St Peter’s Church, Aberdyfi

St Peter’s Church, Aberdyfi

This church was erected in 1837 on a site formerly occupied by one or two thatched cottages. Previously local residents wishing to worship in the parish church walked to Tywyn and back. The new “Chapel of St Peter” was a chapel of ease to Tywyn until Aberdyfi became a parish in its own right in 1844.

The church was extended, at a cost of £1,000, in 1889 with the addition of a chancel and organ chamber (unoccupied until the Brindley & Foster organ was installed in 1907). With the gallery removed and pews replaced with chairs, the church seated over 300 people.

Susan Scott, who ran a school in Penhelig, is commemorated on a tablet erected in the church by her pupils. She died, “awfully suddenly”, in December 1842, aged 65 and was mourned “by the poor in the neighbourhood”.

The church’s east window is a memorial to Maria Jane Pughe of Craig-y-don, “an exceedingly benevolent young lady” who left £200 for schooling Aberdyfi’s poor children on her death in 1872. Her mother, Ann Pughe, died in 1874, aged 77, and bequeathed £500 for Maria’s memorial window. Ann provided £800 for rebuilding Penegoes church and money for two London hospitals which was conditional on the hospitals establishing wards named after herself and her daughter.

In 1885 a special Wednesday morning service was held at St Peter’s Church to thank God for the peaceful end to the dispute between Britain and Russia over colonial control of an area of central Asia. It had been widely feared that the dispute would spark a large war.

To celebrate the church’s centenary, a carillion was installed in the tower in 1937. A carillion is a set of bells struck by hammers, traditionally played using a keyboard in the church. Here 1930s electrical technology was exploited to pre-programme performances of hymns and Clychau Aberdyfi (“The Bells of Aberdovey”), an old song which refers to the legend of Cantre’r Gwaelod – fertile lands lost under the sea. The underwater bells are said to be audible from the coast at times. You can read more on this legend on our page about Sarn Gynfelyn, near Borth.

Aberdyfi war memorial is set into the churchyard’s retaining wall.

Postcode: LL35 0EF     View Location Map

Church website