Cribinau is a small tidal island, between Aberffraw and Rhosneigr about 1.2 miles (2 km) west of Aberffraw village.

The island can be reached on foot at low tide and is topped by a little chapel built in the 13th century named the Church of St Cwyfan, in Welsh - Eglwys Bach y Mor (little church in the sea). The chapel marks the place where the Irish St Cwyfan created his cell in the 7th century.

St Cwyfan's church was in existence by 1254 and enlarged in the 14th  and 15th  centuries. The building later fell into disrepair and in the 19th century parts of the church were demolished. By 1891 the surviving part was roofless, so an appeal was launched which paid for the building of a new roof.

A Jacobean map dated 1636 shows the church standing on the mainland of Anglesey. It appears that sea erosion of the boulder clay cliffs turned Cribinau into an island. By the 19th century, erosion was causing graves in the churchyard to fall into the sea, so a sea wall was built around the island to protect the remaining graves and the church.

If you are very lucky, you can sit on the bench by the church looking out to sea while watching porpoises swim across the bay. Even if you don’t see them and it is stormy weather, it is still a very tranquil place to contemplate.


Image credits (clockwise from top):

Kris Williams, jixxer,

Kay Stevenson

Llanfair Hall

Kris Williams, jixxer,