St John’s Church, Llangollen

St John’s Church, Abbey Road, Llangollen

This church was built in 1858 as a facility for the burial ground called Mynwent y Ddol (“The Meadow Cemetery”), which was then new. The town’s main services were held at the parish church of St Collen.

Later in the 19th century, St John’s Church became the place of worship for people who wanted services in Welsh. English had become the main language at St Collen’s Church. It continues to provide Welsh-medium services today.

The church’s architecture lacks the ornamentation commonly seen on Victorian churches. Possibly this was a conscious effort to counter the drift of Welsh people towards Nonconformism and its plain chapels.

In the early 20th century, the pews were replaced with chairs to create a flexible space for community events. The church is busy during the annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, hosting lunchtime concerts and providing a rehearsal space for groups preparing to compete at the nearby Royal International Pavilion.

Many of the graves in the graveyard have Welsh inscriptions. Among them is that of the bard Taliesin o Eifion, who died on 6 June 1876 – six days after posting his entry for the National Eisteddfod of Wales. His ode won the Eisteddfod chair but, since he was unable to collect his prize, the chair was covered with a black cloth. Spectators said a ghost had been chaired.

With thanks to Mike Connolly

Postcode: LL26 8SW     View Location Map


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