St Ellyw

The church is remotely situated, deep in the Black Mountains (Brecon Beacons National Park) in a large and ancient churchyard.

About this church

Of 13th century origin it is renowned for its huge 14th century screen with loft painted blood red. The panels above have small quatrefoil openings to allow a view from the loft to the high altar to the east. The altar rails are of 17th century date and the church possesses a fine run of simple evocative monuments, and some wall paintings.
As at so many of our churches the local people here regularly use the church for meetings and concerts, in particular Llanelieu features in the Talgarth Festival.

The rare medieval rood screen at Llanelieu, on which you can still see the ghostly outline of the cross removed at the Reformation, is much admired by visitors and architectural historians alike.

We were delighted to discover it also features in popular modern fiction. In 'Fervala' (2015) by Andy McNab, his hero Nick Stone writes: 'I parked not far from the church at Llanelieu. I first spotted it when Trev and I had found our way out (of our hideaway on the western edge of the Black Mountains) and gone back later when I started getting excited by medieval history. God no longer pays St Ellyw's formal visits, even on Sundays and I wanted to see if the loft was still painted blood red'. It is!

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

Other nearby churches

PowysCAPELYFFINStMaryVirgin(sjaakkempeCC-BY-2.0)1

St Mary the Virgin

Built in 1762 on the site of a medieval place of worship and pilgrimage, two headstones by Eric Gill can be found in the churchyard.

St Mary

More information about this church coming soon.

Become a Friend of the National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings!