St. Cybi is a truly ancient church. The original was built on the site of a monastic settlement dating back to 540 AD.
It was founded within the protection of an abandoned Roman fort by St. Cybi, first cousin of St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales.
He came here at the end of his life, having preached the gospel throughout Gaul, Cornwall, Devon, South Wales, Aran , Meath and the Lleyn Peninsular. Churches he founded can still be seen at Llangybi on the Lleyn, Usk and at Duloe and Tregony in Cornwall.
He was also a friend of St. Seiriol of Penmon, both of whom are depicted on the icon at the top of this page.
The Meeting of the Saints
In the icon the two saints are seen meeting at the Clorach Holy Well in the centre of Anglesey.
The legend is that St. Cybi was tanned facing the sun travelling East in the morning and West in the afternoon. St. Seiriol was tanned in the opposite direction-his face remained pale! Hence 'Seriol Wyn a Chybi Felyn' White Seriol and Tawny Cybi!
St. Cybi died in 554 AD, leaving the legacy of the Celtic Clás, which controlled most of the West of Anglesey until the Reformation.
The church was sacked by the Vikings in the 10th centuryand suffered further violation when Henry IV's army invaded Anglesey from Ireland in 1405, most of Wales being under the control of Owain Glyndwr at the time.
Sadly, when Henry's men returned to Dublin, they took with them St.Cybi's shrine and relics. These were installed in Christ Church cathedral in Dublin, but disappeared at the time of the Reformation.
The last assault on the church took place in the 17th century when soldiers of Cromwell were garrisoned in the church for several years. They systematically destroyed the interior windows, font, tombs and statues. The empty niches in the porch stand in testament to their actions. Thankfully, the carvings above the door survived.
The postcard to the right shows the church in 1899, complete with mountings for gas lighting among the pews!
If you'd like to read a more detailed account of the life of St.Cybi, you can download a Microsoft Word document by clicking here. A beautifully produced video about St. Cybi and church is also available. You can find details of it by clicking here
The Friends of St. Cybi. Ty Cyfle, 68-82 Market Street. Holyhead. Ynys Mon. LL65 1UW