As you may have noticed by now, we have covered a million and one different things on the Oakeley Arms blog, and we didn't want another week to go by without a mention of the fabulous community spirit here in Maentwrog.
Traditionally, the church would have been at the heart of village life, and we're lucky that this is still very much true in Maentwrog.
There is thought to have been a church here since the 6th century, when St Twrog built a place of worship on the lands that would have been marshy and boggy back then. The legend goes that St Twrog climbed to the top of the Moelwyn mountains, grabbed an enormous boulder and hurled it down on top of the site of a pagan altar, and so physically, and metaphorically, crushing the pagans that were there.
The legendary stone still stands outside the church, complete with the imprint of Twrog's hands, and is indeed what the village is named after. Maen is the welsh word for stone, so Maentwrog literally translates to Twrog's Stone. Legend has it that if you rub the stone, then fate will certainly draw you back to the village sometime in the future!
The church that stands today was built in 1814, with a new chancel and stained windows added in 1896. One of the vestry windows is in memory of William Edward Oakeley, of Plas Tan-y-Bwlch. He was a local businessman, land owner and benefactor to the village and church. Celtic crosses in the graveyard are further memorials to other members of the Oakeley family.
Maentwrog Church certainly has a fascinating history, but it is still used today as a place of worship and for village events, and is open most days for visitors. Pauline Richardson is a village resident who helps to care for and maintain the church grounds and surroundings, and we think she does a fabulous job! As well as editing the church magazine, she can often be found planting flowers nearby and weeding the cenotaph.
Pauline has filled us in on some great events at the church this coming month, so don't miss out! It'd be great for us all to show our support for our brilliant local church.
Thursday 1st December: 6.30pm
Carols & Cheese & Wine Evening at Cors y Gedol Hall, Dyffryn Ardudwy, to raise funds for Shelter Cymru, Hospis yn y Cartref and Christian Aid Famine Appeal.
Tickets are available from Pauline or at the door on the night for £5.00.
Friday 16th December: 8:00pm
Carolau a Cwrw and Christmas raffle.
There is no charge, but donations will go towards church funds.
Sunday the 18th December
Church Carol service, and the Royal Oakeley Band will be playing as well