St Mary’s Church, Dolgellau, is a Grade II listed building standing on the site of a medieval one, dating back to at least 1254 when it was mentioned in records. The current church is rare (for Wales) being Early Georgian, it was built AROUND the old one, which still continued to hold services. The old church was only demolished when the new one was completed (around 1716-1723) and then the old building was removed from within it.
The font from the original church, built circa 1250, is on display near the entrance. This was placed during the time of John Ellis, who was Rector from 1646-1665 and was also founder of the Dolgellau Grammar School. A chantry alter is recorded as having been located in the church in 1558.
The church contains a 14th century Effigy of Meurig ap Ynyr Fychan, an ancestor of Hywel Sele and the Nanney/Vaughan families of nearby Nannau. This used to lay in the chancel of the old church, but was moved to one of the north windows. A piece of the wall was removed to accommodate his feet. His sword is dated 1723, when the nave was completed.