AN ANCIENT church on Anglesey with links to the royal Tudor dynasty could have a new lease of life if funds are forthcoming.

The Friends of St Gredifael’s Church, Penmynydd, have started renovating the historic building which houses a medieval alabaster tomb of Goronwy ap Tudor and his wife Myfanwy.

The church was closed five year's ago amid a cash crisis when its stipend was increased and it needed expensive renovations.

Now, the friends and community volunteers, archaeologists and architects, are working to save the building and are appealing for help and donations.

On Sunday, they came together to put in a new floor. When floorboards were removed, the original clay floor was discovered about a foot down. A mixture of bones, thought to be from burials of important people from between 1200-1800s were found - although archaeologists say they had previously been disturbed - probably as far back as Victorian times.

The church also has a famous stained glass window the Tudor Rose - although currently a modern replica - after vandals destroyed an earlier window. It was smashed by yobs in 2007 two weeks after a visit from Prince Charles.

Because of its links to the the Tudor kings and queens of Britain the church has had a long association with royal patronage. In 1850 Queen Victoria donated £50 for its upkeep.

Katherine Williams, secretary of the Friends of St Gredifael's Church said: "We have to find a way forward to save the building, we need help, and donations would be gratefully received. We have also started to look into grant applications.

"We hope to able to use it as a community space, as it can't be used as a church anymore. Some people are disappointed, but at least this way, we can save it from neglect and it can be used for the local community.

"To make best use of the space, we may have to move the tomb, over to the chancel, but that is where it was originally."

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust chief archaeologist Andrew Davidson said; "St Gredifael is said to have lived in the early 6th century, though we have no real evidence. Carved stones built into the church are of 12th century, do indicate the presence of an earlier church of importance. We know it was rebuilt around1380-1400, probably by Gwilym ap Gruffydd (who died in 1431) on the death of his father-in law, from whom he inherited Penmynydd, in 1382.

"His father-in-law was Goronwy ap Tudur, and it is his effigy that is commemorated with his wife Myfanwy.

"The tomb was almost certainly originally in the Friary at Llanfaes, but moved to the church after the Reformation. It was originally in the chancel, but later moved to the north chapel, where it is now, in 1848."

Anyone who can offer help or a donation is asked to contact Katherine Williams via the Friends of St Gredifael's Church Facebook page.