St Martin of Tours

You can catch glimpses of Cwmyoy's 13th century church from the road as it winds up the Vale of Ewyas, and even from afar the leaning tower is very apparent.

About this church

Closer to, the lean is all the more dramatic, and it is not just the tower: the different elements of the building are at different angles to one another. But the church is stable, the tower buttressed, and the nave walls long braced with additional beams. All these leanings are because the church was built on what turned out to be an unstable hillside that was made up of debris from an Ice Age landslide.

Inside, arches, floors and windows are at different angles, making the view up the nave into the chancel truly memorable. But it is also beautiful, neat and simple, with many memorials on the walls. The majority of these were made by the Butes, a family of stonemasons who carved memorials for churches across the Black Mountains.

In the nave is a stone cross with a figure of Jesus crucified upon it, possibly 13th century. The cross was stolen in 1967 but, by good fortune, was spotted in a London antique dealer's shop by an expert from the British Museum and subsequently returned to Cwmyoy.

The tiny population takes great care of its wonderful, eccentric church, and feels very affectionately towards it, even although the responsibility of looking after such a special building is enormous.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


St Issui

Reached along tiny, winding flower filled lanes (or by footpath), this medieval church sits on a south facing slope looking over a tiny valley to the slopes of the Sugar Loaf mountain.

St David

More information about this church coming soon.

Llanthony Priory

Priory of Augustinian canons founded early in the 12th century in the beautiful and secluded Ewyas valley.

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