A Gothic gem by the sea
This beautiful Grade I listed building, with its spectacular coastal setting, was originally built in the early 13th century on the orders of Hywel ap Gruffudd ap Cynan. Despite substantial reconstruction work, much of the original building survives. Today it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Early English Gothic architecture in the country, with the elaborate south doorway being of particular note.
Early maps portray the church as St Bodfan’s, though it is now more popularly known as St Mary’s. In fact the church is dedicated to both saints. In the north floor are two interesting stones, inscribed in Latin and believed to date to the 5th or 6th centuries. Known as the Calixtus Stones, they were found on land nearby and were relocated to the church in the 19th century; one of the stones had been used as a footbridge on a neighbouring farm. Their name derives from the inscription on one of the stones: CAELIXTUS MONEDO REGI. The Latin approximately translates as the ‘stone of Caelestis Monedorix’.