The Story of Caffo the Martyr

Have you ever thought of the meaning behind the name 'Llangaffo'? Llan is an old welsh word for church and the church is a very important part of Llangaffo, but who was Caffo? Well, Caffo was a preacher who lived in the Llangaffo area around 1500 years ago.

Caffo's father was called Caw and he had six children in all, five sons called Peirio, Eugrad, Maelog, Gallgo and Caffo and a daughter called Cwyllog. Caffo loved his brothers and sister very much but his real hero was his cousin Cybi. Cybi was a preacher who travelled across Wales telling stories of Jesus. Caffo loved nothing better than listening to Cybi telling his stories in front of a warm fire on a cold winter's evening.

One day Cybi asked Caffo if he would like to join him on a trip to Ireland to spread the word about Jesus. Caffo was so excited that he had packed his things a week before they were due to leave for Ireland.

Caffo and Cybi were in Ireland for four years but, while they were away there was trouble for Caffo's family. Caffo's brother, Gallgo had upset Prince Maelgwn, who owned most of North West Wales by writing a letter saying that the Prince was lazy and not fit to rule. When Prince Maelgwn found out he was furious and ordered Caffo's family to leave his land or face the consequences. So Caffo's family left their home and headed eastwards but Caffo knew nothing of his family's troubles!

When Caffo and Cybi returned to Wales they decided to build a church on the island of Anglesey. They went to Prince Maelgwn's palace and asked him for some land to build a church and surprisingly he agreed. Prince Maelgwn did not know that Caffo was the brother of Gallgo, the man who had angered him so much. When Prince Maelgwn did find out that Caffo was Gallgo's brother he wanted revenge. He told Cybi that if Caffo did not leave his land immediately he would destroy the church and take back his land. Caffo was devastated when he heard the news, but he knew that he must leave because building a church was much more important than his happiness.

Sadly on his way off the island Caffo was attacked by Prince Maelgwn's soldiers and killed, the Prince had his revenge after all. When Cybi found out about his friend's death he was very upset and in order to keep the memory of Caffo's sacrifice alive, he decided to call the church Caffo's Church, and thus the little village which grew around the church became known as Llangaffo.

 

Contents Page