Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Aberdaron, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.7934 / 52°47'36"N

Longitude: -4.7612 / 4°45'40"W

OS Eastings: 213924

OS Northings: 325331

OS Grid: SH139253

Mapcode National: GBR GPM9.V5K

Mapcode Global: WH33S.T1YV

Entry Name: St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 2 December 2005

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4162

Cadw Legacy ID: CN381

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Church

Period: Medieval

County: Gwynedd

Community: Aberdaron

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


The monument comprises the ruined remains of a small church, probably dating to the medieval or late medieval period. The foundations of the church are visible within a large rectangular earthen-banked enclosure. Although the surviving foundations remain, in places, up to 0.6m in height, the plan of the structure is difficult to ascertain. The irregular outer banks are unlikely to represent the foundations of the original building and it is likely that the building has witnessed extensive robbing (or perhaps antiquarian investigation). The well-defined trench visible within the NE end of the site could result from such activity, the spread bank around this end being the resulting spoil. The well-defined banks on the SW end and SE side may indicate the extent of the original building. This subrectangular structure measures 8.5m from NE to SW by 7.5m transversely within partial grass covered banks about 1.5m in thickness and up to 0.6m in height. A smaller, possibly subcircular, outshot extends 4m to the SW within a bank of similar dimensions. There is a possible entrance, visible as a slight depression, within the NE end of the building.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval ecclesiastical sites. The monument forms an important element within the wider medieval context and the site may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to chronology, building techniques and functional detail. The site is probably associated with the pilgrimage route to Bardsey Island.

Source: Cadw

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