St Tudno's Church, the Great Orme
A Celtic missionary called Tudno established a cell on the Great Orme sometime during the reign of Maelgwyn Gwynedd, known as the King of Gwynedd (490-549). Tudno may have at first inhabited a cave but later created an enclosure or llan. Tradition tells that the community gathered around this llan, and this was the beginning of Llandudno. St Tudno is the town’s patron saint
The church we see today is much modified but some walls have been dated to the 12th century while the others are mostly 15th century. In 1849 it was reported in a guide book A ramble at Llandudno that the church was sparsely attended and the clergyman from Conwy with his clerk had to make a 10-mile round trip to hold afternoon services. In the winter they were often the only people present.
The roof was badly damaged in 1839 during a massive storm and, instead of repairing St Tudno’s, a new church was built nearer the centre of the population. This was St George’s Church in Church Walks, Llandudno.
St Tudno’s was abandoned until an appeal was made for public subscriptions to repair the roof. A full restoration was completed in 1855 at the sole cost of William Henry Reece. Today outdoor services in the summer are popular, conducted from a stone pulpit erected in the churchyard in 1914.
The house across the road was known for years as the old rectory but was in fact the curate’s glebe farm, Dolfechan.
Click here to take our mini-tour of interesting graves in the churchyard. Beside the lower wall of the churchyard is a stone memorial to the four local men who died in the Boer War. They are also named on a tablet inside Llandudno Town Hall – you can read their details here.
With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society, and to the Parish of Llandudno
See the parish website for details of services and other events at St Tudno's Church