St.Trillo’s Chapel

This intriguing building is thought to be the smallest church in The British Isles. Although the chapel has seats for just six people it is used for an Anglican Eucharist every Wednesday. The spring water is traditionally used for baptisms in that parish which has two other Anglican Churches.

The tiny chapel of St. Trillo

 The chapel stands on the foreshore (now protected by extended promenade and sea wall) at Llandrillo yn Rhos (Rhos-on-Sea). Its a simple stone and mortar structure with integral walls and roof and has a heavy wooden door. It was heavily restored in its present form with new external walls and roof about 120 years ago. 

It is named after St.Trillo, the 6th century Celtic saint who built his cell here. Celtic monks usually built an enclosure around their cell so that they could farm to feed themselves. This was known as a “Llan” and Rhos means marsh, so Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, the Welsh name for Rhos-on-Sea, means St. Trillo’s enclosure by the marsh, as the surrounding area was originally very marshy. Thus St. Trillo gave his name to today’s village.

The altar and seating for just 6 people

The chapel is built on the site of an ancient spring.This provided the saint with his supply of drinking water and would have been an important factor for him picking this site.The well can still be seen in front of the altar. For centuries this well provided water for baptisms all over the extensive medieval parish of Llandrillo.In times gone by it also had a long tradition of being a healing well.

The stained glass window of the chapel depicting St Trillo

Trillo is believed to have been a contemporary of Saint Deiniol of Bangor (and therefore of Saint David and Saint Dubricius) and it is said that he took part in the foundation c546 of the diocese of Bangor under the patronage of Maelgwn, High Prince of Gwynedd, whose Royal Castle was at Deganwy.

The heavy wooden door stands open most days

The heavy wooden door stands open most days

It is humbling to think that you are standing on a site that has been a place of Christian worship for nearly 1500 years.

The narrative board on the promenade near the chapel (click to enlarge)

The narrative board on the promenade near the chapel (click to enlarge)

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