Saturday 29 June 2019

St Stephan Llanstephan

This was one on my list to visit and is a little out of the way for most people being rather isolate.
I did find some history on theCPAT website.
"The small church of St Stephan lies high up on the east side of the Wye Valley some 12km to the south-east of Builth Wells. Architecturally it is undistinguished, the best features being the15thC Perpendicular windows. There are virtually no internal fittings of early date. The churchyard includes a well, a sundial and a few chest tombs.
Nave is 13thC with original south doorway perhaps of this date, but all windows are later.
Chancel added in 14thC when nave wall broken through. Some reconstruction in?19thC.
Tower is claimed to be of 14thC origin, supposedly on basis of round-arched doorway to nave, but this could be 15thC (cf chancel east window) in keeping with date attributed to current tower. Additionally, tower arch may have been re-set. Tower perhaps partly rebuilt on west and south (though conceivably the appearance is the result of contemporary variation in the masonry), but at date unknown and Victorian insertion on south.
Internally, 19thC reconstruction of most windows and doors, chancel arch, as well as replacement of some external dressings. Porch added at this time." 
After finding by way along some wonderful roads via a reused railway track bed I found myself here infornt of this really unusual lychgate

It seems to have a hut one end with double entry gates and a pedestrian acess. The road right heads on up to some farms

Take a walk aloong  the road on the right and you get a nice view of the church by climbing over a stile

Going in the main entrance you pass by the East end

Walk up to the right and see a view along the Northside of the church

The South side had a bit more of interest going for it

Walk down the churchyard a bit and you get a good view of the yew tree growing

Going a long a little you see the South side of the church across the headstones

A blocked up door in the tower end

The tower on the shurch is quite short like many you find in the area

The porch leading you in
The church inside is quite simple with pews and carpeted aisle
Which leads on into the chancel
Where you get to see a fine view of the altar

Which is dressed

and decorated with flowers

Either side you can see the bishops chairs

You can also see this beautiful mural of the nativity
Looking back through the arch to the nave
From the chance arch

The organ and choir stalls in the chancel

with another bank opposite

The pulpit is stone with steps leading to it  where you get this view of the nave

A bible sits on the lectern

There are only a couple of memorial in the church
both of them to members of the Powell family

At the back you find the font which may be a little older than it looks

The back of the font with the nave in the background.

A candelabra down by the choir stalls 

At the back of the nave is this memorial to Hugo John Laurence Phillips Third Barron of Llanstephan

Under it is this Vertue by George Herbert

The second candelabra in the choir stalls 

Near the entrance is this church chest which looks a little older that the rebuilt church

A final look from the doorway

Outside the churchyard was full of Bluebells

With a path way cut through them

One of the Family Vaults in the churchyard

A a view over the South side by the church

Up on the East end of the churchyard you find more tomb chests

Heading South you pass a couple of more recent headstones

This monument with a sundial was very nice with a cross a more bluebells in the background

I noticed a depression and on investigation found a spring which had been walled around with a outlet flowing away. No mention of this on the map

The water ran down though the churchyard out under the wall.
In the background you look down the Wye Valley

A rather well placed seat between a couple of yews, with a small mural affixed under the dedication plaque.
The memorial in the church at the back was for the person buried here

The seat you saw gave you this view along the Wye Valley

Looking down the churchyard 

You pass a  few more tomb chests as you walk out of the churchyard
I will leave you this week with this wonderful view towards the Brecon Beacons
Till next time I wish you very happy and peaceful weekend