St Aelhaearns Church, Churches and Chapels Llanaelhaearn, Gwynedd - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


Llyn Peninsula Llanaelhaearn Gwynedd Wales
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St Aelhaearn’s Church is located in the middle of the village of Llanaelhaearn, on the Llyn peninsula in Gwynedd, West Wales. The church is named after Aelhaearn, a disciple of Saint Beuno who came to the area in the 5th to 6th Century, the time known in Wales as the “age of the Saints” (in England the period is known as the “Dark Ages”). St Aelhaearn’s Church is part of the Diocese of Bangor.| The church is cruciform in layout with a nave, sanctuary and a north and south transept. The nave dates from the 12th or early 13th Century and the transepts from the 16th or 17th century. The rather tall bell-cote dates from 1744 and contains one of Ashton's of Wigan’s bells. In 1892 the chancel was lengthened and rebuilt along with a new vestry which reused some of the old timbers. The rebuilt 14th century east window is of three equal lancets and consists entirely of local work. The ceiling is modern although three wooden trusses from the Middle Ages have been reused. The rood screen, containing six tracery heads, dates from the 16th century.| Within the church, on a wall in the north transept, can be found an early Christian inscribed stone. The stone was found in 1865 in a field close by called Saint's Garden. It is a pillar stone 1.3m high, with a two line vertical inscription in Roman capitals. It dates to the 5th or 6th century and reads- ALIORTVS ELMETIACO(S) HIC IACIT or "Aliortus a man of Elmet lies here". Elmet is the district around Leeds in England, an independent kingdom in 5th Century Britain. The stone shows the persistence of local loyalties even when people had travelled far from home.| Another early Christian stone can be found south of the church gate. The inscription reads: ME.LIT.V(S) (lies here). This is an important early Christian stone as it is thought to be in its original position.| The church is on the Pilgrim road to Bardsey Island and pilgrims from the east would visit the church after visiting St Winifrides, Holywell, St Asaph’s in Denbighshire and St Beuno's Church, Clynnog. An English service is held every first Sunday in the month at 5:00. A welsh service is held every Sunday at 10:00 or 10:15. The contact for the keyholder (2010) is 07787953887.
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