St Trillo's Chapel

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St Trillo’s Chapel, Marine Drive, Rhos-on-Sea

This tiny building is thought to be the smallest church in the British Isles. It has enough seats for just six people. The chapel is named after St Trillo, a 6th-century saint who built his cell here. Communion services are still held in the rhos_on_sea_st_trillos_exteriorchurch.

The old pictures show the inside and outside, before the chapel was enclosed by a fence.

The building has been heavily repaired over the centuries, and its age is unknown. St Trillo’s cell was probably made of wood and wattle, although he may have built a wall of stones gathered from the beach to protect the structure from winds.

The spring inside the chapel provided St Trillo with drinking water. You can still see the well in front of the altar, if the chapel is unlocked. This water source would have influenced his decision to build his cell at this spot. For centuries, this well supplied the water for baptisms across the extensive medieval parish of Llandrillo. It also had a long tradition of being a healing well.

rhos_on_sea_st_trillos_interiorThe parish church (1km to the south west) is dedicated to St Trillo. St Trillo’s Church at Llandrillo-yn-Edeyrn in Denbighshire (between Corwen and Bala) was founded by him, according to tradition.

Walk a little to south-east along the seafront and you should be able to see, at low tide, the remains of Rhos Fynach medieval fishing weir, one of two which once existed at Rhos. The Rhos Fynach weir was already functioning at the time of the Magna Carta in 1215. It was still in use in 1865, when it trapped a shark 2.4 metres in length, and in 1907, when it trapped 10 tons of mackerel on a single tide. The weir fell into disuse during the First World War. Its wooden stakes were later removed to prevent damage to boats.

With thanks to Ian Reid and John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society

Postcode: LL28 4HS    View Location Map

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