Llanrhychwyn Church on Llanrhychwyn travel guide
Travel Guide for Wales and England >  Churches and Chapels in Wales and England >  Llanrhychwyn Church
Supposedly the oldest surviving church in Wales, Llanrhychwyn is known as Llewelyn the Great’s old church, (Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth or Llywelyn Fawr) used before he built Trefriw in 1230. The church has many interesting features including a very old square font, and a very early example of stained glass in the east window. The oldest part of the present church dates from the late 11th century. Llywelyn had a hunting lodge in Trefriw, and he and his his wife Siwan, or Joan, the youngest daughter of King John of England would climb the steep hill to Llanrhychwyn church. Joan understandably grew weary of the climb and as a result, in about 1230, Llywelyn endowed another church on the valley floor on the site where St Mary's Church of Trefriw now stands.

The church is a good example of primitive architecture. The Eastern aisle was added in the 13th century, and the north aisle dates from the 16th century. The roof beams, some 800 years old, are the earliest example in Wales. The ancient oak door has wooden hinges, and the bell, which dates from the 13th century, possibly came from Maenan Abbey. The altar rails date from 1616, and the pulpit from 1691. The chalice is dated 1614 and is of an ornate design. Registers date from 1594. These days, services are only held in Llanrhychwyn church during the summer months, and on special occasions.





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