Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. Matthew

Parish registers begin: Baptisms and burials: 1773; marriages: 1796

Nonconformists include:

Public elementary school built in 1895 for 106 children.

Parishes adjacent to Llanelwedd

  • Llanddewi’r cwm
  • Builth
  • Llanfaredd
  • Disserth
  • Llansantffraid-in-Elvel

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

LLANELWEDD, a parish in the district of Builth and county of Radnor; on the river Wye, at the boundary with Breconshire, ½ a mile NE of Builth town and r. station. Post town, Builth, Breconshire. Acres, 2,020. Real property, £1,345; of which £10 are in fisheries. Pop., 227. Houses, 37. Llanelwedd Hall was an old seat of the Gwynnes. Wellfield is the seat of E. D. Thomas, Esq.; has a beautifully wooded park, on high ground above the Wye; and commands a fine view. Pencerrig House, or Pen-y-Cerig, is another seat of the Thomas family; and has a fine lake in its grounds. There are remains of ancient camps. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of St. David’s. Value, £100. Patron, E. D. Thomas, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Matthew, and is beautifully situated on the Wye. There is an endowed school, with £17 a year; and the parish shares in the Boughrood charities at Brecon.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1845

LLANELWETH (LLAN-ELWEDD), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, nearly 1 mile (N. E.) from Builth; containing 197 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the river Wye, by which it is separated on the south and south-west from the parish of Builth, in the county of Brecknock; and is intersected by the turnpike-road from that place to Newtown, in Montgomeryshire, from which, soon after it enters this parish, branches a road up the eastern bank of the Wye to Rhaiadr, and further on, near the church, branches another road to New Radnor, Kington, Presteign, and Leominster. The surface is generally undulated, with some abrupt eminences of considerable height, and the lands, with the exception of some elevated commons and a small rocky district, are inclosed and in an excellent state of cultivation. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly varied; and the views from the higher grounds, and especially from the rocks beyond Wellfield, are extensive and extremely rich: in the neighbourhood are a few gentlemen’s seats. Llanelweth Hall, the ancient residence of the Gwynnes, of Garth, in the county of Brecknock, (of which family was Marmaduke Gwynne, a judge on the North Wales circuit, who died in 1712,) has been deserted by its proprietor, and is now in the occupation of a tenant. Wellfield House, erected in 1787, by David Thomas, Esq., of London, descend ed from a branch of the family of Thomas, of Llwyn Madoc, in Brecknockshire, is a spacious and hand some mansion, with a portico of the Tuscan order, finely situated on a lofty eminence, and embosomed in flourishing plantations, forming a prominent object from every point of view, and strikingly contrasted with the rugged barrenness of some of the adjacent heights: the grounds are pleasingly ornamented with shrubberies and walks, and command a fine prospect, including the rivers Wye and Irvon winding through their respective vales, with the town of Builth and the adjacent country. From the summit of an eminence on this estate is one of the most extensive and magnificent panoramic views in any part of the principality; comprehending a circle of more than twelve miles in the radius, entirely in closed with lofty hills, and embracing a vast number of interesting objects, and a rich variety of beautiful and picturesque scenery: to the east are the Black Mountains, of dreary and rugged appearance, with the acclivities of others of more softened aspect; and to the west are the mountains of Tregarn and Garn Wen, the former said to be the highest ridge, next to the Beacons, in this part of South Wales, and the latter remarkable for its conical form, and the cairn that crowns its summit. About a mile to the north of Wellfield is Penkerrig House, which has been recently enlarged and partly rebuilt, and embellished with a new front in the Elizabethan style; it is pleasingly ornamented with a rich plantation of ever-greens, and is sheltered in the rear by a hill of considerable elevation, with stately timber: in the grounds, which are laid out with great taste, is a fine sheet of water, covering about six acres; and the view from the house, though not extensive, is picturesque.

This parish constitutes a prebend in the collegiate church of Brecknock, rated in the king’s books at £6. 10., and in the gift of the Bishop of St. David’s. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of T. Thomas, Esq., as lessee of the tithes under the prebendary; net income, £70. The church, dedicated to St. Matthew, a small edifice not distinguished by any remarkable architectural details, is situated on an eminence near the high road, and on the bank of the river Wye. Lady Hartstrong, or Hartstongue, bequeathed a small farm, called Bailey Bedw, in the parish of St. Harmon, in this county, now producing £16. 15. per annum, for the gratuitous education of poor children of Llanelweth, and from this rent is supported a small charity school, containing from 13 to 17 boys and girls. A child, also, is annually apprenticed from the funds of the Boughrood charity, this being one of the sixteen places entitled to partake of that benefaction. On the summit of the eminence near Wellfield House are the imperfect remains of a semicircular intrenchment, once defended by a rampart of loose stones, and to which a walk has been constructed from the grounds on that seat; and on the confines of this parish and of those of Disserth, where the desperate battle between Rhys ab Tewdwr and the three sons of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn is supposed by some to have been fought, may be seen, from this eminence, the square moat of Cwrt Llechryd, so called, perhaps, from a monument erected there to the memory of Riryd ab Bleddyn, who was slain in that battle. At a short distance is a tumulus, called by the Welsh “Castell,” of which nothing historical is with certainty known: by some it is thought to have been surmounted by an arx speculatoria, and by others to be only sepulchral. There are also some remains of a fortification on the hill behind Penkerrig House, but they are in a very imperfect state. On the farm belonging to the Wellfield estate, are two remarkable quarries; in one is obtained a kind of transitional clay slate, which displays some curious marine impressions of a species of the Trilobite; the other produces a hard kind of clay, or stone, perforated with small holes emitting a fine black powder; the external appearance of the substance indicates the action of fire, and in the clay are found some fine specimens of crystals, some of them very beautiful and perfect.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis Third Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.


Kelly’s directory of Monmouthshire and South Wales, 1920


County: Radnorshire / Powys
Civil Registration District: Builth
Diocese: St. David’s
Rural Deanery: Elwel
Poor Law Union: Builth
Hundred: Colwyn
County Court District: Builth
Area: South Wales

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