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St Cybi's Church HolyheadSt Cybi's Church overlooks the harbour in Holyhead. Which is not surprising when the history of the site is known. The site was originally a Roman Fort and naval base used to defend the Island from marauding pirates in the Irish Sea. After the departure of the Romans from Britain the site was gifted to Cybi by Maelgwyn, the 6th Century King of Gwynedd, where he founded a monastery. To this day the remains of the walls of the Roman Fort butt up to the walls of St Cybi's Church and indeed form a peaceful area within the bustling ferry-port town of Holyhead.

The remains of the Roman walls, with the corner towers still standing, are some 13ft, 4m, in height and 5ft, 1.5m thick with the corner towers being 16ft, 5m in diameter.

The original church was founded in the 6th Century by the Cornish saint Cybi and the church has suffered a violent history, being sacked by the Vikings in the 10th Century and by the English during the Glyndwr Rebellion in the 15th Century. During the Glyndwr Rebellion Henry IV's army invaded Anglesey from Ireland and sadly, when Henry's men returned to Dublin, they took with them St. Cybi's shrine and relics. Another assault on the church took place in the 17th Century when Cromwell's soldiers systematically destroyed the interior windows, font, tombs and statues.
The present day church is perpendicular in style. The chancel is 13th Century with the rest being 15th to The wall of the roman Fort at St Cybi's Holyhead16th Century. There are fine stained glass windows, and beautiful stone carvings from different ages on the parapet and in the porch.

I have included some pictures of the stone carvings below and you can find similar stone work on the churches of St Mary's in Mold and St Winefride's in Holywell, (both churches were commissioned by Margaret Beaufort the mother of Henry Tudor).

Directions:    [ Map of St Cybi's Church Holyhead   ]

The Church is located between the new Celtic Gateway Bridge and Stanley Street in the centre of Holyhead.

Map opens in a new window

 

Please - click on the pictures - for enlarged pictures of St Cybi's Church, Holyhead. © All pictures and text copyright Bernard Wellings

The view from the north east showing the Chancel with the bell tower in the background St Cybi's Church bell tower detail
The view from the north east showing the Chancel of St Cybi's on the left, with the bell tower in the background
 
Detail of St Cybi's Church bell tower with a magpie in attendance
The roman wall abutting the bell tower of St Cybi's   South gable of St Cybi's Church
The roman wall abutting the bell tower of St Cybi's
 
Close up of the south gable of St Cybi's Church
Close up of the stone carvings along the parapet of St Cybi's
St Cybi's Church stone carving of a lion and dragon rampant
Close up of the stone carvings along the parapet of St Cybi's
 
St Cybi's Church stone carving of Coat of Arms being held by what looks like a lion and dragon
Grotesque carving on St Cybys Church This appears to be a Draig Goch , a Red Dragon
Grotesque carving on St Cybys Church. I'm not sure what they depict.
 
This appears to be a Draig Goch, a Red Dragon, and an angel on the upper left
Stone carving of an eagle feeding it's young   Stone sculpted into the shape of a dragon on St Cybi's
Stone carved into the shape of what appears to be an eagle feeding it's young
 
Stone sculpted into the shape of a dragon on St Cybi's

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