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St Cynfarch and St Mary Church, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd

According to Elias Owen in his 'Welsh folk-lore: a collection of the folk-tales and legends of North Wales' (1887) 'For the following legend, I am indebted to Mr. R. Prys Jones, who resided for several years in the parish of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd. In answer to a letter from me respecting mysterious removal of churches, Mr. Jones writes as follows:— “We have the same tradition in connection with a place not very far from Llanfair village. It was first intended to erect Llanfair Church on the spot where Jesus Chapel now stands, or very near to it. Tradition ascribes the failure of erecting the structure to a phantom in the shape of a sow’s head, destroying in the night what had been built during the day. The farm house erected on the land is still called Llanbenwch”—Llan-pen-hwch, i.e., the Llan, or church, of the Sow’s Head.

Established in 1619, the former Jesus Chapel mentioned in the above account is a Grade II listed building and is located approximately one mile outside the village and as recently on the market for sale. The parish church of St Cynfarch and St Mary Church in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd dates from the 13th century (mentioned in the Norwich Taxation of 1254), and was restored in 1872.

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