St David’s Church

The old parish church sits above the Irfon River, and at one time would have been the centre of the Llanwrtyd farming community. In 1164 Lord Rhys, owner of vast lands in old Breconshire, gave the hills behind the church to the new Cistercian monastery at Strata Florida and the church remained with the monks until 1535.

Many famous preachers have preached at the church including Theophilus Evans (1732-1767) the man who discovered the health-giving properties of the local sulfur spring waters, which led to the expansion and establishment of Llanwrtyd Wells the Victorian Spa town. Between 1740-43 William Williams was the curate at the church. He converted to Methodism and drafted the famous “Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah”, which every patriotic Welsh person knows off by heart. In his lifetime he wrote over 800 hymns. Other notable personages associated with the church were the Rev Thomas Howell and The Pastor James Rhys Kilsby Jones, who lived above the church in the house that is known today as Kilsby. He preached in both English and Welsh and was a man of literary talent translating English to Welsh, and Welsh to English. Today the Church holds the occasional wedding and funeral, and at Christmas there is the annual carol service. Anyone visiting Llanwrtyd should visit this beautiful church on the edge of the Cambrian mountains.

Just above the main gate and to the left of the entrance a new memorial seat has been erected. The seat is dedicated to Shane Davies from Llanwrtyd Wells.

Shane was a local man who lived in and around the Llanwrtyd area all his life. He was one of the sixth generation of the Davies family to live in the area. He worked as a Quarry manager and helped many local organisations and groups access grant funding from the Aggregate Levi Fund. It is quite appropriate that he should have a seat as a memorial to him because, when he was eleven years old he asked for an electric ark welder for his birthday and started making benches to order for the local people. Quite unusual for a young boy of this age. There is also an annual Shane Davies Memorial Tractor run the raises money for local charities.

The graveyard and pathway leading to the Front door of St David's Church, Llanwrtyd.
11th Century St David’s Church, Llanwrtyd.
The exterior of St David's Church, Llanwrtyd.
11th Century St David’s Church, Llanwrtyd.
The Shane Davies Memorial Seat at St david's Church, llanwrtyd.
The newly dedicated Shane Davies Memorial Seat at St David’s Church, Llanwrtyd.

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