History of St Gredifael’s Church

Penmynydd – St Credifael (or Gredifael)

The church is situated at the junction of two minor roads about 0.5 mile (0.8 km) north of the village of Penmynydd.  Grid Reference SH 517 750.

 The church was founded by St Credifael (or Gredifael, according to some) in the 6th century, and the first stone church was built here in the 12th century. 

The present church dates from the late 14th/early 15th century with the north chapel (the Tudor chapel) and the south porch dating from the 15th century.  It was restored and refitted in 1848 under architect H. Logwith Jones.  A further restoration was undertaken in 1969. 

 Stones with chevron markings from an earlier church can be seen in the outside east and south walls of the chancel.  The chancel has a south door; above it on the outside is a carved stone.  The bell-cote has room for two bells although only one is in place.  The steeply/pitched roof gives the interior of the church a sense of size and space; the interior walls are white-washed.  The roof of the chancel is partly hidden by red panelling.

 In the north chapel is an alabaster table tomb dating from 1385 which is a memorial to Gronw Fychan ap Tudur ap Gronw and his wife Myfanwy of Plas Penmynydd.  Gronw Fychan was an uncle of Owain Tudur  who married Katherine de Valois (of the French royal family).  Their son Edmund was the father of Henry VII who became the first Tudor king in 1485.  It is believed that Gronw Fychan’s tomb came from the Franciscan Friary at Llanfaes when it was dissolved in the 16th century.  Ironically, it was Henry VIII, himself a Tudor king, who ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries.  The alabaster tomb has been extensively chipped because it was once believed that it had medicinal properties. 

Gronw Fychan Tomb

 The pew ends bear a fleur-de-lis design which reflect the connection between the Tudors and the French royal family.  The plain octagonal font, near the west wall of the nave, is from the late 14th century.  It has an eight-faced conical wooden cover.  There is a silver tazza (saucer-shaped cup) which is dated 1573.  It was given to the church by the family of Plas Penmynydd, along with a silver chalice in 1707.  Also there is a pair of 19th century metal dog-tongs, about 1 metre long.

Reverend H D Owen, a former Vicar of St Gredifael, Penmynydd with the Dog Tongs