St Dwywau to whom this church is dedicated was the brother of St Derfel who founded the church at Llanderfel in the valley of the Dee between Bala and Corwen. They were the sons of Howel ap Emyr Llydaw (Emyr of Brittany) and probably came by the sea from south east Wales. They were cousins of St Cadfan, the reputed founder of the Monastic settlements at Towyn and on the island of Bardsey. It is told of some Celtic Saints that it was their habit to fast for forty days and nights on the site they had chosen to build their church.
The Llan of St Dwywau became Llanddwywau, or Llanddwywe as it is spelt today.
Since the time of St Dwywau there has been a church here, but not like the one you see now. At first possibly only a shrine, later a small church made of wattle with a thatched roof. Its possible that the church remained in this simple form until prior to the reformation when the church was re-built in stone and possibly whitewashed as was the custom in this part of Wales. It could be seen from far out at sea. Ship-wrecked sailors have been cast ashore and buried in the churchyard from the earliest times. There are several other interesting graves in the churchyard including a very grand one for a servant at Cors Y Gedol Hall.
The church you see today is, in the main, a restored and repaired one dating from 1593. Over the porch you will notice a shield incorporating the letters ‘IHS’ and the date. In style the church is sipe, nearly rectangular like early Celtic churches; a local Perpendicular east window of three lights and a south Porch. To the north of the Chancel is the Cors y Gedol Chaplel, in reality a private pew for the Vaughnans of Cors y Gedol which was added in 1615, though the wooden screen separating it was not built until 1620. There is no doubt that the prime-mover in the re-building of this church with the addition of the Chapel was Griffith Vaughan of Cors-y-Gedol, who also re-built most of his own home in 1592-3.
There is a local legend that King Henry VIII worshipped at the church whilst visiting Cors y Gedol.
There is some interesting stained glass in the church, although not large or of particular note there is a unique ‘healing’ window at the west end and some very old glass in the East Window. the barrel ceiling is also of particular note.