We spent the night in Y Beuno a pub/hotel/restaurant which had excellent rooms and very good food. After a delicious full cooked breakfast (which I only ever eat when away on holiday!), I insisted that we toddle over the road to look at the local church.
The thing I really like about the old Welsh churches is that whereas a church called St John's in England will have no real connection whatsoever with the historical St John (other than someone at some time deciding that it would be a good idea to dedicate the church to him), the Celtic saints actually founded the churches that now bear their name over a thousand years later. So the original St Beuno's church was founded by a chap called Beuno. Unfortunately, according to the information I found, his church was burned first by the Vikings and later by the Normans, but the current 16th century church is very splendid indeed. In fact far too splendid for a village consisting of about a dozen houses. I don't know where the congregation came from. Anyway, here is it.
And this is the interior...
I'll include a few more photos of the items to be found inside, including a medieval alms chest and a freestanding organ, but I had to feature this curious item.
These were the dog removing tongs! The text on the little sign says:
GEFEL CWN - DOG TONGS
Arferid dod â chwn i'r eglwys yn ystod yr oedfaon, a defnyddid yr feel hon i ddal cwn swnllyd a'u bwrw allan o'r adeilad. Credir iddi gael ei gwneud ym 1815.
Dogs used to be brought into church during the services, and these tongs were used to catch rowdy animals and expel them from the building. It is believed to date from 1815.
This ancient wooden chest in St Beuno's Church, Clynnog Fawr, has been hollowed out of a single piece of ash and was used to keep alms donated by the pilgrims on their way to Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli). The chest is believed to date from the middle ages and the padlocks from around 1600.
Usually church organs are built against the wall so you can't see the bellows. Here the original handle is still in place, though an electric motor obviously does the work these days.
This was definitely one of the nicest and most interesting churches I have visited for a while.
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