9. St. Peulan's - Llanbeulan

Unusual Crucifix

Introduction

You don't drive to this church, you don't even walk. You take part in a procession. From entering the access gate you are taking a walk far older than the building itself. Everything about the journey to this church feels like part of a ritual, and one of the rewards when you get there is to see a piece of history that should be regarded as one of the top 10 wonders of Wales.

All that and a you get to take a walk in a little known and staggeringly beautiful part of the island too...

A Visit

Parking at the end of the track that leads to the church, you may at first be out off by the distance, and the mud around the tricky to open gate. Don't be. The walk of about 200m is on a grassy causeway that looks down onto fields of sheep with the church always ahead. Although founded in 630AD, much of the present church dates back to the 12th century, with major additions in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Venture into the unlit interior via the 14th century South Chapel and you feel you have entered a time capsule. Straight backed ranks of plain pews line the 12th century Nave, face a Chancel withThe Nave plain leaded lights and a starkly minimalist cross in front of them. The communion table having, sadly, succombed to vandals in the 1990s. A panel on one of nearby stalls proclaims it to be 'The seate of William Bold of Treyddol, Esquire 1664'. Bold indeed to stake a claim in this place, and two years before London was consumed by its 'great fire'. Also worth seeing, especially if you have a guide that can play it is the superbly wheezy, though melodious organ, dating back to 1888 and it sounds superb too, echoing off these ancient walls.

Walking back into the Nave you pass through the rows of pews until you find the font. This squat piece of sandstone is a remarkable piece of history. Three of its four sides are decorated with carvings, the two ends in typical, though widely differing, Celtic styles (top right), the main panel in Romanesque. That such a piece is still in situ in a remote Anglesey church and not spirited away to a soulless museum is quite remarkable. This is a true wonder of Wales.The organist

When you feel you can tear yourself away from it's atmospheric interior take the time to stroll around the churchyard and take in the setting and the how well it fits in. One last oddity is that the stile from the churchyard back to the trackway is made from fragments of early carved stonework monuments.

This church is a truly unknown gem of Welsh history.
Few, even on the island of Anglesey know of it, yet it is an extraordinary place. Take the trouble to visit and be rewarded with subtle gem, history worthy of the finest museum in a church that sits in the finest of countryside. Since 2004 the church has been in the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches.

Some views of St. Peulan's, click on each for the full size picture

The Font
The Nave, South Chapel to the left

The Bold Pew

Crist y Brenin


Location

map

NGR: SH 372 745: Leaving tal y Llyn, continue towards Gwalchmai. Turn left at the 1st crossroads at Dothan. Keep right for 2 miles, the church is on the left in a dip across fields

Access: Ring either 01407 810412 or 810448
Wheelchair access: Difficult, it may be possible to drive as far as the churchyard gate and gain access from there, but it would be a good idea to check first.
Service Times: Infrequent.
Local Amenities: Gwalchmai and Bryngwran both have village shops and pubs, and Gwalchmai has a takeaway.

While you're in the area:

Henblas Country Park is a working farm that welcomes visitors. It hosts traditional craftworkers as well as letting you get close to the animals.
Nant y Pandy - 'The Dingle' in nearby Llangefni is a combination of woodland walk and llanddwyn islandsculptute trail it's wooden walkways follow the river Cefni through mature woodland, with stunning wooden sculptures along the way.

Visiting? You can download this page as a printable .pdf file HERE (187 Kb)

Next Stop on the Trail >>>
No.10 Holy Rood

With advance notice it may be possible to arrange for churches to be open for visitors and to arrange guides for parties.
Refreshments can also be arranged for parties.

For churches 1-4, call 01407 840190 ~ For churches 5-9, call 01407 810412 or 810448 or email HERE