The chair of the Keep Llangollen Special group, which is campaigning to prevent a supermarket being built on the Dobson and Crowther site on the A5, has sent in this piece of research which spells out the historical and religious significance of the land at nearby Climedw, which is integral to the development plan.
We reproduce it here:
"Hen Bobl y Llan yn 1688
Cilmediw: once a separate township, is now merged in the larger township of Bachau. A small district in the parish still bearing the name seems .to indicate that the northern slopes of the GeraintPassing by Bryniau Mawr to Berwyn Station must have constituted the township of Cilmediw.
This word takes us back to very old times and tends to corroborate the opinion that our lovely vale was a chosen centre for the spread of early Christianity over a wide area.
It formed a central Mission. We know that Ruabon, Chirk, Llansantffraid, Llandegla, and even Wrexham were daughter Churches of Llangollen.
But this gem of a word, this well preserved ecclesiastical fossil, carries us back to an era still prior to this, probably to the original mission planted on the bank of the Dee. Cilmediw means Cilmeudwy or the hermit's cell.
Cil is the old Goedelic word for Church. The cell of the hermit’s mission was the germ of our future Church
In Scotland there are many names indicating the same thing, e.g., Kil-bred, i.e., the cell or Church of St Bridget. In Ireland there are over a thousand local names indicating the same thing, e.g., Kil-kenny, i.e., the cell or Church of St Kenny, Kil-dare, i.e., the cell or secluded spot in the midst of the oak forest (derw).
The word Kil in Ireland is as common as the word Llan in Wales. Even in Wales we have some parishes which begin with Cil or Kil instead of Llan, e.g., Cilcain = the cell of or Church of St. Cain, near Mold; Ciliau-Aeron = the cells or Churches on the Aeron; Kil-kennin = Kil.kenny, or the Church of St. Kenny, in Cardiganshire; Cilycwm = the cell or the seclusion in the Combe or hollow, in Carmarthenshire.
To sum up, we have this gem of a word, Cilmediw, or the hermit's cell, taking us back to the earliest days of Celtic Christianity in the Islands of the West.
This one type is a characteristic of all the early settlements among the Celts.
A few hermits at first settle down in the wildest and loneliest districts, go about to convert and baptize, and then develop their cells into huge monastic establishments. Primitive Wales was full of such institutions.
Cil = Kil = cell = chancel, or the latticed cell = the Welsh canghell = caingcell, or the cell formed of branches, intertwined or wattled.
Valle Crucis abbey, is old: Dinbren or Dinas-Bran is older: Eliseg's pillar or cross in the Vale, is still older :Llangollen Church is older still: but the word Cilmediw, which is so litt1e thought of, stands in the midst of the Vale of Llangollen as its oldest Christian monument, yea it links us with the days of the Missions.
Here is a nut for the crass ignorance of our political Celts of to-day to, crack. If the Church in Wales. is an alien Church, how is it that we have Cilmediw still standing in our midst as a monument of the earliest dawn of Celtic Christianity?"
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