Llanbadrig Church near Cemaes, the old Church of Saint Patrick's, Anglesey Wales
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Exit the A55 at junction 3. Take the A5025 from Valley. Bypass Cemaes Bay and take the first left after leaving Cemaes. Follow the signs to Llanbadrig Church

Llanbadrig Church
The Church of Llanbadrig (St Patrick's Church) is situated on Llanbadrig Point near Cemaes Bay on the north coast of Anglesey, North Wales. The old church was established in the 5th Century AD and local legend insists that St Patrick was shipwrecked on Middle Mouse the small island just offshore from the site of the church (also known as Ynys Badrig). On reaching the mainland Patrick found refuge in the cave(Ogof Badrig) below the churchyard where he was refreshed from a fresh water well (Ffynnon Badrig) and eventually recovered and founded the church as a thanks offering to God for his rescue from a watery grave.

The earliest church, of which nothing remains, would have been of wattle and daub construction. The nearest date that can be put on its construction in stone is the 12th Century as evidenced by the stone font positioned within the nave of the church.
Llanbadrig church

This original stone church would have been a smaller structure than the present building with the nave and chancel combined. Further enlargements and alterations took place during the 14th Century and also the late 15th or early 16th Century.

As is common to many Welsh churches the Victorians undertook renovations in the mid 19th Century, but it was in 1884 that the history of the old church took a different route than your average Welsh Church. This came about by the intervention of Lord Stanley of Alderley. The Lord Stanley had converted to Islam, and had indeed married a Spanish lady, Fabia Santiago, and after agreeing to finance works of restoration on the church insisted that the works should reflect some elements of his Muslim faith. Thus we have the rare sight of arabic style tiles on the walls of an old Welsh church, and warm Mediterranean colours set in the stained glass windows that look out over the stormy Irish Sea.

As you enter the church today look closely at the large stone fixed against the west wall. The carvings on the stone (known as the Ichthus Stone) again remind us of the middle east, but the crude markings this time represent the early Christian symbols of the fish and a palm tree. The carvings are probably representative of the 9th to the 11th Century gravestones of which there are several to be found in Anglesey.

But the stone itself is now accepted as having been used for more than one purpose - research has shown it is almost identical to a standing stone in the middle of a large field near Llanerchymedd and it is now accepted to be some 4500 years old.
Llanbadrig Church Chancel

In 1868 the then vicar came upon an old chest below the altar and inside he found a rare example of a silver gilt Elizabethan drinking cup. The cup is still used on special occassions.

In 1864 a new church was built in Cemaes itself and this led to the old church falling into some disrepair. In 1985 considerable renovations were undertaken to Llanbadrig but soon after reopening a bad person set fire to the building and a large psrt of the church was destroyed.

But within 2 years the church was again rebuilt showing that there are both good persons and bad persons in every age and that the history of this old church is ongoing.

The congregation of the Church of Llanbadrig appreciate the history of the church and indeed want to share it with others. With the help of volunteers the church is open from May through September enabling others to also become part of the history of Llanbadrig Church.

Subject to availability of stewards the church is open from 10.00am. until 12 noon and from 2.00pm. until 4.00pm between May and September.

Information on these and many more items of interest within the church are available in a leaflet obtainable from a table at the back of the church (a small donation is appreciated).
Ichthus Stone or Llanbadrig Stone

I have visited churches whose buildings have more character than Llanbadrig. Old churches where the walls bulge and bend, where ancient oak beams sag under the weight of thick Welsh slates. Llanbadrig does not have this but what it does have, in abundance, is an atmosphere based on its fantastic location and the history of the site.

As with many churches set on the ancient sites where the Saints built their "Llans" in the 5th and 6th Century the stones are not the original stones the roof is not the original roof. Patrick's church would have been a simple structure of wattle and daub.

But the building we see today sits on the same rugged peninsula, with the waves crashing against the rocks below the graveyard. A walk across Llanbadrig Point and the legend of Llanbadrig becomes alive. A scramble down the rock face and Ogof Badrig becomes more than the name of a cave, but the refuge that it was for Patrick after his miraculous escape from the swirling waters between Middle Mouse and the mainland. The water that trickles down the rock face from within the cave can be seen to be the holy well that gave him succour. And the land on which is built the old church becomes Patrick's Llan, the holy ground that Patrick offered in thanksgiving to God.


Llanbadrig church St Patrick's Church
Llanbadrig graveyard
1.Llanbadrig Church 2.Llanbadrig Church graveyard
Llanbadrig Point or Llanbadrig Head
Llanbadrig Church gateway
3.Llanbadrig Point or Head 4.Llanbadrig Church Gateway .
Llanbadrig Church gravestone
Llanbadrig Church 12th Century Font
5.Llanbadrig Church gravestone 6.12th Century Stone Font
Ichthus Stone or Llanbadrig Stone
Llanbadrig Church Chancel
7.Ichthus Stone or Llanbadrig Stone 8.Llanbadrig Church Chancel and Nave
Llanbadrig Church East window and Good Shepherd
Llanbadrig Church fire disaster photograph
9.Llanbadrig Church East Window and Good Shepherd 10.Llanbadrig Church fire disaster photograph
Click to enlarge the pictures. All pictures © copyright Bernard Wellings Klick Internet Services Ltd.
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