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Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llanbrynmair, Powys

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Latitude: 52.5933 / 52°35'36"N

Longitude: -3.6487 / 3°38'55"W

OS Eastings: 288412

OS Northings: 300782

OS Grid: SH884007

Mapcode National: GBR 9B.9Q9G

Mapcode Global: WH68P.X2PP

Plus Code: 9C4RH9V2+8G

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 2 July 1962

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 7605

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located approximately 3.2 kilometres S of Llanbrynmair on the B 4518, and set in an oval churchyard on a small hill.

County: Powys

Community: Llanbrynmair (Llanbryn-mair)

Community: Llanbrynmair

Locality: Llan

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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Llanbrynmair was centred at Llan before the advent of the turnpike to Machynlleth in 1821. St Cadfan is said to have founded the church on the hill here c.560 AD. It was in the diocese of St Asaph, until transferred to Bangor in 1860. Its present form is probably of the C14-C15, with a late medieval or C17 N transept and a C17 belltower. Some improvements were carried out in 1748-9, and it was judiciously restored in 1854-1860. The archives of the Society of the Middle Temple were kept in the parish over 1939-1945. In the churchyard is the tomb of William Williams (Gwilym Cefeiliog), 1801-1876) the englynwyr, of Bontdolgadfan.


The church is approached through a lych-gate, with slate steps to one side, and is surrounded by many fine slate headstones by T.R.Jones of Llanbrynmair and others, and 5 yew trees.

Built of local rubble stone with a slate roof. Chancel and nave, with the vestry and storeroom at the W end, are in one cell, with an added S porch, and large chapel or transept, known as the 'cross church' in 1730, now a school room, on the N side. A timber framed tower, with a pyramidal roof is raised through the roof over the storeroom and lobby at the W end. Open outer arch to the porch leads to the C19 inner door with limestone quoins. Two light trefoil headed windows, mostly of the C19, and 3-light window at E end. Transept has a reset 3-light C15 window at the N end, and an E door. The storeroom has double external doors to the N.


Tie beam roof of the C19 for four bays at the E, and probably C15 trussed rafters further W. Walls plastered. On the N side, a rude timber arcade with 35cm square posts and angle braces to the wall plate is inscribed on the soffit RI WB 1685, probably inserted at the time the transept was added. The E wall is thickened either side of the window, one side arched, and a rough aumbrey is set in the N wall, and piscina with drain in the S. A timber partition with moulded posts, probably C17, at the W end now separates off the body of the church from the vestry at the base of the tower and storeroom. Glass: one C15 yellow stain quarry is set in the N transept window, and on the N side, a geometric window by D.Evans, 1860. Pulpit, C19 constructed with C17 carved panelling, and some fragments of the cresting of the former medieval rood screen (other parts are said to be in the National Folk Museum at St Fagans). Font, a circular bowl with roll rim, if of the C13 (Haslam) then reworked, said to come from an earlier church at Dolgadfan. Three bells, a tenor and another dated 1665, and a base by A.Rudhall, inscribed 'Prosperity to this Parish AR 1759' set in a heavy braced frame probably of the C17-C18. In the vestry, C18 dado panelling.

Furnishings: C17 altar table with stretchers close to the floor, and 3 early rough pews, with 3 more in the transept, and one in the vestry. Two C19 arch-headed text boards, quoting Exodus in Welsh.

Monuments: (a) Marble tablet to Capt. Loscombe Law Stable, d.1914; (b) Daniel Winteringham Stable d.1929, (c) Slate tablet to the Rt Hon. Sir Winteringham Norton Stable, judge and high sheriff of the county in 1960, d.1976. In the nave, (d) Carrara marble mounted on a painted board, to Pte William Tudor of Ty newydd, Dylife, d.1917 and Albert Roberts, d.1918. (e) White marble on grey, a gabled tablet to the Griffith family. In chancel (f) A heavily carved Gothic limestone ogee canopied exedra, to Anne Browne Russell of Gellendowyl, by R.Browne of Russell Street, d.1831. War memorial of 1915 with sculptured bronze inserts to the veined marble.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at Grade II* as a fine country church in an attractive setting, which retains fabric from the medieval period, substantially enlarged in the C17, with some fittings surviving, and carefully restored in the C19.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Sundial in the Churchyard of the Church of St Mary
    Located to the south of the W end of the church, approximately 5 metres from the corner of the Vestry.
  • II Hafod y Llan, also known as the Old Rectory
    Located close to the NW side of the graveyard of the church of St Mary, and approached by a driveway under the churchyard wall.
  • II Plas esgair
    The house is located in its own grounds approached by a long driveway from the road, approximately 550m N of Llan church.
  • II Bethel Chapel and Forecourt Railings
    The chapel is located at an angle to the road, at the entrance to Bont Dolgadfan village from the B 4518, behind the house Tan-y-capel. The schoolroom and meeting room are attached by a lean-to roof
  • II Bont Dolgadfan Independent Chapel, with railed forecourt
    Located near the centre of Bont Dolgadfan, beside the road leading to Ty-gwyn farm. The chapel is set lengthwise and above the road, behind its railed forecourt set on the retaining wall.
  • II Brynawel
    Located on right side of the road from the centre of the village leading to Ty-gwyn and below the Independent Chapel.
  • II Tremafon
    Located on right side of the road from the centre of the village leading to Ty-gwyn and below the Independent Chapel.
  • II Bont Dolgadfan
    At the centre of the hamlet of Bont Dolgadfan.

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