St Tanwg's Church, Llandanwg, Merionethshire
Dedication: St Tanwg
Built: 13th centuries
Extended: 15th century
The present church at Llandanwg, set immediately behind the beach (and usually partially-buried) may be of 13th century origin, with a 15th century extension. The presence of two 6th century inscribed stones and a cross-incised stone imply early activity here (it is at the mouth of the Artro, the principal river of Ardudwy), as does the dedication to St Tanwg, traditionally a Breton saint who accompanied Cadfan to Bardsey. There are many 17th and 18th century burials at different levels in the churchyard implying a thriving local population, although the church fell out of use in 1841 when a new one was built in Harlech, which was then expanding its population. [Source: Gwynedd Archaeological Trust website (PRN 18237)]
The ancient and atmospheric church of St Tanwg is situated in the sand dunes at Llandanwg. The church is reputed to have been founded in the fifth century by St Tanwg and can be said to be one of the oldest Christian foundations in Britain. The present building dates to the early Medieval period.
The church was extended in the fourteenth century, when a large traceried window was set into the new East gable and a rood screen, which unfortunately has not survived, was installed to separate the chancel from the main body of the church. The walls were once decorated with texts in Gothic lettering and the windows glazed with coloured glass. By the seventeenth century the sandstone tracery of the windows in the chancel had decayed to such a point as to render them unsafe and they were replaced with mullioned windows. Parts of the walls were replastered and whitewashed in 1789 which destroyed the Medieval decoration. [Source: Snowdonia Guide website]