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St Michael's Church is an ancient church that sits on the banks of the Afon Conwy in the small inland resort of Betws y Coed, Conwy County, north Wales.

Built in the 14th century St Michael's Church is the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed but with the coming of St Michael's Church Betws y Coedthe Conwy Valley Railway Line the  old church was left cut off from the village and was eventually replaced by the parish church of St Mary's in 1873. St Michael's lay slumbering peacefully throughout the twentieth century but by the early 1990's it was in a sorry state, with a leaking roof and associated plaster damage ­ and it was urgently in need of repair work. But help was at hand, not from the official Welsh heritage organisation, Cadw, nor from the Church in Wales, but from a small group of people known as the Friends of St Michael’s. The "Friends" raised both awareness of the building, and money to preserve it. Nowadays hundreds of people visit St Michael’s in Betws-y-Coed in beautiful Snowdonia every year, and there are many different reasons for appreciating this simple and humble building. Visitors from all over the world come and enjoy the oldest building in the village. I was particularly fascinated by the lifesize stone effigy of the local Knight known as Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch, grandson of Dafydd, the brother of Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, the last true Prince of Wales.

It was a glorious late summers day when I visited the church and the churchyard with it's beautiful Welsh slate gravestones and the massive overhanging yew trees still retains the charming atmosphere that was much appreciated by the many Victorian artists who visited and painted this beautiful old church in Betws y Coed.

I visited St Michael's church on the day of the 2007 Flower Festival and although I liked the beautiful display of flowers I have to say that I appreciated even more the excellent work of the "Friends of St Michael's" in restoring this beautiful old church.

 

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

The Lych gate at St Michael's Church Betws y Coed
The old Yew tree at St Michael's Church
The Lych gate at St Michael's Church, Betws y Coed
 
The old Yew tree in the grave yard of St Michael's Church
 
stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch, grandson of Dafydd, the brother of Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales
 
The stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch

More ancient Welsh Churches :

                                                                        Walks in the Conwy Valley >

 

Related tourist information links :

Betws y Coed > Llanrwst > Dolwyddelan >

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