• St Silin's Church, Llansilin
  • St Cedwyn's Church, Llangedwyn
  • St Dogfan's Church, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant
  • Seion Chapel, Llanrhaeadr-ym- Mochnant
  • St Melangell's Church, Pennant Melangell

Trail 1 - The Tanat Valley Trail

5 churches & chapels in villages along the Tanat valley

Llansilin is a place of extreme beauty and no main roads disturb the tranquillity of its hills and fertile valleys. The tower of the Church of St Silin punctuates the landscape. The Wynnstay Arms pub is close to the church and serves food.

The small church of St Cadwaladr at Llangadwaladr stands on an ancient site sheltered by yew-trees, many of which are 1000 years old. The quiet, remote setting of this small church makes it well worth the short drive from Llansilin.

Llangedwyn lies on the B4396 in the beautiful Tanat valley, close to the river Tanat. St Cedwyn’s Church sits in the heart of the valley, opposite Llangedwyn Hall. The Llangedwyn Craft centre is a short drive from the church down the lane past the school. The old mill at Llangedwyn has been adapted to house several different craft studios, including cross-stitch, glass work and wood carving. The mill also houses the village post office and shop. The mill is next to the river Tanat, by a charming bridge and some well placed picnic benches. There is a public footpath from the church to the craft centre.

Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant is a village whose roots go deep into Welsh history and culture. Its name means ‘the church by the waterfall in the commote of the fast flowing stream’. The fast flowing stream is the river Tanat which divides the village into two, and until the creation of Powys, one half was in the county of Denbighshire. The centre of the bridge marks the boundary of Powys and, and each county used different stone to build their half of the bridge! The church of St Dogfan and Seion Chapel lie at either end of the village, a gentle stroll from one another.

The Pistyll - many tourists are already drawn to the village en route to the Llanrhaeadr waterfall (the Pistyll), designated as one of the seven wonders of Wales. At 240 feet (80 metres) it is the tallest single drop waterfall in the UK. There is a café, ample parking and places to walk around the waterfall. There is a small admissions charge.

Llanrhaeadr is well supplied with shops and services and has ample parking. There is a wide range of places to eat – visitors can choose from The Hand Public House and adjoining Handi Café (open 10-3pm), The Gegin Fach, a licensed restaurant overlooking the square, the Wynnstay Arms Hotel, and The Plough country inn and B&B, which is over the bridge, opposite Seion Chapel. The Old Vicarage, where Bishop William Morgan translated the Bible in to Welsh, is now a private house.

Visitors who wish to explore the village further can look out for the Menhirs or standing stones. Post-Coch (red post) or Post-y-wiber (the viper’s post) is about 150 yards from the Llanfyllin to Llanrhaeadr road. Local legends surround its origins. The most popular is that a viper, or dragon was terrorising the people of Penygarnedd, and this stone was put in its path with spikes fixed to it. The red colour of the stone enraged the viper, so it attacked the stone and bled to death on its spikes! The Second Menhir stands by the road in the ‘Green’. There are inscriptions on front and back. The front one reads “For the consolation and accommodation of wanderers (tramps) – To Shrewsbury 26, To London, 180 miles”. The inscription on the back tells us “this was placed here by the Vicar of the Parish 1770”. One possibility is that the stone once indicated where the homeless could get help from the monasteries before they were pulled down in the sixteenth century.

St Melangell’s Church lies at the end of a single track road, two miles from the village of Llangynog. Pennant Melangell is a remote and scattered community at the head of Cum Pennant. There are toilets and hot drinks in The Melangell Centre, which is open most days. There is a shop in the ground floor of the church tower and an exhibition area.

There are a number of walks in the area. Visitors to Pennant Melangell may wish to leave their car at Llangynog and walk the two miles to the church in the footsteps of earlier pilgrims. There is also a three mile circular walk around Pennant Melangell (leaflet available at the church). The Pereindod Melangell Walk is a more strenuous walk from Llangynog, via Pennant Melangell, and on to Llanwyddn (seven miles). This walk follows the route taken by pilgrims, drovers and quarrymen. For more information see www.walking.visitwales.com.

Llangynog village was once an important centre for lead and granite mining. There are two inns (The New Inn and the Tanat Valley freehouse) where refreshments are available. St Cynog’s Church dates from 1791 and was remodelled in 1894, so now has the appearance of a Victorian village church. The inscriptions and lettering on the graves in the churchyard are fine examples of the work of local craftsman and a record of the occupations of the villagers. A village trail is available for visitors wishing to explore the industrial heritage and other historic buildings (Llangynog – A Village Trail by John Hainsworth).