About this church
Near the churchyard is a Fynnon y Sant or the Saint’s Well, which was thought to have healing properties. Two fish were kept in the well. If they emerged from their hiding places into the open water, visitors took that as a good omen. Some visitors even dropped bait to tempt the fish into the open. Some ailments were thought to be cured by bathing in the water, particularly if the fish emerged at the time. For other ailments, the patient drank the well water.
The church has 15th century roof trusses and a rood screen of similar age. A box for alms (money for the poor), carved in the screen’s base is believed to be 18th century.
A memorial honours Griffith Ellis of Hafoty, who died aged 75 in 1860 after 46 years supervising the Dinorwig slate quarries near Llanberis. Under his management, the number of quarry workers increased from 300 to more than 2,400. Griffith is buried in the churchyard.
Another quarryman Owen Griffith is also buried in the churchyard. He died aged 89 in 1908. Due to accidents, dust affecting lungs and exposure to the elements, the average life expectancy was low. Yet Owen worked at the Dinorwig quarries for almost 80 years! His only break being in the 1840s, when he helped dig the railway tunnel at Penmaenmawr.
Some of the footpath which was once well trodden by worshippers from Llanberis still survives. West of the church it crosses Afon Nant Peris on a bridge reputedly built with the help of legendary strongwoman Marged ferch Ifan. Marged used to row copper ore from this place to Cwm y Glo, a distance of 7km. She would tie her boat to a column of rock at the lakeside which was fondly known as Pilar Marged. When the lake was altered during the construction of the Dinorwig hydro power station in the 1980s, the pillar was destroyed.