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Llangwyfan Church

Cribinau, Anglesey

Location Guide

The 13th century church of Llangwyfan, St Cwyfan's, stands on Cribinau, a small tidal island off the south west coast of Anglesey, the nearest village is Aberffraw. It can be reached on foot at low tide via a causeway, which the sea can cover quite quickly at high tide.

The church appears to have been in existence in 1254 and was dedicated to St. Cwyfan. It was added to in the 14th and 15th centuries and was much larger than the building which exists today. 

St Cwyfan taken from the graveyard  Photo by Eric Jones

It is a stone rubble walled building consisting of a continuous nave and chancel. The earliest part is the western part of the south wall. The details of the building are otherwise 14th-15th century with a 15th-16th century three bay arcade on the north side marking the position of a now vanished aisle. A south porch has also vanished. The roof is thought to be 16th century. By 1891 the building was a roofless ruin and it was restored in 1893-4.

Over time the sea eroded the site of the church until the graves started to fall into the water.  In the 19th century, to prevent the church falling into the sea, parts of the church had to be demolished and at the same time a protective wall was built around it. All the windows were restored about 40 years ago. The church is once again in a perilous condition and funds are being raised in order to continue to look after it.

It is known locally as Eglwys bach y mor (the church in the sea) or simply as Cwyfan, and remains in use but there are few services held today, it is popular for weddings and christenings. Special arrangements have to be made to enter the church on a passing visit.

17th century maps show the church standing on the mainland of Anglesey, but erosion by the sea of the cliffs has since separated the church onto an island. An engraving of 1846 shows an islet reached by a causeway and by 1889 a first edition OS map of Anglesey shows a wall running around the summit of the islet slopes, but this had gone by the time of the 2nd edition in 1900. The present wall is shown on the 3rd edition of 1922.

St Cwyfan from the Mainland  Photo by Stephen Roddick

Location: St Cwyfan's Church, Llangwyfan, Anglesey

Grid Reference: SH335682 Ceremonial County: Anglesey

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: Multimap

Getting there: From Aberffraw take the road to Penrhyn and Porth Cwyfan beach. A short walk along the Anglesey Coastal Path    will take you within range of the island.

Access: At low tide when it's possible to get over the causeway. Access to church by special arrangement.
Other Useful Websites: Wiki      Aberffraw     Geograph
Address: Aberffraw, Isle of Anglesey
Postcode: LL63 5YR Telephone:
Opening Times: Island at low tide, church open by special arrangement only

Charges: FREE

Nearby Locations: Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber
Other Location Pages: Anglesey Coastal Path 
Other Relevant Pages: Anglesey Attractions    Anglesey Attractions Map







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By: Tracey Park Section: Abbey and Religious Building Section Key:
Page Ref: Llangwyfran_Church Topic: Churches Last Updated: 07/2010


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