Dolwyddelan – St Gwyddelan’s Church


The church of St. Gwyddelan was built on the site of an earlier temple around 1500, and between 1570 and 1580 a south chapel was added to it. According to Sir John Wynn of Gwydir, who lived in the 17th century, the church was built by his ancestor Maredudd ap Ieuan, who purchased Dolwyddelan Castle in 1488 and rebuilt the church because was afraid he would be attacked by bandits in an old church far away. Around 1850, the porch and the new belfry were added.


The church from the beginning of the 16th century consisted of a rectangular nave and not externally separated chancel. The chancel from the nave was originally separated by oak rod screen. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the rectangular chapel was added from the south. It is quite unusually open to the nave with two arcades supported by a central pillar. The church is topped with a timber arch-braced trusses. A carved dragon on the coving to this ceiling above the north window is worth noticing.

Current state

It is a small and simple, late medieval rural temple, but valuable due to its original form, without many significant modernizations.

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