PowysLLANELIEUStEllyw(philiphallingCC-BY-SA2.0)1 PhilipHalling

St Ellyw

The church is remotely situated, deep in the Black Mountains (Brecon Beacons National Park) in a large and ancient churchyard.

Llanelieu, Powys

Opening times

Church open daily.



Of 13th century origin it is renowned for its huge 14th century screen with loft painted blood red. The panels above have small quatrefoil openings to allow a view from the loft to the high altar to the east. The altar rails are of 17th century date and the church possesses a fine run of simple evocative monuments, and some wall paintings.
As at so many of our churches the local people here regularly use the church for meetings and concerts, in particular Llanelieu features in the Talgarth Festival.

The rare medieval rood screen at Llanelieu, on which you can still see the ghostly outline of the cross removed at the Reformation, is much admired by visitors and architectural historians alike.

We were delighted to discover it also features in popular modern fiction. In 'Fervala' (2015) by Andy McNab, his hero Nick Stone writes: 'I parked not far from the church at Llanelieu. I first spotted it when Trev and I had found our way out (of our hideaway on the western edge of the Black Mountains) and gone back later when I started getting excited by medieval history. God no longer pays St Ellyw's formal visits, even on Sundays and I wanted to see if the loft was still painted blood red'. It is!

  • Wildlife haven

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Dog friendly

  • Friends of Friendless Churches

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Gwendoline

Talgarth, Powys

This medieval church is said to occupy the site where St Gwendoline was buried, reputedly one of many saintly descendants of the 5th century king Brychan Brycheiniog.

St Mary the Virgin

Capel y Ffin, Powys

Set in the hidden valley of the Honddu river, with the Black Mountains to the west and the great ridge carrying Offa's Dyke to the east, Capel y Ffin melds art and landscape seamlessly.

Maesyronnen Chapel

Glasbury on Wye, Powys

You can’t get a chapel much older than Maesyronnen, it is considered one of the most important buildings in Wales.