St Peris’ Church, Nant Peris, near Llanberis

button_lang_frenchbutton_lang_welshSt Peris’ Church, Nant Peris, near Llanberis

This building is thought to include stonework from the 14th century. It was extended in the following three centuries and restored in the 1840s, as the population of Llanberis grew rapidly. The 8km round trip to Nant Peris for worshippers who lived in the town was avoided by the opening of a small St Padarn’s Church in Llanberis c.1872, followed by a larger one in 1885.

llanberis_nant_peris_churchIt’s thought that St Peris lived in the 6th century and was one of 12 sons of Helig ap Glannog, who lost his court, known as Llys Helig, when the sea drowned it. As a result of this loss, the sons lived devout lives, some as monks. Near the churchyard is a well dedicated to St Peris.

The church’s interior includes 15th-century roof trusses and a rood screen of similar age. A box for alms (money for the poor) was carved in the screen’s base, possibly in the 18th century. Local men who died in the First World War are commemorated in the church.

Another memorial honours Griffith Ellis of Hafoty, who died aged 75 in 1860 after 46 years supervising the Dinorwig slate quarries near Llanberis. Under his management, the number of workers at the quarries increased from 300 to more than 2,400. His son, also named Griffith, became supervisor of the quarries. In turn they occupied a large house named Blue Peris. Griffith junior died just nine years after his father, aged 48. His grave (next to his father’s) is marked by an obelisk, prominent in the 1890s photo of the church.

Also buried in the churchyard is quarryman Owen Griffith, who died aged 89 in 1908. Average life expectancy in slate quarries was low, as a result of accidents, dust affecting lungs and exposure to the elements. Owen, however, worked at the Dinorwig quarries for almost 80 years! His only break was in the 1840s, when he helped dig the railway tunnel at Penmaenmawr.

Some of the footpath which was once well-trodden by worshippers from Llanberis still survives. West of the church it crosses Afon Nant Peris on a bridge reputedly built with the help of the legendary strongwoman Marged ferch Ifan.

Near the entrance to the churchyard is the former church hall, the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s base since 1973.

Postcode: LL55 4UH    View Location Map

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