Llanbadrig - St. Patrick's Church
Situated in one of the most scenic locations on Anglesey, St. Patrick's church is a place of peace and contemplation. The wind blows through your hair as you hear the cries of nesting seabirds on Middle Mouse island (Ynys Badrig). It was on that island that legend says St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was shipwrecked.
The saint made it to shore and took shelter in a cave in the cliffs, which had a good source of fresh water. There he recovered from his ordeal. To give thanks for his survival, he founded a church here, around 440AD. The original wooden church was replaced by the current stone building in the early 14th century, making it one of the oldest on Anglesey. It may have been extended in the early 16th century, making the chancel longer than seen in most similar churches.
The church was modified at various points in its history, but in 1884 a major restoration took place, funded by Henry Stanley, 3rd Baron of Alderley, who owned the Penrhos estate. He had converted to Islam in mid-life (becoming the first Muslim Member of the House of Lords) and his plans for the restoration included Islamic-influenced designs. The stained glass windows, instead of depicting biblical scenes and characters, were simple geometric designs. Tiles on the wall behind the altar also showed geometric or floral designs. There are some suggestions that he created these designs himself.
One hundred years later more restoration was required after the church was badly damaged by arsonists. Two years and £15,000 later the church reopened on 24 May 1987. The church is regularly attended by volunteers who are only too glad to show visitors around the most interesting features. A well-known visitor, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, pronounced this site "the most peaceful spot on earth".
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