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St Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron

#5 of 10 in Historic Sites in Gwynedd
Church Tourist Spot
St Hywyn's Church is located in Aberdaron. A visit to St Hywyn's Church represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Aberdaron trip builder to plot your vacation.
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60 reviews
  • This church is a really peaceful place. There was an art exhibition by local artists when I visited. It also has quite a bit of information on Thomas, a poet who was a priest here. It is right by the ...  more »
  • Just loved the place haven't been here for fifth years. Just felt so moving. Thank you Aberdaron for not change ing to much  more »
  • Since I read a book about Rev R S THomas I have wanted to visit Aberdaron and the church. On a glorious day I finally made it, though I am sure you need to visit again on a bleak day to see its contra...  more »
  • I found God here, in this little church by the sea. I feel a deep connection every time I visit I feel God deep within me. I truly love this beautiful church.
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  • This fine and distinctive Church, the “Cathedral of Llyn”, stands right on the edge of Aberdaron beach and is dedicated to St Hywyn (and to St Lleuddad) who came over from Brittany in the 6th Century. Built on the site of an ancient oratory, it is a large medieval building of two naves and a plain but handsome Norman west doorway. The second, southern, aisle was added around 1500 together with an arcade of five arches. The Church was sometimes used as a place of sanctuary for the Welsh Princes and members of their families who had an unhealthy habit of killing one another. On one of the arch pillars can be seen markings made by the sharpening of spear or arrow heads. In the graveyard there is a stone dating from 1787 and reputed to be the last man on Llyn to be hanged for sheep stealing. There were noteworthy restorations in 1868, 1906 and 2006, the most recent costing in the order of £400k. In 1841 it was feared that the church in the village would be lost to the sea and a new one was erected up the hill to the north of the village. However, in 1868 a sea wall was built and the old church was restored. R.S.Thomas, the celebrated poet, was vicar here from 1967. Displayed in the church are two early Christian stones which were found at Capel Anelog, a site on the eastern slope of Mynydd Anelog. They both appear to have been carved by the same sculptor and both record the graves of priests (presbyter). The smaller is inscribed VERACIUS/PBR(short for presbyter)/HIC/IACIT “Veracius the priest lies here” The larger reads SENACUS/PRSB/HIC IACIT/CVM MULTITV/D(I)NEM/FRATRVM/PRESB(IT)E(R) “Senacus the priest lies here with a multitude of the brethren-priest” The central words of this inscription are grammatically incorrect which indicates that even priests were then having difficulty with Latin.

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