St Tudno's Church – Llandudno, Wales - Atlas Obscura

St Tudno's Church

This 6th-century church honors St. Tudno, the patron saint of Llandudno. 


Believed to be one of the seven sons of King Seithenyn, Saint Tudno and his brothers all studied at St. Dunawd’s college. According to legend, this was done to repent for their father’s drunken incompetence. It’s said, Seithenyn failed to protect the legendary kingdom Cantref y Gwaelod in Cardigan Bay due to his drunkenness, and the kingdom was lost to the sea. Wishing to live a religious life, Tudno went to the Great Orme, to bring the message of Christianity to its people. 

He intended to live life as a hermit in a small coastal cave known as Ogof Llech. It was from this cliffside cave that he constructed a church on Great Orme during the 6th-century. 

Although nothing now remains of the structure, the present 12th-century church, completed during the 15th-century, stands on the same site and is dedicated to St Tudno. The church has maintained a continuous history of being open for service. 

A carved medieval wooden roof boss depicting the stigmata still survives inside the church. A rarity in Wales, with only one other surviving in the entire country. The graveyard surrounding the church is closed for burials but is worth a wander for some of the elaborate markers and views of the sea. 

Know Before You Go

There is a small car park directly outside, on the steep road that connects the tramway to the lower loop road.

St Tudno's Church is also walkable from the car park at the Great Orme Summit Complex.

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November 30, 2020

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