Explore St Hywyn’s church in Aberdaron

St.Hywyn church, Aberdaron, Llyn Peninsula

Follow a path through time and discover St Hywyn's, the last stopping point for pilgrims before crossing to Bardsey isle of 20,000 saints. Follow in their footsteps and visit one of the most beautiful places in Wales.

St Hywyn's Church

Known as the 'Cathedral of Llŷn', the church of St Hywyn is in a striking location at the edge of the beach in the pretty village of Aberdaron, the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Set off in the footsteps of pilgrims

In the Middle Ages there were two main pilgrim routes, along the north and south coasts of the peninsula. They met at Aberdaron. It was here that pilgrims waited and prepared themselves for the short, but dangerous crossing to Bardsey island.

Step inside

One of the most interesting architectural features of St Hywyn's is the wonderful Norman west door. But, perhaps even more intriguing are a pair of carved stones displayed against the north east wall.

The stones are thought to be the gravestones of two early priests, Veracius and Senacus. It is possible that the priests were members of a small religious community here.

The inscriptions

The left hand stone is inscribed, 'VERACIUS PBR HIC IACIT' which translates as 'Veracius priest lies here'. The right hand stone is inscribed 'SENACUS PRSB HIC IACIT CUM MULTITU DNEM FRATRUM PRESBYTER', which translates as 'Senacus priest lies here with many brethren priests'. Some historians believe this could be a reference to the tradition that 20,000 saints are buried on Bardsey.

The stones are two water-worn boulders in their natural state, but the lettering is careful and sophisticated. The inscriptions cannot be dated more closely than late fifth or early sixth centuries.

 

Learn about Aberdaron's history and culture
Aberdaron beach in Llŷn Peninsula, Gwynedd

Your journey starts here

St Hywyn’s is located in the pretty village of Aberdaron, a special place where the land meets the sea. You can experience the Wales Coast Path and enjoy sandy beaches, small cafés and shops. Our coastal centre of excellence, Porth y Swnt (also in Aberdaron), provides you with a gateway to explore Llŷn.

Go on an extraordinary adventure and get a taste of what this unique peninsula has to offer. It's just the sort of inspiration you need before setting off in the footsteps of pilgrims.