St Mary’s Church

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This is a tiny Llyn church set next to a farm, just off B4417 between Tudweiliog and Llangynnadl. The road is unsigned and we nearly missed the turn as coniferous trees have been planted along the side of the road since we last visited 15 years ago. It is a delightful setting on top of a ridge with views across the flat farmland to the sea at Traeth Penllech.

The church is no longer used and is looked after by the Friends of Friendless Churches and has been carefully restored.

A church was first mentioned on the site in 1254 but was rebuilt in 1840. Parts of the original building survive in the lower parts of the north wall. It is a timeless rectangular building with slate roof and tiny bellcote.

The inside of the church avoided the Victorian makeover and still retains its light, airy Georgian interior with whitewashed walls, large plain glass windows, beige woodwork and strut beam roof. The rail along the nave walls would have had pegs to hold hats during the service.

The simple bench pews have a candlestick in the centre for light. Near the front are box pews for the gentry.

Two steps lead up to the chancel with a tiny altar which is completely dwarfed by the large three decker pulpit with candle holders and sounding board above with an eight ray sunburst on the under side. In front of the pulpit is a pew type enclosure with a bench cupboard. At the back is a medieval rough stone font on a whitewashed support. Propped up against the wall are two coffin biers.

The church is set in a small graveyard with a blackthorn hedge round it and red clover, bluebells, buttercups, wild carrot, speedwell, plantains and grasses. Judging by the height of the grass, few people visit the church.

It is a delightful spot, untouched by time.

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