Clynnog Fawr – St Beuno’s church

History

The church in Clynnog Fawr was built in the English perpendicular gothic style in the years 1480-1486, and at the beginning of the sixteenth century it was enlarged, including the tower and the sacristy. The previous temple that was in this place was burned by the Vikings, and the next destroyed by the Normans. The new church at the end of the fifteenth century received the dignity of collegiate, as one of only six in Wales. It was an important stop for pilgrims heading to the island of Bardsey. The building has been repeatedly restored at various times, including, among others, in the years 1848-1856, 1913, 1924, 1926 and 1940.

Architecture

The church from the late fifteenth century consisted of a rectangular nave and two short transept. At the beginning of the 16th century, the western part of the nave was extended, and at its west end a tower was erected. It has large, gothic windows with traceries on the top floor and is topped with a decorative battlement. Decorative crenellation is also extended along the entire length of the nave and transept, and the corners of the building are crowned with pinnacles. On the north side, a two-story sacristy was added to the nave in the 16th century. Inside the chancel are stalls from around 1500 and a medieval wooden chest, made of one piece of ash, used to collect donations offered by pilgrims. The churchyard has a sundial dated to the end of the tenth century, the beginning of the twelfth century. The church is connected by a passage with a 16th-century chapel next to it, which according to tradition is located in the place of the early medieval hermitage of St. Beuno.

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bibliography:
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website walesdirectory.co.uk, St Beuno’s Church.
Website wikipedia.org, Clynnog Fawr.