Ysbyty Ifan

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Ysbyty Ifan
Ysbyty Ifan, parish church of St. John.jpg
St John's Church at Ysbyty Ifan
Conwy UK location map.svg
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Ysbyty Ifan
Location within Conwy
Area67.99 km2 (26.25 sq mi)
Population196 (in 2011) [1]
  Density 3/km2 (7.8/sq mi)
OS grid reference SH841488
  • Ysbyty Ifan
Principal area
Preserved county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BETWS-Y-COED
Postcode district LL24
Dialling code 01690
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°01′26″N3°43′41″W / 53.024°N 3.728°W / 53.024; -3.728 Coordinates: 53°01′26″N3°43′41″W / 53.024°N 3.728°W / 53.024; -3.728
Ysbyty Ifan and River Conwy Ysbyty Ifan and River Conwy.jpg
Ysbyty Ifan and River Conwy

Ysbyty Ifan (often formerly anglicised as Yspytty Ifan) [2] [3] is a small, historic village and community in the Conwy County Borough of Wales. The population in 2011 was 196 in 76 households (29 household spaces had no usual residents), over 79% of the population were able to speak Welsh. [1] It has one of the smallest populations of any Welsh community, the smallest being Ganllwyd. It is in the electoral ward of Uwch Conwy.



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Bangor is Coed
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Bardsey Island
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Valle Crucis
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Strata Marcella
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Basingwerk and Holywell
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St Asaph
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Clynnog Fawr
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Some pilgrimage sites (with links Red pog.svg ) around Ysbyty Ifan Cyan pog.svg

Ysbyty Ifan, until about 1190, was known as Dôl Gynwal (Welsh for Cynwal's Meadow). Then, it came to the attention of the Knights of St John, the Order of Hospitallers, who set up a hospital to care for pilgrims and also to be a hostel for them on their journeys (Ysbyty Ifan means hospital of St John). [4] Ysbyty Ifan was on the ancient pilgrimage routes, for example, from Bangor Is Coed (Bangor-on-Dee) to Holyhead and Bardsey Island and the Cistercian Way between Aberconwy and Cymer. [5] [6] It is centrally located among a significant number of important pilgrimage destinations of the Middle Ages, see the map which shows only some of them.

In the 15th century, the Red Bandits of Mawddwy used Ysbyty Ifan as a hideout, taking advantage of the Knights' privilege of sanctuary. [5] [6]

The hospital was abolished in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the Church of St John is built on the site of the old hospital, and it contains a number of remnants that tell of the area's history. [6] Effigies in the church are said to depict Rhys Fawr ap Maredudd (fl. 1485–1510), a local nobleman who served Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth, his wife Lowri, and his son Robert, chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey. [5] [6]

There is a bridge over the Afon Conwy in the centre of the village

Notable associations


Ysbyty Ifan has a primary school with two classrooms and a cafeteria. The village also a rugby union pitch with a children's playground.

The Ysbyty Ifan Estate is the largest single estate looked after by the National Trust. The area of the estate is over 8,000 hectares and includes moorland, river valleys and hill farms. The Migneint is an area of moorland and bog designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). [14] The Trust is responsible for a number of holiday cottages within the estate including Foel-Gopyn, which is off the grid.

There are also a number of other places of interest near Ysbyty Ifan, [14] so the area attracts a large number of visitors including walkers, [15] especially during the summer months.

Ysbyty Ifan is part of the Uwch Conwy ward for elections to Conwy County Borough Council.

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  1. 1 2 "Ysbyty Ifan - 2011 Census key statistics" (PDF). Conwy County Borough Council.
  2. "History Points - Ysbyty Ifan war memorial". historypoints.org.
  3. "YSPYTTY IFAN.|1861-07-06|The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality - Welsh Newspapers". newspapers.library.wales.
  4. "House of Knights Hospitallers: Preceptory of Halston Pages 87-88 A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973". British History Online.
  5. 1 2 3 "Welsh History Month: Ysbyty Ifan and the tomb of Rhys ap Maredudd". Wales Online.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "St John's Church, Ysbyty Ifan". History Points.
  7. "CYNWAL , WILLIAM". Dictionary of Welsh Biography . National Library of Wales.
  8. Jenkin Jones, Rees M (1885). Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 46.
  9. "Lincoln: Conwy village Ysbyty Ifan's link to president". BBC News.
  10. "Siôn Dafydd (c.1675-1769) - Poet, clog maker and lay reader". Snowdonia National Park Authority.
  11. "DAVIES, WALTER". Dictionary of Welsh Biography . National Library of Wales.
  12. Cadw. "Voelas (Grade II) (20585)". National Historic Assets of Wales . Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  13. Cadw. "Voelas (PGW(Gd)59(CON))". National Historic Assets of Wales . Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  14. 1 2 "Ysbyty Ifan". National Trust.
  15. "Ysbyty Ifan and Cwm Eidda walk". National Trust.