has been heavily restored leaving nothing of the original building.

During the summer months, the church holds well attended outdoor services on summer Sunday mornings to which even dogs are invited to join in with the hymns!

The open air services which provide breathtaking views, take place from the last Sunday in May to the end of September and start at 11 o’clock.

Llangelynin Church And Holy Well

Image credit@Well Hopper

Llangelynin church dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most remote churches in Wales.

In the corner of the churchyard, famous for its powers to cure sick children is a small stone enclosure and the holy well of St Celynin. The well is a small rectangular pool with stone walls and seats.

For those who enjoy walking, the site can be reached on foot from Conwy and will take around 4 hours (10 miles). Parts of the walk are relatively steep, but the views across the Conwy valley, make it all worthwhile.

St Winefride’s Well

Image credit@Britain Express

According to the legend this holy well sprung up in the 7th century when St Winefride was restored to life at the prayers of her uncle, St Beuno, having had her head cut off.

Winefride was said to live as a nun until her second death 22 years later. Ever since the time of her death, the well has been a place of pilgrimage and healing.

In more recent times and part of the refurbishment at the well, a library and museum housing collections of documents and artefacts surrounding the history of the site has been opened in the former Custodian’s House.

Bardsey Island

Image credit@Snowdonia Heritage

Bardsey Island, whose Welsh name Ynys Enlli means the islands of the current can be reached by boat from Aberdaron.

When St Cadfan established a monastery here in the 6th century, the trip became an important pilgrimage route for Christians.

Little remains nowadays, just a few stones, but the special atmosphere and abundance of wildlife makes this a memorable day out.

Ty Mawr Wybrnant

Image credit@Visit Wales

Ty Mawr Wybrnant is located in the Wybrnant valley, near Betws-y-coed.

Now owned by the National Trust, the house was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, the first translator of the whole bible into the Welsh language.

The translation was used in churches until 1988 and was seen by many as a contributing factor to the saving of the Welsh language.

The house has been restored to its 16th century appearance and contains old furniture and a collection of bibles.

Gwydir Uchaf Chapel

Image credit@Snowdonia Heritage

Built in 1673 and noted for its fine painted ceiling as a family memorial chapel for the Wynn’s of Gwydir, the Gwydir Uchaf Chapel is located in woods above Gwydir Castle in Llanrwst.

Accesss to the chapel can only be gained by prior arrangement with the key keeper who can be contacted by telephone on 01492 641 687.

Visitors are asked to provide at least 24 hours notice before their visit.

St Asaph Cathedral

Image credit@CWGC

The present building is reputed to be the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain, built in the 13th century. Before then, Saint Kentigern built his church at the site in AD560, returning to Strathclyde in AD573 leaving Asaph as his successor.

The cathedral is home to the previously mentioned William Morgan Bible, who was both a bishop and buried at the cathedral.

Valle Crucis Abbey

Image credit@Geograph

Valle Crucis Abbey was built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor. It was later dissolved during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and fell into serious disrepair.

Located in Llantysillo, and under the care of the historic environment service of the Welsh Government, Cadw, the building is now a ruin, however large parts of the original structure have survived.

St Digain’s and The Ancient Yew Tree

Image credit@Every Day Nature Trails

The yew tree in the churchyard at St Digain’s is said to be 4000 years old, making it one of the oldest living things on Earth!

The church dates back to the 13th century, although the site was said to be a place of worship a long time before this.

Located in the village of Llangernyw, which can be reached by the scenic A548, the site provides stunning views of the North Wales countryside.

There are two stones in the gardens, which have both been inscribed with crosses and date back to the dark ages.

Several reports of somewhat spooky goings on have been reported over the years – visitors are advised to enter at their own risk!


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