Llansantffraed church, Llanon
This coastal church, near the village of Llanon, is exposed to the south-westerly winds from the sea, hence its unusual protective layer of slates. The tower is thought to be medieval, perhaps from the 14th century. The church was rebuilt at various times, and much of the building we see today dates from c.1840.
This area’s Christian heritage stretches back to the era of the Celtic Church, when missionaries travelled across and between countries in north-western Europe to preach the gospel. By tradition, it was here that Non gave birth to Dewi, who became Wales’ parton saint (St David). The village name means the “llan” (walled enclosure with a church at its centre) of Non.
Llansantffraed church is dedicated to St Ffraed, or Ffraid, who grew up in Ireland in the fifth century. In Ireland she is known as St Brighid. Many villages and churches in Wales are named after her, reflecting her energy and devotion to missionary work. Legend has it that she crossed the Irish Sea on a piece of turf, to land on the banks of the Conwy estuary.
To hear how to pronounce Llansantffraed, press play: Or, download mp3 (17KB)
The exposed nature of this coastline has a long history of shipwrecks. In May 1706 a ship called King Charles the Third ran aground on the beach a short distance from the church while carrying oranges, lemons and wine from Portugal. The cargo was destined for Lord Lisburne of Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth.
With thanks to William Troughton, author of Ceredigion Shipwrecks, published by Ystwyth Press
Other SHIPWRECK HiPoints in this region:
Aquila – crew rescued by Aberystwyth residents in 1861, prompting foundation of local lifeboat
New Quay lifeboat – established after a spate of wrecks, including six in one night