Aberdaron – St Hywyn’s Church


The parish church of St. Hywyn in Aberdaron dates back to the 12th century, but its beginnings date back to as much as the 5th-7th century AD. Its great importance resulted from the location near the harbor, from where ships sailed to the abbey on the island of Bardsey, which in the Middle Ages was a significant place of pilgrimage. To accommodate a large number of pilgrims, the church was enlarged in the 12th century, and the travelers were fed in the Great Kitchen (Y Gegin Fawr) next to the church. Another major expansion of St. Hywyn’s church took place at the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century, when the second nave was added. The fall of the temple began with the period of the Reformation; in 1841 the church was already in ruins and was abandoned. A new temple was built in the area, but it was so unpopular that in 1868 St. Hywyn’s church was renovated. Subsequent repair works were carried out in the 20th century.


The church is a two-nave structure on a rectangular plan with no externally separated chancel. The northern nave was erected in the 12th century probably on the site of an older structure, and the southern nave was added at the end of the 15th century. In the northern part of the western facade there is a romanesque portal leading to a spacious interior, separated by fifteenth-century arcades and a remarkable timber hammerbeam roof. Among the original equipment there is a medieval stoup and baptismal font and two carved stones commemorating a couple of priests from the 5th and 6th centuries.

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Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website wikipedia.org, St Hywyn’s Church, Aberdaron.