St Michael's Church

Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri)

The name Betws is thought to be derived from 'bead house', meaning a place of prayer (y coed – in the woods). It's likely that 14th-century St Michael's Church, the town's oldest building, stands on the site of that early sanctuary. The main item of interest inside is a stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch, possibly the grandnephew of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales. If it's locked, ask for the key at the Railway Museum.

In 1873 it was replaced as the parish church by the much larger St Mary's Church, but it's still used on St Michael's Day (29 September) and for the occasional funeral.

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