A hidden gem, in a secluded corner of north west Anglesey, with monastic, artistic, poetic, lifeboat and bone setting links!
Sited just off the Anglesey Coastal Path near Cemlyn, with no direct road access, the early medieval church of St Rhwydrys stands in a circular ‘llan’ (or enclosure), indicating a very early foundation.
St Rhwydrys is said to have been the son of King Rodrem of Connaught in Ireland, arriving around 570AD to build his church here on a promontory facing his homeland. Far from any village, the church has long served the scattered farms of this remote area and now attracts walkers and pilgrims from across the UK.
Listed Grade II*, the present building largely dates from the 12th and 13th centuries; including an unusual roof supported on cruck, curved, roof timbers, and a rare 18th century gallery at the west end. The church is never locked and the rounded 12th century doorway leads past the equally ancient font into a simply furnished but deeply atmospheric building.
The churchyard is surrounded by a rough stone wall, which includes a lych gate and the silence is broken only by the sound of the waves on the shore beyond the low cliffs. Among the graves in this peaceful place are those of a Norwegian ship’s master drowned near Cemlyn, and a young RAF Pilot Officer.