Hay Deanery - Tour 2
Llangors - Cathedine - Bwlch - Llangasty TaI-y-Llyn - Llanfihangel TaI-y-LIyn - LIan-y-Wern
Leave Hay-on-Wye for Glasbury-on-Wye on the B4350, where it joins the A438 - carry on to Bronllys and take the first turn left in the village, the A479 to Talgarth. In Talgarth take the first turn right (B4560) to Llangors, passing through Trefecca - where Howell Harris founded a Wesleyan College in the mid 18th century. On the right as you approach the hamlet is College Farm, Trefecca - a handsome Jacobean house. In Llangors, park near the public conveniences and turning right take a short walk down to St Paulinus’ Church on the left side of the road.
St Paulinus Church, Llangors (O.S. ref. S0135276)
The first definitive reference to a Church building is 1211. The present Church was constructed in the 15th century; there was a major restoration in 1874 when the beautiful barrel roof in the South aisle was retained together with the Tudor doorway, windows, and priest’s door in the South wall. Note the "weeping sanctuary", the chancel arch, Byfield organ, lectern, the six bells and the Mass dial. Church registers date from 1692.
On leaving the car park, turn left and follow the signs to the lake. Llyn Syfaddan (Llangors Lake) is the largest natural freshwater lake in Wales. From the jetty you can see a small island, the Crannog, on which the king built his palace. You can hire a boat to row round the island. Retrace your steps to the Church and continue through the village on B4560 to...
St Michael’s Church, Cathedine (O.S. ref. SO143251)
This is a mediaeval Church restored in the 1870s. The font is Norman and there is a monolithic stone in the porch which together with the tower is of the 15th century. Church registers date from 1785. The church is at the moment going through a redundancy process.
Leaving the Church, drive along the B4560 to the War Memorial at Bwlch and at the T-junction turn
left along the A40 to the New Inn to park. Walk back from the car park and turn left to enter All
Saints’ churchyard, beside the bus shelter.
All Saints’ Church, Bwlch (O.S. ref. S0148220)
A stone-built chapel-of-ease to serve the community of Bwlch; the modern stained glass by Celtic Studios of Swansea, is the chief feature of the chapel. There are no Church registers, all entries are made in the registers of Cathedine Church.
Return to the car park and back to the War Memorial. Turn right back along the B4560 for three- quarters of a mile and take the first turn left towards Pennorth. Follow this road for a mile and a half to the Llangasty Church turning, passing on the left, Trebinshwn English Language School.
The forested hill on the left, "Allt Esgair" has on its crest the remains of a Celtic fort and a Roman road. In the middle of the fort is a panorama display of the Black Mountains to the East and the Brecon Beacons to the West erected in memory of Baroness Eirene White who was for many years the leading light in the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural Wales. Further along, after passing two farms, is a white gate to Treberfydd, a Victorian Gothic house built by Robert Raikes as a Centre for a Tractarian Community.
Turn right, follow the lane to Llangasty Church, close to Llyn Syfaddan (Llangorse Lake) with views of Mynydd Troed and the surrounding hills.
St Gastyn, Llangasty Tal-y-Llyn (OS. ref. S0133261)
Re-built in 1848-50 by J. Loughborough Pearson on behalf of Robert Raikes, the Church is a fine example of Victorian restoration. There is a West tower, narrower than the contiguous nave; a narrower chancel to the east with organ chamber and vestry opening off the chancel to the south and north respectively. Robert Raikes also commissioned the School building next to the Church which has been extended into a private house occupied by members of the Raikes family. The graveyard contains a unique set of memorials to the family. Church registers date from 1718.
Leave the Church and go down to the lake where there is much birdlife, as well as the seat, set into the wall, in memory of Duncan and Dorothea Raikes who initiated the SSSI and Reserve. Returning up the lane, on the right is Llangasty Retreat House founded by Miss Dorothy Raikes in the old Rectory, now in trust jointly to the Diocese of Swansea & Brecon and the Diocese of Llandaff.
Back at the road junction turn right to Pennorth. On the right is Ty Mawr, at one time a religious house, now a centre for the use of lime and other sustainable building materials. Cross the bridge over the disused Brecon-Newport railway, turn right and then left at the Y-junction, to
Tal-y-llyn. Bear right for Llanfihangel and the Black Cock Inn, above which is St Michael’s Church.
St Michael’s, Llanfihangel Tal-y-Llyn (O.S. ref. S0114284)
The Church was re-built on a steep slope overlooking Llyn Syfaddan (Llangors Lake) in 1865. The mediaeval stone font probably dates from the original foundation in 1401; church registers date from
Leaving St Michael’s return to the Black Cock Inn and turn right towards Brecon. In approximately one mile is a cross-roads and a panoramic view towards Pen y Fan, the Brecon Beacons and in the distance the Black Mountain leading to the Carmarthen Fans. Turn right to the Church of St. Mary in the four-farm hamlet of Llan-y-Wern (the church in the marsh).
Church of St Mary, Llan-y-Wern (O.S. ref. SO 102286)
This is a small 14th century Church scarcely touched in the 19th century except for the windows, and
re-roofed and re-decorated in 2005. It has a 13th century font and some 18th century monuments.
Note the two large buttresses on the north wall. The Churchyard was and is a bog, hence the name.
Church registers date from 1653. Part of the charm of this country Church is the view of the North and
West escarpments of the Black Mountains.
From the Church follow the road to the cross-roads at Llan-y-wern (also known as Waun-y-Mynech)
Common; turn right and continue for nearly two miles to the junction with A470. Turn right for
Hay-on-Wye - or left for Brecon.