The Saints of North Wales

by Noel Walley

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The writer is a resident of Llandudno (on the North Wales Coast) where the beautiful late 19th Century Gothic Revival church at the corner of Lloyd Street and Saint Mary's Road is under the patronage of Our Lady Star of the Sea.

Any list of Christian Saints must surely start with Saint Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Our God. She probably heads the list in every country in the world with the greatest number of churches and chapels under her patronage and this is certainly true in Wales where so very many places bear the name 'Llanfair' in her honour. Concerning Mary, countless volumes have already been written. Interesting evidence of medieval Welsh devotion to Our Lady in connection with Pilgrimage to Bardsey is given in a later page.

The RC Diocese of Wrexham comprises the whole of North Wales, which was anciently split between Bangor and Saint Asaph, two of the six dioceses of the Anglican Church in Wales. In North Wales almost a third of the Churches and Mass Centres of the Diocese of Wrexham (23 out of 72) are dedicated to Saint Mary under one title or another. The remainder comprise a wide spread of dedications from Saint Winefride to The Holy Family and Saint Therese.

Of the 445 churches currently used for worship in the Church in Wales sees of Bangor and St Asaph, over 60 are dedicated to Saint Mary compared with 36 to Our Lord and 24 to the Archangel Michael. Other popular dedications for Anglican churches in North Wales are David (18), John Baptist (14), All Saints (12), Peter (12), Paul (9) and John Evangelist (7). With the exception of Saint David, all these are Biblical saints. Only a few non-biblical saints from the wider church are to be found in Welsh Church dedications; but of these Saint Brigid heads the list and she is mentioned later. Among the churches dedicated to Saint Mary is the church at Caerhun in the Conwy Valley. See picture at: Caerhun.  Another church dedicated to St Mary is the church at Bryn Croes, the final station on the route to Aberdaron for the short but treacherous sea crossing to Bardsey.

Ancient Saints of North Wales

The subjects of this website (which is continually being developed) are principally some of the more notable local patron saints of ancient North Wales Parishes.

To go to the next page, click: NEXT

To go direct to later pages click the following links:

Saint Tudno     Saint Melangell  
Saint Bridget, the Rosary and Bardsey Island

This site is compiled and maintained by Noel Walley 
Last updated December 2008.

Email: Webmaster

Llandudno Tourist Link