If you wish, turn sharply left off the A5 one mile west of Llangollen, at the Chain Bridge Hotel: the road is signposted ‘Horseshoe Pass’. After crossing the Dee and climbing a hill, turn left at sign for Llantysilio: the church is half a mile further on, to the left.
A more delightful setting for a church could scarcely be imagined. All around are steep wooded hills, and below the sloping churchyard the Dee plunges over the picturesque Horsehoe Falls: picnic and parking places are provided. St. Tysilio’s itself – dedicated to a princely abbot of the Powys royal house – also has plenty to offer. It was probably built in the 15th century, though fragments of earlier carved stones surround a little north window. There is a fine late medieval roof with paneled ‘canopy of honour’ over the altar; a rare medieval oak eagle lectern; a sculpted font; and two little 15th century stained glass figures in the north window. The lower figure is St. James of Compostella, patron of pilgrims. Much good late Victorian and Edwardian work is also on view, notably the ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ east window and the monument of Lady Martin of nearby Bryntysilio, a Shakespearean actress. St. Tysilio’s is kept open on some summer afternoons with assistance from Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ ‘Open Churches Trust’.
Church usually open Bank Holidays, Sats, Suns & Mons. May – September, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm. Other times by arrangement.
Church of St. Tysilio, Llantysilio