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Radnorshire Churches Survey

Church of St Padarn , Llanbadarn-y-garreg

Llanbadarn-y-garreg Church is in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, in the community of Aberedw in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SO1124848770.
The church is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 16812 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Llanbadarn-y-garreg Church, CPAT copyright photo CS910804.JPG


St Padarn's church is a small unicellular structure set in a D-shaped churchyard, some 8km to the south-east of Builth Wells. The present building could go back to the 13thC but there is little diagnostic architectural detail and both the windows and the internal fittings (with the exception of the font) are post-medieval.

Church may be 13thC or 14thC, although the lack of stylistic detail is not helpful and the only significant feature is the south doorway, which could be of that period. Kay (recorded in the NMR), however, thought there were no structural features earlier than 17thC, and the whole could date from that century. Its wooden windows are thought to be 18thC, and the belfry was added at the end of the 19thC.

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


The dedication and location adjacent to the river favour an early medieval origin for Llanbadarn church. There are however few medieval records, perhaps because, as Williams recorded in 1818, it was a chapelry attached to Cregrina. Thus there is no mention in either of the 13thC Taxatios, nor in the 1535 Valor Ecclesiasticus, but it does appear as Llanbadarn in the St Davids' Episcopal Register in 1513.

The church was restored in 1960, and re-roofed in 1992.


Llanbadarn is a single-celled church with a bellcote, heavily plastered and whitewashed, internally and externally. The church is oriented north-east/south-west, but 'ecclesiastical east' is adopted here for descriptive purposes.

Fabric: because of the external plaster it is impossible to say anything about the fabric.

Roof: stone slabs and terracotta ridge tiles, all on modern woodwork.

Drainage: broad trench around whole building, depth unknown and now overgrown.


Nave and chancel. General. Low walled. Wooden windows of 18thC date.

North wall: single rectangular wooden window, two lights with round heads, its flat top having roof wall-plate as lintel; only other features are down-pipes at either end of the wall.

East wall: window similar to that in north wall but has its own lintel.

South wall: single window at east end similar to that in north wall; doorway west of the centre of the wall, with simple two-centred arch and roughly worked, unchamfered freestone jambs (in 'long and short' work); two blocks form the shallow pointed arch, and there is a modern door; two down-pipes as north wall. West wall: small modern wooden window just below roof apex, stone sill, leaded light. Stone bellcote with pointed arches above the opening on the east and west sides, the only part not plastered and limewashed.


Nave and chancel. General. Floor of large shale slabs throughout; pews raised on wooden plinths. Walls plastered and whitewashed. Scissor truss and collar roof of 28 close-set trusses, perhaps 14thC or 15thC (though Kay thought 17thC); some replacement, particularly in the central section.

North wall: one window deeply splayed; one wall monument, probably early 19thC; ghost of a wall painting of coat of arms.

East wall: deeply splayed window.

South wall: window deeply splayed; doorway simple, with rectangular outline.

West wall: not visible for first two metres because wooden partition divides off locked vestry; above this height wall inset above c.3m perhaps indicative of a rebuild.


Church and churchyard are set on level ground on the valley floor of River Edw, the river forming the south-east side of the churchyard. The churchyard is an elongated D-shape with no obvious extensions or modifications. It is bounded on the south-east by a 3-4m revetted drop to river; on the north by a stone wall reinforced with a hedge; on north-west as far as the west corner by an almost completely collapsed wall; and on south-west by a reasonable wall though the coping stones largely gone.

Monuments: sparse and a few tipping over; primarily to north and north-east of church with a few set close to south-west wall of churchyard. None of any great age.

Furniture: none.

Earthworks: none.

Ancillary features: a kissing gate at south corner with grass path to church door; and a farm gate at north-east angle.

Vegetation: one large yew in south corner, another in west quadrant.

Sources consulted

Church Notes (in church) n.d.
CPAT Field Visit: 18 May 1995
Crossley and Ridgway 1949, 237
Davies 1905, 323
Haslam 1979, 242
NMR, Aberystwyth

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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 Llanbadarn-y-garreg 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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