St. Tecwyn, Llandecwyn
The ancient burial ground of Llandecwyn and its Victorian small Welsh church, which replaced a much older church in the 19th century, is on an ancient neolithic/bronze age way, now part of the newly signposted Ardudwy Way long distance path. Revd Jim Cotter started the Small Pilgrim Places Network at this church with magnificent views of Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay. (There is an outstanding view over the Dwyryd Estuary, looking down to Portmeirion, Harlech Castle to the left, mountains and the Glaslyn Estuary to the right, Rhinog mountains to the South and Snowdonia to the North.)
The church is now open again and is well worth a visit to enjoy the great quiet of the churchyard, ancient lychgate, and ancient spiritual atmosphere. St. Tecwyn seems to have founded the first mission church here in the sixth century AD. The mother church for the district is St. Tanwg’s in the dunes at Llandanwg (now also a Small Pilgrim Place) about seven miles south, founded circa AD435, often open in the summer. It is a cradle of British Christianity dating back to the decade after the leaving of the Roman legions.
The church is now open during daylight hours. There will be Welsh services during the summer which will include St Tecwyn's day, Harvest Thanksgiving and hopefully later on a Christingle.
Quiet days for individuals or groups by arrangement.
Eglwys Tecwyn Sant, St Tecwyn's Church, Llandecwyn, Gwynedd, LL47, United Kingdom
By car: From the A496 at lower Llandecwyn take the minor road steeply uphill past Cilfor and Bryn Eithin. Follow the lane to the cluster of houses at Capel Brontecwyn, turn left to the small lake Llyn Tecwyn Isaf, and take the left fork up the hill to the church. The tarmac ends at the churchyard!
By train: Llandecwyn railway station (request stop) is at the end of Pont Briwet from shere you can then walk away from the estuary and join Saint Tecwyn’s Way. (see walking instructions below)
On foot: Walkers can follow Saint Tecwyn’s Way (a leaflet is available), a 7km pilgrimage route from Saint Tecwyn’s window at the church of Llanfihangel y Traethau in Ynys (also a SPP). The route follows the Wales Coastal Path to the Pont Briwet road, with its rail and road crossing over the Dwyryd Estuary. The Wales Coastal Path turns left, so leave it here and turn right. Cross the A496 and head up the hill, passing the street of houses, Cilfor, on the right. Follow the road steeply uphill as it swings left. At the white house on the corner, Beudy Cil, turn left following the Taith Ardudwy Way, which is now followed for the remainder of the walk. Pass between the house and its garage, through the gate, and follow the path up ‘Pylon Valley’ until you reach Llyn Tecwyn Uchaf. Turn sharp right as you pass through the gate and join the track as it leads away from the lake, heading south-west. About 450 m from the lake you may spot Saint Tecwyn’s Well on your left. The church is reached after about 750m. on your right. Alternatively keep on up the steep lane to a small hamlet (Bryn Bwbach) and phone box, turn left to Llyn Tecwyn Isaf, and fork left again up a 'no through road' to the church.
Disabled Access: There is a grass path, ok (with care) for wheelchairs. There are no toilet facilities.
The cemetery can be explored, but is unsuitable for wheelchairs.
Refreshments are available at the Ship Aground Pub in Talsarnau or at Busy Bees café in Penrhyndaudraeth. Accommodation is available at Tregwylan Guest House in Talsarnau (01766 770424) and other hotels, guest houses and B & B in the area
Tel: 01766 770325