Church of St Meilig , Llowes, Wye Valley, Powys, Wales
Photos and report by Mike Slocombe, May 2006
Llowes Church is in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, in the community of Glasbury in the county of Powys.
This attractive church lies in the centre of Llowes village (alongside the main A 438 Hereford to Brecon road), with the parish being made up of valley land and upland pasture.
St Meilig reputedly strutted in from Clydeside c.650 AD and founded a clas here, with the the Taxatio of 1291 refering to 'Ecclesia de Lewas' on the site.
Little is known of the medieval structures on the site, with only the lower stage of the tower remaining after the nave and chancel were entirely rebuilt in 1853-5 by W. J. Worthington.
Church of St Meilig , Llowes
Churches of the Middle Wye Valley
In Victorian times, the church would have been mainly serving the families of those working on the land - such as shepherds, tenants, labourers or farm servants - as well as local craftsmen and tradesmen.
The census figures show a declining population for the village throughout the later part of the 19th century:
1841 - 390 people
1851 - 359
1861 - 324
1871 - 321
1881 - 312
1891 - 267
1901 - 218
The church is still used weekly for Worship - check their website for service times:
Llowes church is made up of a nave and narrower chancel, a south porch, a west tower and a vestry adjoining the north side of the chancel.
Inside the church - which is open for private prayer - can be seen the ancient St. Meilig's Cross Slab, standing over 7 ft in height and weighing 3.5 tons.
Also inside can be found 7th century and 11th century Celtic crosses.
Still in use for burials, the medium-sized churchyard is set close to the edge of the Wye Valley terrace, with a small stream nearby.
A view inside the church.
The Victorian porch and a sundial bearing the inscription 'The gift of John Williams B.D., Vicar of this parish 1810' with the pillar carrying the plaque recording its erection in 1954 to the memory of Kilvert.
A final view of the church, looking north-east.