St Michael’s Church, Caerwys

Link to French translationSacred Doorways logoSt Michael’s Church, Caerwys

This church is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. The cult of St Michael became very popular in Wales in the 8th century, and it’s likely the original church on this site was founded at that time.

The earliest written reference to the church is in 1244, when the Pope chose St Michael’s as the venue for a court hearing to decide whether Prince Dafydd ap Llywelyn, son of Llywelyn the Great, had been forced to agree a treaty with King Henry III. 

The next mention of St Michael’s is in 1284, when the sum of 60 shillings was paid to Jervasius, the rector, as compensation for the loss of tithe payments and damage done to the church by King Edward I’s soldiers during his conquest of Wales. 

Some parts of the existing church date from the 13th century, including the tower and the nave. Inside the church there’s a 13th-century effigy that supposedly depicts Elizabeth Ferrers, wife of Dafydd ap Gruffydd, who was Prince of Wales in 1282 and 1283. There are also a number of 14th-century sepulchral slabs with cross-heads, and stained glass windows dating from the 15th century. The 19th-century ‘Eisteddfod Window’ celebrates the Eisteddfod declared in Caerwys in 1523 and held in 1524. This was a meeting of bards to formalise rules for Welsh poetry.

Memorials include a tablet commemorating the Rev John Lloyd, who accompanied writer and naturalist Thomas Pennant on his ‘Tours of Wales’. An inscribed tombstone built into the south wall’s exterior is said to mark the tomb of Robert Evans, known as ‘The Boy Rector’. He died in 1582, aged 19.

With thanks to Suryiah Evans

Postcode: CH7 5BW    View Location Map

More information about the church from Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust