St Ann’s Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

St Ann's Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

St Ann’s Church, Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda


10 August 2014

Bryn Eglwys, Bethesda

SH 61038 66307; 53.17566°N, 4.08062°W


The original St Ann’s Chapel today lies buried under the great sprawling spoil heaps of Penrhyn Quarry. Consecrated in 1813, it was built around 1807 by Richard Pennant (1737 – 1808), Baron Penrhyn of Penrhyn in the county of Louth, and named after his wife Anne Susannah Warburton, heiress to the Penrhyn Estate. The building of the chapel is one of the accomplishments commemorated on Westmacott’s grand Penrhyn monument in St Tegai’s Church, Llandygai.

The chapel was still included on the 1840 Ordnance Survey map. Together with the hamlet of Bryn Llys, it was, however, later engulfed as the workings at the slate quarry expanded. Its location is now occupied by the north-western end of the waste tips on the southern side of the B4409 Bethesda-to-Tregarth road.

A replacement church was constructed in 1865 by Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant (1800 – 1886), 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai (Richard Pennant’s second cousin’s son-in-law). The new St Ann’s Church was designed by Penrhyn Estate architect J O Roberts and was built in Bryn Eglwys, a new village built for quarry workers, about half a mile north west of the location of the original chapel.

St Ann’s Church was transferred from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England to the Church in Wales in 1921. Prohibitive costs of repairs to the church forced its closure in 1997 and the building was sold in 1999. Its churchyard is still maintained by the local Parochial Church Council and it is still in use for the burial of ashes.

Acknowledgement: grateful thanks are due to Rebecca Rabjohns,
Estates Officer of The Representative Body of the Church in Wales, for kindly providing some of the historical data.