St Julitta's Church, Capel Curig

Link to French translationSt Julitta’s Church, Capel Curig

This church was originally known as Curig’s Chapel. St Curig is thought to have lived in the 6th-century, and was known as Curig Lwyd (Curig the Blessed) or Curig Farchog (Curig the Knight). The church was dedicated to St Julitta with the opening, in 1883, of a larger building in the village which took the name St Curig’s Church.
Old photo of St Julitta's Church c1860This building is thought to date from the 15th or early 16th century. The bell is dated 1623 but may have hung at a different church previously. The original building was in a rustic style, in common with other churches in and near the Conwy Valley. There is evidence of later enlargement, including raising the roof. In 1837 significant changes were made, including a reordered interior and insertion of rectangular casement windows to admit more light. A barrel-vaulted ceiling was installed.

Legend has it that the church was built at the behest of a local gentlewoman whose skin disease was cured by washing the affected areas with water from a spring on nearby Gelli’r Mynach Farm.

St Julitta was a noblewoman who fled Roman persecution of Christians in Iconium, central Turkey, with her infant son Cyricus. When her entourage arrived in Seleucia (now in Iraq), they were arrested by the governor, who was also trying to purge his area of Christians. He killed the toddler and ordered an agonising execution of Julitta.

The old photo of the church is shown here courtesy of Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru – the National Library of Wales. It was taken c.1860 and shows the cement render which protected the church’s walls. On the left is the house where a blacksmith lived. The cemetery was extended over part of its site in 1906.

Thomas Williams identified himself as the man in the photo in a letter to his great grandson, R Idloes Owen, shortly before his death in 1883. Thomas kept the village shop and conducted the singing in the parish church and Nonconformist chapel.

The church is now deconsecrated. It was repaired and restored by volunteers from the Friends of St Julitta’s, a registered charity which leases the building from the Church in Wales and continues to maintain the building and churchyard. The Friends also organise summer exhibitions based on aspects of local history. A booklet containing a comprehensive history of the church is available inside the church.

Click here to take our mini tour of interesting graves in the churchyard.

With thanks to Harvey Lloyd of the Friends of St Julitta's

Postcode: LL24 0ET    View Location Map