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Sam Rowlands MS supports Graveyard Trail at a popular North Wales church

SAM ROWLANDS, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, has welcomed an interesting development at a church near Llangollen.

The church of St Tysilio in Llantysilio, in the Vale of Llangollen, which attracts over 10,000 visitors each year has recently announced the development of a graveyard trail.

Mr Rowlands, Chair of the Welsh Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Tourism said:

“I welcome any projects which ultimately lead to attracting even more people to this lovely part of the world and to learn more about our history and rural life.

“It is a fascinating idea and I am delighted to see so many groups working together to develop the graveyard trail and the surrounding grassland.

“Old graveyards do seem to hold a fascination for visitors and it is great that some of the graves are being mapped out and information is available about them in the church.”   

The grassland at the church has been managed as a haven for flowers, insects, birds and small mammals for over 30 years and following a Grassland Survey of the graveyards in May 2022, in partnership with Caring for God’s Acre CfGA an agreed management plan was developed to protect and boost the spring and summer flora.

This work was enhanced by developing a project plan for ‘Welcoming People and Nature’ funded by the AONB Sustainable Development Fund which looked at how visitors might learn more about rural life and its economic and social history as well as the wonderful natural history of the area. The outcomes so far have been the development of the Graveyard Trail.

Paths have been cut to form a route around the graveyard that ‘visits’ the graves of nine varied and different people or families from different backgrounds.

The stories were researched by local resident, David Crane and volunteers from the Llangollen Museum and are published in full-colour leaflets, available in both Welsh and English, within the church.

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The historians have also digitised all the graveyard records, and produced a map of all the marked graves, that will be on display in the church. Accompanying this will be three newly published books that list, with photographs, all of the graves in the records.

There is one book for each of the three distinct areas of the graveyard. This will aid family descendants and visitors to locate the resting places of their forebears.

The last two phases of the project will see folding display boards containing explanation and interpretation boards, and a people’s history book – memories of people who live, or have lived, in Llantysilio.

The Graveyard Trail at St Tysilio Church will be officially launched on June 22 between 11am and 3pm with guided tours of the trail and the church with the wardens and some of the project partners. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome.