Derwen Churchyard Cross
Derwen Churchyard Cross
In the overgrown churchyard of the tiny village of Derwen stands one of the finest medieval monuments in Wales; a late 15th or early 16th -century preaching cross. The cross stands on a two-tiered stone plinth and is composed of a decorated octagonal shaft topped by a square cross-head with Biblical scenes under canopies on each face. The cross stands almost 15 feet high and is highly decorated.

The shaft is decorated with raised carvings of foliage and crowned heads. The ornate cross head is missing its top but is still an impressive sight.

The south face depicts the Virgin and Child, the north face shows St Michael with a sword and scales for weighing souls. The east face, on the side nearest the church, shows the Coronation of the Virgin, and a Crucifixion scene is on the west face.

The overall effect is a combination of simplicity and wonderful medieval style, a testament to the skill of medieval craftsmen. Access to the Derwen cross is a bit dodgy; Derwen is located well up the steep-sided Clwyd valley, and the roads leading to the village can charitably be described as narrow and winding. But my goodness, what a view!

Please take the time to explore the church itself, a wonderful old building with a medieval rood screen.