Dedication: St Ilid
Built: 1883 [quoted in MIs published by Powys FHS]
Note 1: Church consecrated 27 March 1883. Architects: Ewan Christian (1814-1895) of London; and John Bacon Fowler of Brecon and Swansea. Christian conducted inspection only, 1880.
Photography: John Ball
Date: 24 September 2002
Camera: Sigma SA-300 35 mm SLR
Note 2: Ilid was reputed to be the daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, so it was only fitting that when a local subsidiary church of Saint Cynnog (at Defynnog) was built in Crai it was called Llanilid [sic] and served the Crai parishioners (Hanes Plwyf Crai 1851-1951). This chapel was situated north of the present village on the west side of the river Crai on Tircapel farm. The small chapel served the needs of the parishioners until the 1870s.
The increase of population and religious fervour ofthe 1850-1890s, and the location of Crai as a railway station with an expanding village prompted the building of the new and bigger church nearer the main routes of transport. Saint Ilid's Church was built in 1883 on Glwydcaenewydd farm on the junction of two roads just 100 yards north of the village. The stone used to build the new church was taken from the now abandoned Pencroesffyrdd Fach hamlet and the quarry situated at the end of the disused lane adjacent to the present churchyard.
At the turn of the 19th century there were approximately seventy members in the church with forty attending the Sunday school. These attendances were the result of the large population of agricultural workers and their families. The number of worshippers continued to rise with the construction of the Crai reservoir, but then sadly declined following the erection of a new Methodist chapel on the opposite side of the valley, and the dispersal of the waterworks construction workers. A memorial marble cross commemorates those who died during the construction of the Crai Reservoir 1898-1906, and is situated in the immaculate graveyard. [Source: Saint Ilid's Church by Anne Roderick, Gwyn Price & Edwin Roderick, in 'Hanes Plwyf Crai - History of Crai 2000', David McGirr (ed), Crai Community Council, 2001]
Note 3: The church of St Ilid lies just beyond the north-east edge of the village of Crai, set in a triangular churchyard used as a cemetery in the fork of a road-track junction. It is constructed of rock faced sandstone and paler dressings under slate roofs. The church comprises a single chamber nave and chancel under a single roof with three-sided apse, timbered bell-canopy over west gable wall, gabled south-west porch and north-east vestry under a catslide roof. The church is lit through lancet windows, triple lancets in west gable. Stained glass in the nave north window is by Celtic Studios (1983), and in the east window glass dated 1924. [Source: Coflein online database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (accessed 9 May 2017)]