(St Celynnin's Church)
1,000ft above the village of Henryd in the foothills of the Snowdonia National Park is one of Conwy's best kept secrets! St Celynnin's Church.. The church was built around the 12th century and the stone porch was added 300 hundred years later. Our ancestors would have navigated the steep winding tracks to worship in the church.
However, the history of this place goes back further than the church building. Near the church are traces of an ancient community, with standing stones, hut circles, hill forts and a Roman route.
In the 6th century, the Celtic saints began to set up their “Ilan” ( Welsh for enclosures)
from which they preached. These enclosures were usually by the sea, near a river or high in the hills. St Celynnin chose this site perhaps because there was already an established community in the hills bustling with pilgrims and herdsmen. This must have been a popular route because there was even an inn outside the churchyard to help weary travellers quench their thirst.
In the churchyard is a small walled rectangular pool of water. This is St Celynnin's Holy Well, renowned for its power to predict the fate of sick children, or to cure them. Parents would throw items of their sick child's clothing into the water. If the clothes floated, their child would live, but if the clothes sank, the child was destined to die of the illness.
St Celynnin's Church is a member of Conwy County Borough Council's
Sacred Doorways Project.