St Melangell

Founded in the 7th century and hidden deep in the Berwyn mountains, the tiny church at St Melangell’s is home to the earliest surviving Romanesque shrine in northern Europe.

About this church

A place of pilgrimage for nearly 1,000 years, Pennant Melangell is a simple Norman, 12th century church on a Bronze age site. Set in a circular churchyard, with two gates on either side; one for those coming over the moor, and the other for those from the valley below, St Melangell’s is also surrounded by some of Wales finest 2,000 year old yews. 

The church was been rebuilt over the centuries, and retains much of its ancient fabric, including a 12th century font.  But its finest treasure is the shrine of St Melangell, dated to 1160-70 carved with Celtic and Romanesque motifs, and which has been a well-established place of pilgrimage since the 140s.

Notice the 15th century carved wooden screen which depicts the story of St Melangell, a 7th century saint, who lived as a hermit here. Legend tells that she saved a hare hunted by a Prince of Powys, was given the valley, and became Abbess of a small community. The church remains a place of sanctuary and pilgrimage for walkers, worshippers and wildlife lovers today. 

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard

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 Cynog

A simple village church in an ancient elevated churchyard, in a stunning setting with views up the valley and to the surrounding hills.


St Derfel

Dedicated to a saint with connections to King Arthur and a popular pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages, St Derfel's is famous for its 'fasting woman' and its medieval relic that has a connection to a grisly execution.

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