Llanfihangel y Traethau, Ynys
The name translates as “Church of St Michael of the Shores”. Ynys (island in Welsh) used to be surrounded by water at high tide and was a port and ship-building centre. The building - in a quiet isolated location - is pre-Reformation (1137-1170), pre-dating Harlech Castle. A rare inscribed stone in the graveyard dates the building (see Gallery picture and leaflet in the church). The church and graveyard reflect the history of the area with 14 sailors and 26 sea captains named on gravestones and modern stained glass, and there are also other notable graves including that of Lord Harlech (5th Baron and one-time Ambassador to the USA) and the author Richard Hughes.
The church is open every day. There is a bi-lingual service at 11.30 am every Sunday (except some 5th Sundays).
Ynys, Talsarnau, Gwynedd, LL47 6TL, United Kingdom
Grid ref: SH 595354
By car: Ynys is a small hamlet on the A496 between Harlech and Talsarnau. The turning to the church is signposted on the A496.
By train: Ty Gwyn Halt (request stop) is about 1 mile walk from the church.
By bus: Bus service runs along the A496 (Talsarnau, Harlech, Barmouth.)
On foot: From the A496 it is a short walk uphill, over cattle grid. The Wales Coastal Path goes round 2 sides of the enclosure and passes the entrance gate.
Disabled access (the main gate is chained, not locked). There are no toilet facilities at present. The graveyard is worth exploring, with views of Harlech Castle, mountains and the estuary from different viewpoints.
Refreshments are available in Harlech and Talsarnau (the Estuary Motel and the Ship Aground Pub). Accommodation is available locally at the Estuary Motel, Tregwylan Guest House, (01766 770424) Gwrach Ynys Guest House (01766 780742) and other hotels, guest houses and B & B in the area. Quiet days for individuals or group by arrangement. The hospitaller is usually available.
Revd Bob Hughes,
Tel: 01766 780257