The Church of St Julitta, Capel Curig
Where are we?
On the A4086, 150 metres from Plas y Brenin. the National Outdoor Centre.
When are we open?
During all our listed Diary of Events and many weekends.
When closed, the key is available at Joe Brown's shop, at the A5 road junction
How to find us
OS grid reference:
History of the church
St. Julitta’s is the smallest of the old churches of Snowdonia. When it was built, probably in the late 15th or early 16th century, it was known as Curig’s Chapel - Capel Curig in Welsh – giving its name to the surrounding area and the village that gradually developed.
The church’s exterior construction is typical of the simple rustic style of the old churches of the Conwy valley. The entrance was originally on the north wall, where, outside, the blocked-up doorway can be seen surmounted by a cyclopean arch – a huge single stone roughly carved to form an arch. Inside, there was a gallery above the south chapel, lit by a skylight. The bell turret predates the nineteenth century; the bell is dated 1623, but may have been ‘recycled’ from a earlier site.
The plan of the original church is typical of old churches in Snowdonia and now unique in the district - the only example where the double square (the length is twice the width) has not been altered in later times.The church was created by the people of Capel Curig, financed by them and built by its craftsmen and represents the simplicity and essence of the settlement in early days.
In 1837, the chapel was extensively renovated at the expense of the local landowner, George Hay Dawkins-Pennant of Penrhyn Castle. Rectangular casement windows gave more light to the interior and a barrel-vaulted ceiling was installed below the medieval roof beams. The layout was typical of a small Evangelical Anglican church of this period, packed with box pews facing a prominent pulpit with a reading desk below it, from which the clergyman would take most of the service. When a grander St. Curig’s church was built, the dedication of the old church was changed to St. Julitta’s.
The cemetery is the last resting place for generations of people from Capel Curig and many of those killed in mountain accidents. On its grave stones is written a rich history of the people, their homes and places of work.
The churchyard is also a haven for a wide range of insects, birds, mammals and plants - it is being managed with conservation in mind in the interests of wildlife. Birdboxes and bird feeders have been erected and several native trees planted. The spring flowers produce a wonderful display after the cold wet winters that sometimes visit Capel Curig!
This church is now deconsecrated, but is cared for by a volunteer group, the Friends of St. Julitta’s, who lease it from the Church in Wales. They are a registered charity.