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St Peters, Llanbedr

St Peters Church in Llanbedr is where you can find, behind the rear pew, an ancient engraved stone that stands two foot nine inches in height and two foot wide. The engraving is that of a seven turn spiral measuring twelve inches in diameter. It is said to be similar to those associated with the Irish Boyne culture. It was found by Dr Griffith Griffith from Taltreuddyn “ Dryffryn Ardudwy, on the hills near some early stone remains” about two hundred years ago. He removed the stone and placed it near the two stone monoliths at Llanbedr in order to protect the piece. Around 1910 it was moved into the church yard and now resides safely inside St Peters.

St Peters Church dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth century though it has undergone restoration, most notably in 1883. The church may have been built on the site of pre Christian worship as the 1849 Topographical Dictionary of Wales, published by Samuel Lewis “The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient structure; according to an absurd local tradition it was originally intended to erect it at a place about forty yards to the right of the road, where there are four or five broad stones, eight feet high, standing upright; but the workmen found that what they executed by day was removed at night, and therefore commenced the building on the site it now occupies.” This is actually quite a common siting legend. There are two standing stones in Llanbedr not too far from St Peters, so perhaps the passage was referring to those.

It is also interesting to note that Colonel John Jones was born in Llanbedr in 1597. He sat as a Judge at the trial of King Charles I and signed his death warrant. John Jones regicide was hanged, drawn and quartered on 17 October 1660 for his part in the execution of Charles.

Image Copyright: 
Alison Topham

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