Sited just off the Anglesey Coastal Path near Cemlyn, with no direct road access, the early medieval church of St Rhwydrys stands in a circular ‘llan’ (or enclosure), indicating a very early foundation. St Rhwydrys is said to have been the son of King Rodrem of Connaught in Ireland, arriving around 570AD to build his church here on a promontory facing his homeland. Far from any village, the church has long served the scattered farms of this remote area and now attracts walkers and pilgrims from across the UK.
Listed Grade II*, the present building largely dates from the 12th and 13th centuries (including, unusually, a roof supported on cruck – curved – roof timbers), and a rare 18th century gallery at the west end. The church is never locked and the rounded 12th century doorway leads past the equally ancient font into a simply furnished but deeply atmospheric building. It is one of three small churches designated ‘betysai’ or ‘houses of prayer’ in the Bro Padrig Ministry Area.
The churchyard is surrounded by a rough stone wall, which includes a lych-gate (also listed) and the silence is broken only by the sound of the waves on the shore beyond the low cliffs. Among the graves in this peaceful place are those of a Norwegian ship’s master drowned near Cemlyn, and a young RAF Pilot Officer.
This information also appears on ExploreChurches, the website of the National Churches Trust.
For further information and location please visit Explore Churches, the website of the National Churches Trust where you can find a map showing the church's location.
Please ensure the door is firmly closed to keep out straying cattle or sheep!
Nearest parking at National Trust Bryn Aber (grid ref SH329936).