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Radnorshire Churches Survey

Church of St David , Heyop

Heyop Church is in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, in the community of Beguildy in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SO2397974556.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16795 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Heyop Church, CPAT copyright photo 431-07.JPG


St David's church at Heyop lies some 5km to the north-west of Knighton, overlooking the valley of the River Lugg. Without doubt a medieval establishment, the whole structure was rebuilt towards the end of the 19thC, leaving only the medieval foundations, a 15thC screen and an earlier font.

Completely rebuilt, the only architectural elements of the earlier church being the re-used masonry of earlier church and a small section of basal foundation at the north-west corner of the tower.

Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1979 publication The Buildings of Wales: Powys by Richard Haslam


The origin and development of Heyope Church are unknown, though there is no reason to suspect an early medieval beginning.

The St Davids' Episcopal Registers refer to 'Heyope' in 1398.

The church was described by Williams in c.1818 as a small, plain, and ancient edifice, without any characteristic mark in its architecture to designate the period of its erection.

Glynne remarked on its low, rude tower without buttresses and only a few slit windows, its roof pointed and covered with tiles. The exterior of the single-cell building was whitewashed, there was a south porch and the windows were Perpendicular in style. Inside the altar was surrounded by pews and there were a few old wooden benches.

It was rebuilt by J.L.Pearson in 1881-2 on the old foundations, the specification for the work requiring that only those parts of the tower that were sound be left; the new windows and roof were very much as in the preceding 15thC single-chamber church.


Heyop church consists of a west tower, a nave and chancel as a single unit, a vestry together with an annex (for an organ?) on the north side of the chancel, and a south porch, near the south-west corner of the nave. The church is aligned very slightly north of grid west.

Fabrics: 'A' is of blocks and a few slabs of grey shale, regularly dressed, some coursed; selected blocks used as quoins and buff-grey sandstone for window dressings. 'B' consists of slabs and some blocks of small to medium grey shale and some very fine-grained sedimentary rock, irregular in form but often fresh looking, grey through to brown, with variable weathering, randomly coursed.

Fabric 'A' is Victorian. 'B' is also of Victorian build but probably re-used masonry from earlier church.

Roofs: covered by reconstituted clay tiles with toothed ridge tiles; cross finial to chancel; spire surmounted by weathercock.

Drainage: trench around the wall face seems likely in view of presence of 0.3m-wide band of gravel on all sides.


Tower. General. Fabric 'B', except for east wall in 'A'. Belfry windows (except for east wall where no windows) of two louvred lancets with roundel above under two-centred arch with stopped hoodmoulds. West wall alone has window at lower level with two ogee-headed lights and the usual stopped hoodmoulds over a two-centred arch. At north-west corner the basal course of masonry projects for max. 0.1m and represents earlier tower foundation on fractionally different alignment. Above tower is shingled broach-spire.

Nave and Chancel. General. Fabric 'A'. Walls of body of church have keel-moulded string-course. Windows on north and south sides conform to standard pattern though variable number of lights, either three or four: rectangular window frames, ogee-headed lights with cusped tracery. East window has two-centred arch with three lights and intersecting tracery, and hoodmould above. Single buttress on both north and south sides.

Vestry. General. Fabric, door and windows as nave and chancel, but string-course absent.

Porch. General. Plain sides, all in 'A'. Entrance under wooden gable with tie-beam and cusped struts.


Porch. General. Tiled floor. Simple roof of purlins and rafters. Stone benches on west and east. South door of church (in north wall) has two-centred arch in cream sandstone.

Tower. General. Nothing of any note; wooden ceiling.

Nave. General. Tiled floor with grilles down centre under carpet; benches on flush wooden boarding. Roof is continuous across nave and chancel and consists of 7 bays with arch-braced collars and cusped raking struts. Walls plastered. All window embrasures have wooden soffits.

East wall: screen, new rood over archway.

South wall: wooden mural tablet of 1796.

West wall: simple rounded arch into tower.

Chancel. General. Floor of encaustic tiles, rear choir stalls raised on plinths. Internal 'string-course' for decoration on south, east and north. Piscina and sedile in south wall.


Churchyard is rectangular with church almost centrally placed. Occupies a slight spur projecting from the southern edge of the Lugg valley, with the ground dropping into valley only a few metres to north, and a much less substantial drop to lower ground to the west. Northwards ground rises towards the hills. Churchyard itself, however, is level.

Churchyard is well-maintained and is used for modern burials.

Boundary consists of a mortared stone wall for complete perimeter; evidence of the earlier bank just outside north wall and perhaps on west as well. Generally, ground level within yard is higher than outside, varying between 0.4m-1.0m.

Monuments: these are located mainly to south and west of the church where a good cover, but not very dense. Surprisingly few on east side, and modern burials on the north. There is a partially buried gravestone of 1726 to south-east of the chancel, but this appears to be the only pre-19thC memorial visible in the yard.

Furniture: none.

Earthworks: minor internal embanking behind boundary wall.

Ancillary features: main entrance on south consists of double iron gates with iron arch over. Concrete path leads to porch. Modern farm gate on north side gives access to burial area.

Vegetation: three old yews on south side of church. Four yew bushes around one grave beside path.

Sources consulted

CPAT Field Visit: 22 February 1996
Crossley and Ridgway 1949, 230
Davies, 1905, 216
Faculty 1881: NLW/SD/F/203
Glynne 1897, 55
Haslam 1979, 236
Howse, 1949, 258

Click here to view full project bibliography

Please note that many rural churches are closed to the public at certain times. It is advisable to check when the church will be open before visiting. Information about access, or how to contact parish clergy, can often be obtained from the relevant Diocesan Office which can be found through the Church in Wales website. Further information about Heyop Church may also be found on the Swansea and Brecon Diocese website.

The CPAT Radnorshire Churches Survey Project was funded by Cadw as part of an all Wales survey of medieval parish churches.

This HTML page has been generated from the Cadw Churches Survey database & CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record - 17/07/2007 ( 22:02:45 ).
Further information about this and other churches surveyed is available from the Regional Historic Environment Record, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Curatorial Section, 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7RR tel - (01938) 553670, fax - (01938) 552179, email -, website -

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