Llangwyfan

Llangwyfan is pleasingly off the beaten track, situated a few miles east of Denbigh and on the western edge of the Clwydian Range.  Only minor roads serve the hamlet now, and this adds to the sense of calm and serenity one feels on approaching the settlement.  It is possibly one of the reasons why the hospital, discussed elsewhere, was built specifically for tuberculosis patients.

 

First mentioned in recorded history in 1254 as ‘Langriffin’, the settlement then simply disappeared from mention until 1535, as ‘Llan Goyffen’ and more frequently thereafter.  The saint to whom the place is dedicated is thought to be to the obscure St Cwyfan, better known as St Kevin of Glendalough of Irish birth, and interestingly famous as a hermit, which does rather fit with Llangwyfan's relative isolation.  St Bridget's at Dyserth was originally dedicated to St Cwyfan, and the rather fabulous Maen Achwyfan bears his name.  Why so would be an interesting question to explore.

 

Hubbard describes the church of St Gwyfan as an, ‘endearing little single chamber’ with a ‘wobbly roof’.  The church is indeed charming with its little bellcote, but protective rendering has ultimately obscured any traces of medieval work.  What is visible dates largely post medieval although it is thought the south door could be 14th century.  The graveyard is rectangular and thus unlikely to date to an early Christian llan.  The Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust has identified an earthwork a few metres to the north east of the church, but has not yet discovered its purpose.

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