Experience the rich history of North Wales by visiting its sacred places. From ancient burial chambers to tiny country churches, the region boasts many evocative holy places.
Here are three of our favourite hidden historic churches of North Wales:
The Church in the Sea – St Cwyfan’s near Aberffraw
This 12th Century church stands on a tiny island off the coast of Anglesey, protected from the sea by stone walls below.
The little island known as Cribinau was originally a peninsula between Porth Cwyfan and Porth China, but the waves have gradually worn away the rocks, cutting the church off from the mainland. The church can be reached on foot at low tide, and is located on the West Coast of Anglesey, near to the village of Aberffraw.
The Anglesey Coastal path brings you to St. Cwyfan’s from both the North and South. Enjoy views of Snowdonia, the Llyn Peninsula and Bardsey Island from the headland on a clear day.
St Digain’s and The Ancient Yew Tree – Llangernyw
This beautiful church in the village of Llangernyw is on the scenic yet little-travelled A548 between Llanrwst and Abergele.
This winding country road takes you through wooded valleys and across hills, immersing you in North Wales’ countryside views at their very best.
St Digain’s church is home to a 4,000-year-old Yew tree, making it one of the oldest living things on earth! The Church itself dates back to the 13th Century, though it is thought the site was used as a place of worship long before this. Two stones stand in the grounds, both inscribed with crosses; these stones have been dated back to the dark ages and were likely to have been an ancient altar.
There have been many reports of spooky goings on at the St. Digain’s Church in Llangernyw. So go in the evening if you dare!
Just next to the church there is a fabulous little pub called The Stag, where you can get a bite to eat and a pint of real ale.
Llangelynin Church and Holy Well – Conwy
If you want to enjoy a walk in the rolling hills above Conwy, head out to find this remote 12th Century church huddling below the ridge of Tal y Fan. The walk from Conwy to Llangelynin will take around 4 hours and is about 10 miles. There are parts which are steep, but the views across the Conwy Valley are well worth the hike.
It’s amazing to think parishioners would regularly do this walk to show their faith!
In the corner of the churchyard, is a small stone enclosure and the holy well of St Celynin, famous for its power to cure sick children. Nearby, look out for the footings of an ancient inn, which would have provided shelter for those travelling across the mountain from the Conwy Valley to Penmaenmawr and beyond. There is evidence of a round hut believed to date back to the 6th Century.
- These are some of our favourite historic churches of North Wales. Do you have a special place you like to visit?