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Coordinates: 53°18′46″N 3°44′56″W / 53.3128°N 3.749°W / 53.3128; -3.749

Welsh: Llandrillo-yn-Rhos
Rhos-on-Sea is located in Wales2

 Rhos-on-Sea shown within Wales
Principal area Conwy
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town COLWYN BAY
Postcode district LL29, LL28
Dialling code 01492
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Clwyd West
Welsh Assembly Clwyd West
List of places: UK • Wales • Conwy

Rhos-on-Sea also known as Llandrillo-yn-Rhos in Welsh, or Rhos or Llandrillo (not to be confused with Llandrillo, Denbighshire), is a seaside resort in Conwy county borough, Wales. It is a mile to the north but effectively a suburb of Colwyn Bay, on the coast of north Wales. It is named after the Welsh kingdom of Rhos established there in late Roman times as a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd, and later became a cantref (hundred).


Bryn Euryn and Llys Euryn

Bryn Euryn is a hill overlooking Rhos-on-Sea on which there are the remains of a hillfort called Dinerth, the 'fort of the bear', and a limestone quarry.[1] Ednyfed Fychan, 13th century seneschal to Llywelyn the Great and ancestor to the House of Tudor was granted the land and built a castle on the hill, of which all traces have disappeared, and a manor, Llys Euryn of which the ruins of its 15th century reconstruction can be seen today.[2]

St Trillo's Chapel

The tiny chapel of Saint Trillo on the foreshore at Rhos-on-Sea (Parish of Llandrillo-yn-Rhos)

In Rhos is the 6th century St Trillo's Church, (Llandrillo yn Rhos) which was the mother church of a large parish which included places as far apart as Eglwysbach and Eglwys Rhos (Llan Rhos). The chapelon by the sea is on the site of a pre-Christian, sacred holy well; the altar is built directly over the pure water of the well. St Trillo, the son of Ithel Hael from Llydaw (Snowdonia) who also founded a church at another place called Llandrillo in Denbighshire. Trillo's brother Tygai (Llandygai) founded a church near Penrhyn, Bangor; their sister Llechid founded a church (Llanllechid) in the uplands above Penrhyn.

The Parish Church of Llandrillo yn Rhos

Llandrillo yn Rhos Church [1] was built on the site of Ednyfed Fychan's private chapel and incorporates what was his tombstone, the history of this church goes back to the 13th century, but having been rebuilt over the centuries, the oldest parts of the present church are 15th century. A major restoration was carried out in 1857 and was criticised by some for amounting to 'vandalism', in particular the destruction of an ancient stained glass window.[3] Nevertheless it remains one of the most important historic buildings in North Wales.

The stone lych-gate was built in 1677 and is one of the oldest in the district, the sundial is from the early 18th century.[4]

The graveyard here contains the grave of Harold Lowe, an officer on the tragic Titanic. He was widely regarded as a hero, help many to safety with cool nerve and bravery. He was portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd in the blockbuster movie. [5]

Rhos Fynach

In 1186 Llywelyn the Great permitted the establishment of the Cistercian Aberconwy Abbey, and the monks built a fishing weir on the sea shore below Bryn Euryn. The place became known as Rhos Fynach, heath of the monks. In a charter of 1230 Llywelyn sanctioned the purchase by Ednyfed Fychan of land at Rhos Fynach and in 1289 the abbey moved to Maenan and the weir was ceded to Ednyfed's estate.[6] Eventually Rhos Fynach and the weir came into the hands of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who in 1575 granted it to a Captain Morgan ap John ap David, a privateer, for services rendered against the enemies of Queen Elizabeth I at sea.[7] (This is not the famous pirate of the Caribbean Captain Henry Morgan who lived in the century following).[1]

The weir continued to provide a prosperous livelihood through to the early 20th century: during a single night in 1850, 35,000 herring were caught, and 10 tons of mackerel were removed in one tide as late as 1907.[8]. Because such weirs decimated inshore fish stocks, Parliament banned them in 1861 unless it could be shown they pre-dated the Magna Carta, which the then owners, the Parry Evans family, were able to prove.[1] Their estate included Rhos Fynach house, also known as Rhos Farm, on the Promenade near St Trillo's Chapel. The house is now a pub and restaurant. Its date of construction is not known for sure, but it is considered to have been started by the Cistercians before the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[7]

The fishing weir fell into disuse during World War I and most traces have disappeared.[1] Trial excavation of the site in 1993 recorded constructions carbon 14-dated between 1500 and 1660.[9]

Madog and claims for the discovery of America

Perhaps Rhos-on-Sea's greatest claim to fame is that, according to legend, Madog ap Owain Gwynedd, a Welsh prince of Gwynedd, sailed from here in 1170 and discovered America, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbus's famous voyage in 1492.[10] This event is recorded by a plaque on one of the properties on the sea-front.

Other features

  • Rhos-on-Sea also has the first permanent puppet theatre to be built in Britain, the Harlequin Puppet Theatre which opened on July 7th, 1958 when it won the Civic Trust Award for its design. Founders Eric Bramall and Chris Somerville have also created many puppet programmes for BBC children's television over a forty year period. Many of the puppets created for these television series are now on display at the National Trust Property "Penrhyn Castle".[1]
  • Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, the former Llandrillo Technical College
  • Ysgol Llandrillo yn Rhos, a mixed county primary day school

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Reid, Ian: "Rhos-on-Sea Heritage Trail". BBC Wales North West website retrieved 7 August 2007.
  2. ^ Northall, John (2001): "In Search of Ednyfed's Castle".
  3. ^ Bezzant Lowe, Walter (1912). The Heart of Northern Wales. Llanfairfechan. p. 364.
  4. ^ Bezzant Lowe, Walter (1912). pp364-366.
  5. ^ Titanic hero's menu smashes record 2004/04/02 BBC News
  6. ^ [Bezzant Lowe, Walter (1912): The Heart of Northern Wales. Llanfaifechan. pp369-372.
  7. ^ a b Tucker, Norman (1967). "How Old is Rhos Fynach?" North Wales Weekly News, 6 July 1967.
  8. ^ Ports and Harbours of the UK: Rhos on Sea. Website retrieved 7 August 2007.
  9. ^ CPAT website
  10. ^ The Discovery of America .... by a Welsh Prince. HistoryUk website retrieved 7/8/07.
General reference
  • Norman Tucker and Ivor Wynne Jones, Colwyn Bay, Its History Across the Years

External links


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