Saturday 26 January 2019

St Afan Llanfechan

I noticed this church a while ago when were were driving past, you could easily miss it as the church sits back isolated off the main road beside the old road that used to run past it. The only dwelling nearby is a farm. Surprisingly I found some history on Wikipedia
" The present church dates to a refurbishment in 1866. The church is of typical medieval size and plan and this probably reflects the footprint of its predecessor. The 14th century font inside the church presumably comes from this earlier building. The church stands on an unnatural mound, assumed to be the debris of the earlier church, and within a raised churchyard about 45m across.
It was probably attached originally to the church at Llanafan Fawr ('Llanafan the Greater'), records of both churches during the 18th and 19th centuries show that curates from Llanafan Fawr also served Llanfechan. It was attached to the church at Llanganten by the early 20th century.
St Afan was a 5th or 6th century Welsh bishop, who was usually known as Afan Buallt, indicating a connection with the Buallt area. It is not known where or when he was a bishop, but the name by which he was referred suggests his diocese was around Builth in Brycheiniog with his seat at Llanafan Fawr."

This is the view of the church from over the wall.
Going through the gate leads you to see a closer view

Walking around to the West end and the single bell then towards the North side

Finally around to the East end then South side

Where you come to the entrance porch

Inside you find a single cell church with a step up leading to the altar

on which you find a single candle with a lot of bad droppings around it and try as I might I could not see any above me, mind you it was dark looking up.
Tuning around you get a good view of the choir stalls and nave

There is a single organ that looks well used

and a nice jug containing plastic flowers on it

Above the font with cover and the pulpit. you get a nice view of the altar from it

And another of the nave, before leaving we turn around and get a good view from the doorway

Outside wandering around you find a lot of old interesting headstones

Above a couple of fenced monuments one almost hidden under a yew.

Chest tombs

Old headstones

Stone tombs seem to be more common in this churchyard

Some of the graves have both head & footstones

and some headstones look more recent than others
This cross must have become unsafe and has been lent over onto it's base

A more modern headstone with a showjumping engraving on the top, not seen one like this before

The East end of the churchyard and the older graves

I will leave you this week with a view from the South West across the more modern headstones.
Wishing you all a peaceful weekend till next time

Saturday 19 January 2019

St. Dubricus Gwenddwr

This was the second of the churches I managed to visit that were in the hills outside Erwood, this marked another of the churches outstanding on my map. The church looks to date back to 6th century but I can find little history on the church other than on the Benefice website so I'll let you click on the link to find out more.

After walking up a track that passed a house you come out on this path leading though the churchyard.

It passes the South side of the church

Towards the short tower on the West end that is quite a common type around here

The North side with the small windows

Here we look along the North side towards the tower

The East end across the churchyard

The church is single cell so the nave and chancel blend together

The altar is tidy with fresh flowers

The altar cross has a plaque saying is was presented for the safe return of four service men that served in the Great war
Turning around you get this great view down the church

There are two organs in the church though I could not say which is used in the services

Above the pulpit and lectern and the view down the church from it

The church bible open on one of the pages

Above the one Stained Glass window showing St Dubricius

The kneelers around the church show various scenes like this collie uses on the local farms

One showing the church

and a leaf

The windowsills are decorated with vases of flowers
Even the font had a display on it

Outside in the churchyard you can see many tombs over by the boundary

Looking back along the churchyard more of headstones can be seen

The odd one being covered in ivy

The North side has many more

Above one Commonwealth war grave to Gunner J.J.Smith

Left the East end of the churchyard

Some of the North side headstones

Couple of Chest Tombs

A family vault

Above the main monument in the vault which is in very good condition with the nave readable

Right some new headstones with older ones in the background

One of the chest tombs which is in good condition though the writhing is getting a little faded

A small table tomb

Above another chest tomb which is breaking apart

Left a tomb where the inscription is visible

Near the tomb with the faded writing are ore chest tombs of varying height and age
Above a leaning cross marks another grave

After this I went across the road to visit the chapel ,

normally this would warrant it's own blog but I only took three photos there was little to see

The plaque tells you it is Bryn Sion Congregational Chapel erected 1888

The chapel looks like it is still in use though there is very little area around the outside and no cemetery to see but the rest is well maintained 

That is my blog for this week, I will leave you with this view of the font cover with a vase of flowers and ears of corn.
Have a happy & peaceful weekend