Explore an ancient Christian site, half buried in sand dunes
This stunning little church, set amidst the sand dunes of Ardudwy, near Harlech, is dedicated to St Tanwg, after whom the village is named. It is one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain, perhaps the oldest to have a continuous Christian history.
The current Grade II listed building is medieval in origin, with the earliest sections dating to the 13th century. The church largely escaped the well-meaning restorations of the Victorian era and is notable for a series of ancient inscribed stones, which are housed here. They include the Ingenvus Stone, believed to date to the 5th century; it is 8 feet (2.4 metres) in length and inscribed with the name ‘INGENUUS’. The rock type points to an origin in County Wicklow, Ireland. Another gravestone, a fragment of a much larger original thought to date from the 6th century, is inscribed ‘EQUESTRIS NOMINE’, ‘By the Name of Equester’. A third stone is inscribed with the words ‘GERONTI HIC IACET FILI SPECTATI’, ‘Here lies Gerontius, son of Spectatus’. None of the names can be ascribed to any known historical figure.
- Accessible by Public Transport
Minor road to sea leaving the A496 south of Harlech
Llandanwg station - 100 yards
Nearest bus stop at railway station
NCN Route 8 nearby
No wheelchair access
Full Grid Reference: SH 568282
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
- Church of St Tanwg, Llandanwg