Tuesday, 28 May 2019

A very busy weekend and a visit to St Llanelieu church

Of this photo - a little more later.  We had such a busy full-on weekend with two back-to-back Fairs followed by going up to Malvern Flea yesterday.  On Friday, however, I hit an absolute brick wall and felt like I had run a marathon, followed by a Three-Peaks Challenge.  I had to go back to bed and slept deeply for 2 hours, then fell asleep on the sofa after lunch.  I was just shattered.  

Anyway, I was dreading the weekend, but managed to potter round on the Saturday, and there was a lot of sitting - hmm, waiting for customers . . .  Not a brilliant day, but a few sales were made.  Then it was time to pack up and go home and the next day do it all over again!  I walked around the few outside stalls on Sunday (not many turned up as the forecast had mentioned showers - wise move, after we had heavy rain first thing - so glad to be INSIDE!) and my steps by the time we had unloaded the car at home, were over 15,000.  

Yesterday was a 4 a.m. start - and we had a good drive through and arrived spot on at 7.30.  I didn't bother with photos as one Malvern is much like the next and there weren't any ludicrous things to take photos of this time.  Lots of car boot type stalls outside, filled with utter rubbish (or "complete crap" as my husband calls it!) I'm not one for rusty tin buckets and baths and find their desirability difficult to understand.  Likewise scruffy bits of metal, stuffed toys which need to be incinerated or plastic trivia.  

There wasn't much in the way of affordable militaria there but Keith eventually found a couple of interesting items for his side of things.  I bought well, some really interesting and unusual things (including some animal ephemera from Tibet).  Although "ephemera" is an insult to the spirit Ram used in Shamanic rituals.  A very special piece.

On the way home we stopped to visit the Church of St Ellyw, at Llanelieu near Talgarth.  I had read about it and as it was on the route home, we took a short diversion.  As you can see, it is close to the roots of the Black Mountains in a quiet spot.  All we could hear was birdsong.

This was the Medieval door - the oak planks used for it were an inch thick and it took some pushing open.

Of course, one of the things drawing me here were the Early Christian sculptures - 2 ring-cross stones leaning against the outside of the porch.  They date between the 7th and 9th Centuries.  The chalk marks round the rings are not helpful especially for the shorter of the two which has a more interesting pecked design and a double ring with single dots in the interspaces (as more obviously in its neighbour.)

This was what drew me too - I have never heard of (or seen) a red screen like this.  Dating from the 14th or 15th C and painted red, it has stencilled white roses and the ghostly mark of the central cross.  Note the quatrafoils cut through in the woodwork  below.

Some of the early Medieval wall paintings have been exposed again, although the lion above is Post-Reformation showing the Royal Arms.

View of the altar from the nave. Holy,Holy, Holy is painted around the window edge to encapsulate the cross.

One of Keith's favourite bits - an ancient (14/15th C church coffer, probably for vestments or documents.

On the walls were various plaques including this one bequeathing income to two of the poorest children in the parish as long as they were lawfully begotten!

Memorial to Thomas Aubrey who lived in a nearby house and died in 11669, aged just 4, bless him.

The font.

The very early bells, which were used to provide the bell sounds for the tv programme Cadfael.

The sundial high on the south wall, dated 1686 and inscribed P B Wapden.

Check THIS page for further details and photos.


  1. What a marvellous little church, mouldering away gently. But it is in use, you can see by the last photo of the mowed pathway.

  2. It's under the protection of Friends of Friendless Churches Thelma so they must get someone to cut the pathway to it.

  3. Priscilla Tempelman28 May 2019 at 07:50

    Hello and thank you from New Hampshire, U.S. Most likely I'll never again travel in Wales so I love being able to see these exquisite out-of-the-way places... Exactly my kind of travel (first time to Wales was 1966). And how I would love to visit a Welsh Flea Market to compare that "crap" with "crap" here...!

  4. Hello and welcome Priscilla. Glad I can provide you with some armchair travel - this was certainy rather out-of-the-way! Our local (Welsh) Fleamarket is getting smaller, which is a shame. The huge one we go to is just over the Worcestershire border (with Herefordshire) and a fair way away from us here but boy, are there some oddball things to be seen there! If you check back through my blog, we visit there about every month and you will find some old photos.

  5. I was shattered on monday and have so much to do! I'm moving flat you see.

    1. Oh gosh, I hope that you are soon all unpacked and settled in and able to breath a sigh of relief Simon.

  6. What a lovely church. Sorry to see it "misting" away.
    I loved the series Cadfael.

    1. It is in the care of the Friends of Friendless Churchs Parsnip, and they get repair work done. Plus it comes to life each year when Talgarth Walking Festival takes place. I loved Cadfael too.

  7. A very lovely authentic little church thanks for sharing !!

    1. Isn't it lovely? Glad you enjoyed looking round it too.

  8. Sorry for the late comment - I am catching up on blogs. What a wonderful church - love the Early Christian stone sculptures and what a superb screen and wall paintings. So much of interest to see in the church - a wonderful post :)