St Grwst of the ‘Old North’
Tradition associates St Grwst with the ‘old north’. Around the year 540 he was invited by the Welsh king Maelgwyn Gwynedd to found a clas, similar to a monastery, at Llanrwst. This clas is believed to have been located at CaeLlan, near to the present-day Presbyterian chapel of Seion.
The church of St Grwst was rebuilt in the 12thcentury on land owned by Rhun ap Nefydd Hardd to atone for his father’s murder of prince Idwal, son of Owain Gwynedd. The original building was completely destroyed in the 15th century by the Yorkist Earl of Pembroke in retaliation for the sack of Denbigh. The present building, Grade I listed, dates from around this time. Built in the Perpendicular style from rubble stone and dressed limestone, the church has long associations with the aristocratic Wynn family of Gwydir, many of whom were interred here. Notable architectural features include an elaborately carved 15th-century rood screen, considered one of the finest in Wales, and a font carved with intricate organic forms.
The Gwydir Chapel was added to the church in 1633–34 by Richard Wynn, and most of the interior fittings and fixtures are original. It contains a 13th-century stone coffin, said to have belonged to Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great). In 1884 an architectural firm, Paley and Austin of Lancaster,extensively restored the church. A north aisle was added and several original features were replaced.
Itinerary - Princes of Gwynedd in the Conwy Valley
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- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
- Wheelchair Access
Llanwrst is on the A470 Llandudno Junction to Betws y Coed. Church is on road off Central Square towards river
Llanwrst - ½ mile
Bus stops in village
Conwy Valley bike route
From Glasdir carpark walk along the river to the church
Full Grid Reference Number: SH 797616
OS Landranger map sheet: 115,116
- 01492 640223
- St Grwst's Church, Church Street, Llanrwst, LL26 0LE