‘The Cathedral of Llŷn’
This beautiful coastal site, overlooking the waters of the Pen Llŷn a'r Sarnau, has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has been a place of Christian worship since the 6th century when St Hywyn, who travelled from Brittany with St Cadfan, established the first monastic settlement here – a simple wooden structure to house Hywyn and his prayer cell. The oldest surviving parts of the church date from the 12th century when Gruffudd ap Cynan replaced the earlier building with one built in stone. The site was an important stop along the pilgrim route to Bardsey Island and records show that it shared a close association with St Mary’s Abbey, founded around the same time by St Cadfan.
The church itself, an architectural gem, is known locally as ‘The Cathedral of Llŷn’. Of particular note are the exquisite Norman west door and the arcade, dating to c. 1500 and featuring elaborate, four-centred Tudor arches. Along the north-east wall are displayed two interesting carved gravestones which, owing to the inscriptions on them, are believed to be those of two early priests, Veracius and Senacus. Neither is thought to be original to the church. They were discovered in the 18th century at Mynydd Anelog, near the present-day Gors Farm.
The acclaimed poet R S Thomas (1923–2000) was vicar here from 1967 to 1978. When he retired he continued to live in the area which had proved such an enduring inspiration to his work.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
Itinerary - The Great Llyn Road Trip
application/pdf / 0.32 MB
St Hywyn's Church
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Info Point
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Wheelchair Access
Summer only 10.00 am - 3.00 pm
At end of B4413 in Aberdaron
Pwllheli - 15 miles
Nearest stop Post Office - 100 yards
On West Llŷn Peninsula Cycle Routes
On Coastal Path, Aberdaron village centre.
Wheelchair access via ramp
Full Grid Map Reference: SH173264
OS Landranger map sheet: 123
- St Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron, LL53 8BG