Former St Winifred’s Church, Gwytherin

Link to French translationFormer St Winifred’s Church, now the Gwenfrewi Project, Gwytherin

Gwenfrewi (St Winifred) moved to Gwytherin to live alongside her cousin Eleri in a religious clas, or enclosure, at Gwytherin. Gwenfrewi was buried in the 7th century in the south of the churchyard, in an area known as Capel Gwenfrewi later known as Penbryn Chapel.

This ancient site was probably an earlier Bronze Age burial mound. The ancient yews possibly indicate an earlier pre-Christian meeting place. The Romano-British inscribed stones at the site remember a tribal occupancy.

This site became known as a burial site of saints and attracted pilgrims over many centuries.

Alison Goulbourne, a photographer, musician and fine artist, was saddened by the scene of neglect she found when she first visited Gwytherin. She bought the site and the burial mound and founded the Gwenfrewi Project in 2009 to use the church as a historic centre, preserving the history of the site, and as a creative arts venue. The church had finally closed its doors in 2005 after opening and closing a few times over the years. 

“I came here on a journey in search of the place where St Gwenfrewi was buried," she recalls. “I found a church that was abandoned, its roof falling in, its ancient burial mound neglected. It was inaccessible and used to graze cattle.

“I bought the site to preserve the history out of passion and a love for a place I felt was truly amazing.What I found here was a uniquely beautiful sacred site going back in time, layer upon layer.It was oozing atmosphere, with stunning acoustics in the church, incredible beauty and landscape all around. You just couldn't help but be inspired.

“The aim of the project is to preserve the historical connections, the sense of timelessness and beauty, whilst providing a platform for music, photography, art, film, sculpture, literature and live performance and linking with other projects as an outward bound destination and studio."

The venue is also available for civil weddings to provide a means of supporting this ancient historical site making the project sustainable. If you would like to arrange a visit to this site or find out more information on the history, contact: The Gwenfrewi Project 07834 471917

Postcode: LL22 8UU    View Location Map

Website of the Gwenfrewi Project


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