St Tudnos Church in the Snow (North Wales)
Image by Cj Roberts
St Tudnos church on the Great Orme, Llandudno. St Tudno gave the town its name. Llan=church Tudno: the Saints name, the towns name translated as Tudnos Church. St. Tudno founded his cell on the Great Orme in the sixth century but no trace of the original building remains. The present church was built in the 12th century but extended in the 15th century. In 1839 the roof was damaged by a severe storm and it was decided not to repair the church but to build a new church nearer the centre of what was then the village of Llandudno. In 1840 St. George’s Church was built in Church Walks and served the mainly Welsh-speaking population. St. Tudno’s Church was neglected until 1855 when an appeal was made for £100 to repair the roof and Mr. W.H. Reece of Birmingham and Plas Tudno, Llandudno, "gratefully resolved to restore the church at his sole cost as a thank offering for Divine Goodness". The repair work began on St. Tudno’s day and the church was re-opened for public service on St. Luke’s day (18th October) 1855.
The oldest part of the present building is the north wall of the nave, which dates from the 12th century. The font dates back to the 12th century and fixed to the south wall are two fine old stone coffin lids, which date back to the 13th century. On either side of the east window are painted tablets with the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and the Ten Commandments in the Welsh language.
In the roof is a wood carving, above the sanctuary step where people kneel to receive Holy Communion. This is the stigmata, or representation of the five wounds of our Saviour, which depicts the two hands, the two feet and the side, each bearing a wound. There is a similar boss in the neighbouring church of Llanrhos. Obviously the work of a local craftsman, these two bosses are thought to be the only examples of their kind in the country.