Thursday, August 14, 2014

Flower Festival - St Peter Ad Vincula Church - Pennal - Gwynedd - Wales

From July 31st until August 5th St Peter Ad Vincula Church in Pennal, Gywnedd, Wales held a Flower Festival.  On the Saturday afternoon I paid a visit to the event with my sister and a cousin who was staying the weekend with me. There has been a place of worship on this site at Pennal since the 6C when the church was founded by Celtic missionaries from Brittany. The current church  is a Victorian restoration with many of its 16C characteristics retained.

Of course I took my camera along so that I am now able to share some photos here with you on Travel Tales, I hope you will find them of interest. By the way the church clock is showing the wrong time, it was actually early in the afternoon when I took these photos!

Interesting Facts about the church with thanks to the website - Castles of Wales

1. It is the only church in Wales dedicated to the memory of Saint Peter in Chains ("ad Vincula" is Latin for "in bonds"). The story is to be found in Acts of the Apostles XII.

2. The Chapel Royal in the Tower of London is a sister church, as well as the Church in Rome that houses Michaelangelo's statue of Moses.

3. Stones and bricks (reddish pieces embedded in a whitish cement) from the first century Roman Fort nearby Cefn Caer, were used to rebuild the church over the centuries.

4. Lleucy Llwyd (Lucy Lloyd), the Welsh "Juliet", was buried in the church in 1390, under the altar.

5. Pennal became a parish church in its own right in 1683, the first rector was Maurice Jones. The longest surviving incumbent was Lewis Thomas, scholar, 1726-1780.

6. In its 300 years as a parish, the church has been rebuilt four times. In 1700, 1761, 1810 and 1873. The cost of rebuilding in 1761 was £1,270.

7. One person buried in the Oval Churchyard is a gentleman of Warwick, William Shakespeare!

8. The church retains much of its sixteenth century character, including some of its original roof timbers, the oak pews and handsome carved pulpit.

9. Thirteen years after the death of Llewelyn the Great whose wife Joan was daughter of King John, Pennal church was mentioned in the 1253 TAXATIO along with eight other Merionethshire churches.

10. During Lent 1406 Pennal Church was Prince Owain Glyndwr's Chapel Royal. The Pennal Letter was probably signed in the church.

11. Throughout the Middle Ages, Pennal was one of three chapels-of-ease that came under the care of Tywyn Church, the other two being Llanfihangel-y-Pennant and Llanfair (Tal-y-Llyn).

12. The Green Man in the East Window is the only stained glass version of this ancient figure in any church or chapel in Wales, and probably also in England.

13.The church also has links with the Syrian Oriental Orthodox Church and monastery of St Mark's in Jerusalem (site of the "Upper Room"), the house that St Peter went to after being liberated from his chains.

The Floral Displays were provided by local groups and Ysgol Pennal, with the theme of St Peter.

The church has an unusual and I think attractive feature in that it has a Gallery, which was being used for Refreshments. Of course my sister, cousin and I had some!

    The final interior photo is taken from the Gallery.

We then went outside to visit The Heritage Garden, also known as The Princes' Garden, which is based on a medieval monastic garden. A place of peace and tranquility which also acknowledges the role of the princes and clerics of Gwynedd and Owain Glyndwrs family in its history. 

It had been raining but somehow I think it adds to the beauty of slate when it is wet, don't you?

With thanks to the following sites and the Festival Leaflet for the background information included in this post.

Wikipedia - Pennal    St Peter Ad Vincula Church (Featured on Castles of Wales)
 All photos are my own taken on August 2nd 2014

More photos of the event and Pennal Village can be found on Flickr in My Album entitled Weekend Visit - August 2014


  1. What a beautiful church and I love the idea of the flower festival.

  2. I enjoyed seeing the imaginative way the life of St. Peter was depicted in the flower arrangements. The church is beautiful inside and out.

  3. Beautiful ! I saw once a flower exposition in a very old church in a little town around Eastbourne. Looked very similar !

  4. Amazing floral displays against the natural stone

  5. Wonderful flower show at the church.

  6. Beautiful flowers and church - I am very taken with the churchyard.

  7. It looks like you had a lovely afternoon - and the rain would have added to it, for me. The garden/yard is beautiful. It strikes me as being a place of wonderful tranquility.


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