Clynnog Fawr, St. Beuno


A brief look at St. Beuno and the Church at Clynnog Fawr.

According to legend St Beuno seat ended up at Clynnog fawr after various wanderings. Here he built the original cell being a gift in exchange from Cadwallon for a golden rod. However a dispute arose over the ownership once the original cell had been built and its boundary well-being completed. This was due to a pervious hesitance claim, which became an ugly debate that resulted in a curse being laid on Cadwallon. The Llan became taken out of the sovereign ownership who now had no claim on it, or could not raise any tributes or services. The Llan (enclosure or later church) of St Beuno became an independent island removed from sovereign kingship in which only the Christian God or its representative had authority within its confines. In another words it acted as an independent state with its own judicial and cannon law. It to was a very imprortant class (school) during the Medieval period on North Wales.

The oldest part of the church is a stone corbel roof dating back to the early 6th century? There too is a Sundial of Irish origin placed against the south elevation with an estimated date c. 10th century. However the church was partly destroyed in 988 AD by Norse Raiders (Davies 1990, 51).


Internally the Church rood screen has been reproduced in the 16th century. Such a screen was erected originally to hide the rituals undertaken by the church ministers within the church; thus hiding their magical process from the main congregation. Generally this was a response during the rise of paganism in the 14th century and in away removing the visible magical rites of the church from view of the county folk worshipers (Scribers 1993).




The reproduction pulpit from the original design is of interest with its carved snakes.



Bowen, E.G., 1954, The Settlements of the Celtic Saints in Wales, University of Wales Press, Cardiff

Davies, W. 1990, Patterns of Power in Early Wales, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Seebohm, F., 1904, The Tribal System of Wales, Longmans, Green and co, London (2nd edition)

Scribers, R. W., 1993, 'The Reformation: Populace Magic and the Disenchantment of the World' in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 23:3 478

St. Buno, Clynnog Fawr,
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