A stroll through the Trawsfynydd landscape
St John Roberts was a Catholic priest executed for treason at Tyburn, Middlesex on 10th December 1610. Considered a martyr by the Catholic Church, Roberts became a staunch opponent of the Reformation after converting to Catholicism while visiting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, he had shown such compassion to the poor of London that the crowd at this public spectacle turned on the executioners, insisting that Roberts be hanged until dead rather than being disembowelled alive as was the norm. A relic of his finger is kept at Gellilydan Church, not far from Trawsfynydd.
St John Roberts' Trail commemorates the life and achievements of this son of Trawsfynydd. Tucked between the Rhinog and Moelwyn mountain ranges, the trail passes through one of the most extensive and best preserved Bronze Age landscapes in the country. The trail begins at the medieval St Madryn’s Church, Trawsfynydd, where St John Roberts is believed to have been baptised, then winds its way toward Cymer Abbey, near Dolgellau, where Roberts is thought to have received his early education. His birthplace at Rhiw Goch, near Trawsfynydd, is now a pub and restaurant. An exhibition at the Llys Ednowain Heritage Centre in Trawsfynydd celebrates the life of the Welsh martyr.
- Accessible by Public Transport
Trail runs from Trawsfynydd to Cymer Abbey north of Dolgellau on the A470
Barmouth - 19 miles, Blaenau Ffestiniog - 10 miles
Trawsfynydd bus stop
Near the NCN Route 8
Cistercian Way has route planners
Full Figure Grid Reference (Trail starts at St Madryn’s Church): SH 706356, Cymer Abbey: SH 721195
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
- Abaty Cymer / Cymer Abbey
- 01443 336000
- St John Roberts' Trail, Trawsfynydd