Where to go, what to see, where to stay in Wales

Home | St Mary and All Saints Church, Pictures of and information about St Mary's and All Saints Church, Conwy, North Wales
Wales > Ancient Churches >  St Mary's and All Saints Church, Conwy

Add to Favourites

Ancient Churches:

Attractions:

Click for Hotels  nearby

Hotels nearby >

Click for cottages nearby

Cottages nearby >

 

St Mary and All Saints Church, Conwy was founded in the 12th Century as the abbey church of the Cistercian Abbey of Aberconwy. This was the burial place of many of the Princes of Gwynedd, including Gruffydd ap Cynan, Llewelyn ap Maelgwyn, Llywelyn the Great (Llywelyn Fawr), and his sons Dafydd and Gruffydd. After King Edward 1's conquest of Wales in 1283 Edward chose to build Conwy Castle and it's fortified town on the site and forced removal of the Abbey to Maenan in the Conwy valley. Llywelyn the Great's  body, buried in 1240 AD was removed to Maenan and then, on the dissolution of the monasteries, to Llanrwst Church, where the coffin can still be seen.

St Mary's became the Parish church for the new English town of Conway. 

Parts of the walls, notably on the north side, survive from the original 12th century Abbey church. While the lower stages of the tower, the south transept and the porches, were erected in the 14th century. In the 15th century the tower was completed, and the aisle roofs were raised in the 16th century. Parts of the interior to note are the 15th Century rood screen, once probably the finest in North Wales, and the medieval chancel stalls.

There are many interesting slate gravestones in the churchyard and one tomb in particular containing seven brothers and sisters is marked "We Are Seven." It is said to have inspired the poet William Wordsworth to write his poem of the same name.

A Simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven!--I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little Maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!"


Open Days: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday before and after services.

Directions:

Although the church is in Conwy town centre many visitors to the town fail to see the church as the surrounding buildings including those of High Street and Castle Street obstruct the view of the Church.
There are entrances to the church from Church Lane, High Street, Castle Street and Rose Hill Street.

 

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

More ancient Welsh Churches :

 

Related tourist information links :

 Conwy > Deganwy > Llandudno >   Llanberis > Caernarfon > Bangor > Beaumaris >

Wales tourist information Map >>

Walesdirectory.co.uk, where you can find ancient churches in Wales

Go to tourist Map of Wales >>

.Home |
| Copyright ©   Bernard Wellings   2007|
Wales tourist information Wales tourist attractions Holiday Cottages in Wales Hotels in Wales Bed and Breakfast in Wales Towns in Wales and the Welsh Borders, tourist information, pictures, and a bit of history A selection of Welsh historic sites