Ancient legacy of Celtic Christianity
The old church of St Merin at Aberdaron is thought to have been abandoned shortly after the Reformation in the 16th century. Little remains of the original building, with the site today comprising the foundations of the small church (31ft 6in by 16ft 9in/ 9.5m by 5m) and the surrounding square churchyard (roughly 26m square). While the walls of the church are now no more than a foot high, the churchyard wall survives to a height of 3 feet in places, though most of this is now overgrown.
Information on St Merin is scant. During the 6-7th centuries an Irish monk and missionary called St Mirin or Mirren was prior of Bangor Abbey in County Down. The prior left his home in Ireland to found a religious community near present-day Glasgow, a foundation that went on to become Paisley Abbey. Whether he ever had any association with Aberdaron and the surrounding area is unknown. Close relations existed between the so-called ‘Northern Welsh’ and their kinfolk in Gwynedd, however, as attested by the medieval Welsh written record Brut y Tywysogion (Chronicle of the Princes), ‘the men of Strathclyde’ refused to unite with the English and had to leave their country and go into Gwynedd.
Turn off B4413 west of Pen y Groeslon and then minor roads towards the sea. Near Ty Mawr Farm
Pwllheli - 15 miles
Nearest stop is Capel Rhydlios - 1 mile
Near West Llŷn Peninsula Cycle Routes
No public access. Visible from road. No parking close to site
Full Grid Map Reference: SH 173 314
OS Landranger map sheet: 123
- St Merin's Church, Aberdaron