PowysLLANWRTYDWELLSStDavid(micklobbCC-BY-SA2.0)1 MickLobb

St David Old Church

A beautiful 11th century church overlooking the idyllic Ifon Valley.

Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys

Opening times

The church is opened daily from 10am to 5pm in the winter and 9am to 8pm in the summer.


Abergwesyn Road
Llanwrtyd Wells

St Davids old church nestles in the hill side overlooking the tranquil river Ifon above the road to Abergwysyn, one mile from Llanwrtyd Wells.

A church has stood on this site for more than 1500 years and its reputed that St David himself chose the site for the promulgation of the Christian faith following the great church synod at Llannewibrefi in 519 AD. In 1164 the lord Rhys gave the hills behind the church to his new Cistercian monastery at Strata Florida and the property remained with the monks until 1535 AD. The present church reveals four periods of architecture covering the Norman to the Georgian eras.

Its earliest artifact is an early medieval stone Celtic Cross that is located near the font. The cross would have been present when the church was of wood and wattle construction. Of note is a silver chalice presented by Queen Elizabeth I in 1539 to the church which bears the name 'Llanwortyd' should have of course been Llanwrtyd.

A tablet in the sanctuary near the pulpit records the exploits of Captain John Lloyd of Dinas. He joined the East India Company in 1779 has an apprentice to the ships surgeon and rose to the rank of Captain. On retirement he returned to Dinas with a fortune of some £4,000,000 pounds in modern currency and contributed much to the local community before his death in 1818.

The great grandfather 7 times removed of the current church warden Theophilus Evans was vicar at St David's 1732-1767. He was a prolific author. His most famous book was a History of Primitive Ages which was a must read in the 19th and 20th century. It was written in Welsh and translated into English in the early 19th century by Revd George Davies in the USA. 

  • Wildlife haven

  • Social heritage stories

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Wifi

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Level access throughout

  • Dog friendly

  • Car park at church

  • Annual Candle Light Service around mid week near the 16th December. Note the church has no electricity or heating making the service very atmospheric. Celebration of the Passion at the end of Lent. Local primary school Ysgol Dolafon Spring concert in mid May.

  • Church in Wales

  • Repair Grant, £20,000, 2017

  • Our Repair Grants funded urgent repair work to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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This is one of those extraordinarily atmospheric churches that escaped the Victorian improvers.