"RHOSCOLYN, a parish in the hundred of Menai, county Anglesey, 4 miles S.E. of Holyhead, its post town, and 15 from Llangefric. It is situated in the S. half of the Holy Island. In the neighbourhood are ruins of a religious house. The living is a rectory* with the curacies of Llanvair-y-Eubwll and Llanvihangel-y-nhowyn, in the diocese of Bangor, value £260, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Gwenvaen. The parochial charities produce about £8 per annum. The Calvinistic Methodists have a place of worship." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


Church History

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP, 1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Rhoscolyn Parish; Statistics; Area 2580 acres; Population 243 males, 245 females, total 488

  • Rhoscolyn Parish Church (Diocese of Bangor) Attendance - usual - morning 25 scholars, afternoon 50 Informant; Wm Williams
  • Zion Chapel, Calvinistic Methodists Erected 1800 Attendance - morning 162, afternoon 67 scholars, evening 142 Hugh Williams, Elder, Pwllpreban, Rhoscolyn
  • Sardis, Baptist Erected 1828 Attendance - morning 100, evening 200 Thomas Evans, Baptist Minister
  • Boat Chapel, Wesleyans Erected 1806 Attendance - morning 45, afternoon 70, evening 60 William Roberts, Steward, Cae'r Sais
      • St Gwenfaen's church "Rebuilt 1887-9, rubble masonry.......Despite being entirely rebuilt in C19, St Gwenfaen's retains some earlier features...." coflein
      • Sardis Welsh Baptist chapel, Four Mile Bridge - on geograph.org.uk and "The congregation at Sardis was formed in 1828 and the chapel built in the same year. This was rebuilt in 1839 and again in 1861............" coflein
      • Zion CM chapel "The Calvinistic Methodist cause in Rhoscolyn first met in Ty'n Rhos and then in an early nineteenth century small cottage/ farmhouse, later to be known as Ty Capel. The present chapel was built in 1906 ......" coflein

      Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site


      Church Records

      Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at Anglesey Record Office.

      Held at National Library of Wales (NRA);

      • Rhoscolyn Calvinistic Methodist chapel;- 1787-1825: registers of baptisms and burials

      Description & Travel

      Rhoscolyn - on the Flickr site

      Plas Rhosclyn - on geograph.org

      Rhoscolyn Lifeboat site at Borthwen - on geograph.org

      Rhoscolyn - on wicipedia (Welsh)

      Various landscapes/Seascapes - on the People's Collection Wales site

      You can see pictures of Rhoscolyn which are provided by:



      RHOSCOLYN, a parish in the hundred of MENAI, county of ANGLESEY, NORTH WALES, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Holyhead, containing 495 inhabitants. The name of this parish is, by the author of the " Mona Antigua Restaurata," derived from one of those columns which the Romans erected, both as commemorative of their victories, and to mark the extent of their conquests. The same author states that Gwenvaen, daughter of Pawl hen, had a religious house or cloister in this place, from which afterwards originated the parish church, called, from the original founder of that establishment, Llan-wenvaen, or " the church of Gwenvaen," an appellation which for some time superseded its original name of Rhoscolyn, or "the Moor of the Column." The site of the ancient cloister is still distinguishable by the number of human bones found whenever the ground is turned up by the spade or the plough. The parish forms the southern half of Holy Island, being connected with that of Holyhead, which forms the other half, by a narrow isthmus, along which runs the old London road to that place, and separated from the western coast of the main land of Anglesey only by a narrow, shallow, and sandy strait : its surface is chiefly cultivated, though much of it is rendered of poor quality by rocks and sands. Near Bodior, an ancient mansion in this parish, is found in great abundance the beautiful variegated marble called verd antique, of which the specimens obtained here, in the diversity and brilliancy of the colours, surpass those of Italy; and in the same quarries are found veins of beautiful asbestos, of soft silky texture, and of very superior quality. The living is a discharged rectory, with Llanvair - yn - Eubwll and Llanvihangel-yn-howyn annexed, in the archdeaconry of Anglesey, and diocese of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £ 10. 5., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Gwenvaen, is a small edifice, supposed originally to have been erected about the year 630, and not distinguished by any remarkable architectural features. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Some small charitable donations and bequests have been made for apprenticing poor children, and for distribution among the poor. An average annual expenditure amounting to £205. 17. is applied to the support of the poor. (A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833)


      James, W. H., 'The Search for Lady Constantia', book, 2002 - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
      "William Henry James, teacher ......... He undertook research into the James and Bates families of Rhoscolyn,Holyhead and Llanynghenedl, in western Anglesey; his account of them was published privately in 2002 as The Search for Lady Constantiaand in Welsh as Ar drywydd y Fonesig Constantia.

      Rev. Huw Llewelyn Williams Papers 1836-1974 - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
      "The Rev. Huw Llewelyn Williams (1904-1979), Holyhead, Anglesey, was the Calvinistic Methodist minister of Valley and Rhoscolyn ......."


      Historical Geography

      You can see the administrative areas in which Rhoscolyn has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


      Land & Property

      Held at Anglesey Record Office (NRA);

      • Rhoscolyn land tax;- 1745-1839: assessments
      • Rhoscolyn Parish;- 1732-1992: records
      • Rhoscolyn tithes;- 1928-36: Tithe Rent Charge account books
      • Rhoscolyn window tax;- 1751-65: assessments


      Gwynedd Family History Society have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Anglesey (under Parishes)

      Rhoscolyn parish in the County of Anglesey - on the People's Collection Wales site

      You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH277765 (Lat/Lon: 53.257636, -4.584517), Rhoscolyn which are provided by: