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Description: Church of St.ellywe, Llanwlieu
Date Listed: 28 September 1961
Cadw Building ID: 6622
OS Grid Coordinates: 318492, 234183
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9997, -3.1874
Located at the head of the Cwm Rhyd-Ellywe, within a raised oval walled churchyard, on a small plateau beneath the Rh_s fawr.
History: Parish church of the former parish of St Ellywe. C13/C15, carefully restored in 1905 by Baldwin of Brecon, and further repaired in 1981.
Exterior: Sandstone rubble with a slate roof. In plan a single undivided cell, with an added C16 S porch. The gabled porch has a round-arched outer opening and counterboarded oak inner door with cover battens, set into a heavy oak frame, the timber lintel cut to form a soffit arch. This door replaces the blocked medieval door immediately E. C13 narrow priest's doorway further E. Two small lancets on N side, and inserted 2-light square headed windows on the S with cusped heads. Jambs slightly chamfered. E window is also of 2 lights, ogee cusped tracery enclosed within square head. Two light W window.
At W end, a gabled timber bell turret, by Baldwin of Brecon, 1905, rises from a slate-hung base. Louvred 2-light openings.
On the SW wall of the church there is a fine sandstone sundial, inscribed PB WARDEN 1686, set at high level.
Attached to the S side of the porch, two C7/C9 grave markers, one with a crude stemmed ring cross, each quadrant with ring and dimple, and the other with a double ring cross, the arms crossed and the quadrants containing similar dimples. Set against the E end are two tomb slabs, (a) David Powell of Cwm-hwnt d1725, a heart, and (b) slab with bold raised lettering within a moulded margin, arms and trefoil, to William Aubrey of Llanelliyw, d 1716.
Interior: Stone flagged floor. Walls retain early, probably medieval plaster. Roof of 6 bays - tie and collar beam trusses with cusped windbraces to the single tier of purlins, but trusses 3 and 4 have arched braces to collar and a wide runner. Open rafters. At truss 4 the floor rises 1 step, forming the division to the chancel, the truss being boarded both above and below the tie beam to form a basic screen, and painted red with, above tie beam level, stencilled white roses. At the centre, the unpainted impression of a rood cross, and attenuated cross patt_e. Below the tie, the screen is perforated with 2 circles and four quatrefoils. Below the lower bressumer, the screen is open on moulded posts and responds, and arch braces. In front of the screen, a second timber screen forms, with joists a loft in front front of the main screen, originally, according to Haslan, with boarding either side of the centre passage to enclose nave altars. Similar oak posts and responds, panelled in red, with stencilled cinquefoils, and a moulded rood beam, originally with a painted inscription. This screen is cut back at the S end to insert the steps to the pulpit. There was originally a coved roof over the loft. Cut off remains of a second moulded rood beam. Notwithstanding alterations this remains an exceptional regional example of a medieval rood screen.
Altar rail, late C17, with square newels, ringed balusters and a moulded rail. The sanctuary is partially paved with mid C18 tomb slabs, but one of 1640. Double piscina of E wall and an aumbrey in the S wall.
Font, opposite S door, and octagonal cone raised on a base, with C17 oak cover. Pulpit, early C18, square, framed and boarded, raised on a stone plinth and having bracketed reading shelves.
Furniture: Two C17-C18 oak pews with 2 terminals to each square-cut end.
Wallpaintings: Palimpsest medieval painting and numerous post-reformation texts only partially uncovered. On W wall, Adam and Eve flanking tree, in black line, late medieval. N wall, large mantled royal arms, probably late C17, only the crowned lion supporter and foliage survives, within an marbled border. To left, a painted marbled tablet, and further left, a large credo framed with columns. To the right of the royal arms, further textual panels. Figures with drapery below the N window. At E end of N wall, a palimpsest stencilled flower pattern, probably C14, above a dado. On the S wall, tests show there remains extensive but still covered paintings including stencilled flowers. Large painted Commandments panel E of S door. Various unfortunate cement repairs on S wall.
Monuments: Various wall tablets: (a) Nicely carved limestone tablet by Powel, to Thomas Jones and Sibyl Price of Cwm-syfyddig, d 1778/9. (b) White gables and pilastered marble tablet on black, by Phillips, Talgarth, to Ann, Catherine and Mary Lloyd Price of the Court, d 1867-1879. (c) White tablet on grey by Phillips, within black frame painted on wall, to Price family of Llanelieu Court, d 1854 etc. (d)Relief carved slate by Games, to William Williams of Cwmgynfyn, d 1759. (e) Limestone relief carved tablet with decorative border, by Games, to Mark Watkins of If_stille, 1748, and John Watkins, d 1765. (f) White tablet against black painted border, to William Davies of Bronllys Castle, d 1828. (g) White and streaked marbles, urn on cornice, to Susannah Davies of Bronllys Castle, d 1801. (h) White marble oval on black slate, set on corbel, to William Davies of Aberenig, surgeon, d 1808. (i) Limestone donative tablet in NE window reveal recording gift of annual monies to poor children 'lawfully begott' 1773. On S wall (j) Handsome aedicule with open pediment, carved and painted wood frame, by Hughes Lanville, to William Davies of Penwernlleyd, d 1786. Within priest's door (k) a black painted limestone tablet by TP to Hannah Thomas, a child, d1818. (l) Sandstone slab with relief lettering to Thomas Aubrey, d 1669, arms below. Above the pulpit (m) large limestone slab to Walter Perrott d 1728, others. and (n) Limestone tablet by Games, to Mary Perrott of Cwm-hwnt, d 1777.
Included at Grade I as an important country church that has retained much of its medieval interior, including wall paintings and an exceptional rood screen.
Archaeologia Cambrensis XIII 4th Series (1882) 295; (1889) 280-1; (1952) 66-8;
Dawson, G.F. The Churches of Brecknockshire (1909) 114-7;
Aymer Vallance English Church Screens (1936) 23;
Nash-Williams, V.E. The Early Christian Monuments of Wales (1950) 74; Fig 5.40 and Pl XV and XVI.
Haslam, R. 'Buildings of Wales' series. Powys (1959) 333-334;
RCAHM Report by Griffiths, W.E. (1968).
Reason for Listing
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.