• St Tysilio & St Mary Church, Meifod
  • John Hughes Memorial Chapel, Pontrobert
  • Ann Griffiths Memorial Chapel, Dolanog
  • St Wddyn's Church, Llanwddyn
  • Sardis Chapel, Llanwddyn

Trail 3 - The Vale of Meifod & Vyrnwy Valley Trail

5 churches & chapels in villages along the Meifod & Vyrnwy valleys

Meifod lies at the heart of the Vyrnwy valley, surrounded by gentle rolling hills. The area has a rich and diverse heritage. From the year 550, the early Princes of Powys are thought to have had their court at Mathrafal, 3 kilometres south of Meifod, making the area a centre of Celtic culture for over a thousand years. The magnificent church of St Tysilio and St Mary stands in the heart of the village, at the centre of one of the largest churchyards in Wales. Opposite the main entrance to the churchyard lie the village shop and the King’s Head pub, which serves food and offers B&B.

Visitors to the Ann Griffiths Memorial Chapel encounter the charming village of Dolanog, set by a picturesque stretch of the Vyrnwy valley where a bridge spans the river. The chapel, built as a memorial to the famous Welsh hymn writer, stands above the river, adjacent to the car park and public toilets.

The village of Pontrobert lies half way between Meifod and Dolanog, next to the River Vyrnwy. Visitors to the John Hughes Memorial Chapel turn right at the parish church gates, go up a short hill and take the second lane on the left. Inside the chapel you will see the pulpit from which John Hughes inspired many pilgrims, including Ann Griffiths. When he was too old to use the pulpit, a section of wall was removed from his adjoining bedroom so he could preach from there instead!

Sardis Chapel is situated on the side of the B4393, the road from Llanfyllin to Lake Vyrnwy.  The chapel has a simple interior. There is a shop and toilet facilities in the nearby village of Abertridwr. Following the road to Lake Vyrnwy, visitors will see a sign at a sharp right hand bend. This is the road to St Wddyn’s Church. This church has a unique history, as it was built to replace the church flooded when Lake Vyrnwy was created to provide the city of Liverpool with water in the 1880s. A memorial window in the church shows Moses striking water from a rock, with the words of Jesus below: “whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water I shall give him shall never thirst”.

Places of interest nearby

Lake Vyrnwy
The scenery around the lake is spectacular and there are a number of walking trails and footpaths to cater for all ages and abilities. The Lake Vyrnwy International Sculpture Park has over 50 timber sculptures from all over the world on display at the foot of the dam. The 12-mile road around the lake is excellent for cycling and there are many water sports on the lake itself. In 1977 the Vyrnwy Estate became a nature reserve under RSPB control. There are bird hides around the lake and an RSPB shop in the village by the old chapel, and a selection of craft shops.

There are two B&B’s close to the dam and others scattered around the lake. The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel offers accommodation, tea and coffee, lunch and evening meals.

The Ann Griffiths Walk is a 7-mile walk around places associated with her life. It follows closely the bank of the River Vyrnwy for most of its length, and takes in a variety of landscapes, including meadow, woodland and bare hilltop. The walk starts at the forest enterprise site at Pont-Llogel, near Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, through Dolanog and on to the John Hughes Memorial Chapel in Pontrobert.

The Glyndwr Way is a 132 mile trail running through the heart of Mid Wales. Opened in 2002, it is one of Wales' three designated National Trails. The stretch from Llangadfan to Pontrobert passes through Meifod.