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Radnorshire Churches Survey

Church of St Anno , Llananno

Llananno Church is in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, in the community of Llanbadarn Fynydd in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SO0956974346.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16806 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Llananno Church, CPAT copyright photo CS974619.JPG

Summary

Llananno sits on east bank of River Ithon, 15km north of Llandrindod Wells. The single-cell church was rebuilt in Victorian period and apart from its famous screen has a few fittings surviving from the medieval era including a font and stoup. The churchyard is rectilinear, perhaps disguising a more curvilinear predecessor.

Completely rebuilt in 1877 using some of old masonry in internal walling.

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

History

Nothing is known of the early history of Llananno. An early medieval origin may be suspected from its dedication and location.

No mention of the church in either of the 13thC Taxatios or in the 1535 Valor Ecclesiasticus.

Glynne visited the church in 1851,observing the undifferentiated nave and chancel, a south porch and a wooden belfry. The windows were 'wretched' apart from an obtuse lancet on the north side which might have been early. The west end was used for a school, and inevitably the screen was mentioned.

An 1874 account described the porch in a dilapidated state, but notes it as "a fine specimen of the ancient timber porch of the district". However, Williams went on to note that part of a stoup, the jambs of an old doorway and the remains of the splayed recesses for windows in the chancel were the only surviving bits of old masonry, suggesting fairly extensive restoration or rebuilding before the Victorian restoration referred to below.

The old church was completely rebuilt in 1876-7 by David Walker of Liverpool at a cost of 1500. The specification accompanying the faculty indicates that the whole church was to be taken down and any sound stone to be used internally. The screen was taken down and stored until restored three years later at a cost of 300.

Architecture

Church consists of nave and chancel in one, a south porch and a rectangular bell-turret at the west end. The alignment of the church is slightly south of west.

Fabric: consists of small to large blocks and slabs of grey and iron-stained fine-grained sedimentary rock (?mudstone), randomly coursed; dressed sandstone quoins.

Roofs: slated with simple semi-circular ridge tiles; no finials.

Drainage: south and north sides have simple downpipes, with no obvious indication of a drainage trench around the church.

Exterior

Wholly Victorian. Distinctive large neo-Perpendicular flat-headed windows containing two-centred arched lights with trefoil tracery and separate trefoils above. West window has hoodmoulding and relieving arch. East window more elaborate including variety of tracery, ogee-headed lights and ball stops to hoodmoulding. All dressings in light buff-coloured sandstone.

Two stepped buttresses at west end, and further buttresses on north and south at nave/chancel divide.

Small rectangular bell turret over west end with apertures for two bells though only one in situ.

Plain porch but south doorway has complex chamfers; short stub walls project from it to south.

Interior

General. Nothing to suggest that basic internal structure anything other than Victorian. Walls plastered and whitewashed.

Nave. General. Floor patterned in red and black tiles, wooden block flooring beneath benches and vestry; no evidence of heating vents. Roof of five bays with arch-braced collars set on wooden corbels, and crown and raking struts; one tier of cusped windbraces. Walls plastered and whitewashed. Vestry utilising old pews in north-west corner.

North wall: Mural tablet of 1814 over vestry.

East wall: screen.

South wall: hatchment of unknown date, adjacent to screen. Stoup beside south door.

West wall: nothing significant.

Chancel. General. Two steps up from nave. Floor as nave but additionally encaustic and emerald green tiles. Roof of two bays as nave, but lacking crown struts.

North wall: marble mural tablet of 1833.

South wall: mural tablet of 1875.

West wall: screen.

Porch. General. Floor as nave. Roof of scissor trusses.

North wall: two-centred arched doorway, chamfers with fancy stops; inscription dating rebuild to 1877.

East wall: plain with stone bench.

South wall: triangular-headed inner arch, in a golden sandstone.

West wall: as east wall.

Churchyard

Llananno church lies within a few metres of River Ithon, raised slightly above it on what could be a relict terrace. Ground rises quite steeply immediately to east, but southwards the valley widens out.

The churchyard is a curious shape, long and rectilinear though with a slightly curving east side. Overgrown in parts but still used for burial.

Boundary on west consists of drystone wall to height of c.1.2m surmounted by thorn hedge; part of it was rebuilt, probably at the time when church rebuilt. On the south is a low stony bank with a thorn hedge, the inner surface perhaps 0.6m higher than the exterior. On east is a conifer hedge reinforced with wire fence, but little change in ground level, but further north and also on north side, an ordinary hedge with wire fence, and a slight external fall.

Monuments: marked graves are sparse, and what there are lie to south of church, with none to the north. Most are of 19thC and 20thC, but two gravestones of 1747 and 1762/1751 lean against south wall of church. Two metal-railed plots.

Furniture: nothing noted.

Earthworks: on north side, within the existing boundary there are traces of a low slightly curving bank, and hints of something similar on south side. Thus limited evidence of a curvilinear enclosure.

Ancillary features: main entrance consists of wooden kissing gate in north-west, with tarmac path leading to church. Grass track leads southwards from porch to collapsing wooden stile into adjacent field.

Vegetation: two yews of no great age to south of church; two more to north together with other evergreen bushes and solitary deciduous tree. Conifers screen church from east.

Sources consulted

Church Guide n.d.
CPAT Field Visit: 01 February 1996
Crossley and Ridgway 1949, 231
Davies 1905, 345
Faculty 1876: NLW/SD/232
Glynne 1897, 54
Haslam 1979, 239
NMR, Aberystwyth
Williams 1874, 45
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 Llananno 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 - chrismartin@cpat.org.uk, website - www.cpat.org.uk.

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