Overlooking Llandecwyn and the bay, St Tecwyn's church serves the communities of Llandecwyn and Talsarnau.
Hanes yr Eglwys:
The name of the church originates from St Tecwyn who is believed to have arrived here in Wales (along with St Twrog, Saint of the adjoining Maentwrog church in the parish of Bro Moelwyn) from Brittany around 516 A.D. around the time of St Cadfan.
The church was re-built almost at the very site of the original church in 1879, when almost all ancient objects were damaged, except for the small basin to the right of the altar.
During the re-construction of the church in 1879, a 12-foot stone from the eastern part of the church was discovered outside. The stone is 14 inches long with a width of 3 inches on one side diminishing to 2 1/2 on the other side, and 2 inches thick. On the smooth side of the stone is an inscription interpreted by the late Sir Edward Anwyl:
SCTI TETQUINI PR(ESBTER) I H(O) RI DEI CLARIS (IMI)
Q(UE) DEI S(E)ROI, HELI DIAC(N) I ME FECIT --I--
(CROSS) ST TECWYN, HENURIAD (=PRIEST) TO HONOUR GOD
SERVANT OF GOD, HELI DEACON MADE ME. ABCDEF
The date is thought to be the eleventh century. The stone is situated safely in the medieval wall of the church. Note that the letters are minor-literate and not pre-carved, but denoted by permanent rows, probably made with a hammer and nail. It was traditional in Ireland, and possibly here in Wales, to carve out Roman alphabet letters on teachers and missionaries gravestones.
The above information has been adapted from the notes of Reverend G. Chambres, Mor Edrin, Talsarnau and from an article contained in the Royal Commission on ' Ancient columnists in Wales '. (Arch. Cambs. 1905 and ib. vi 121)
For more information please use the following links:
St Tecwyn church information: Cadw
St Tecwyn church information: Coflein RCHAMW
St Tecwyn Lychgate information: Historic Wales/Cadw