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St Eigon's Church, Llanigon, Breconshire

Photography: John Ball
Date: 19 March 2009
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Eigon

Built: 13th century

1. St Eigon's Church has no tower, but a timber belfrey supported by a large porch projecting from the north wall. Parts of the church date back to the 13th century. On both occasions when I visited the church, in 1999 and in 2009, the church doors were bolted and there was no access to the inside. In 1999, a parishioner told me services are still held in the church on Sundays.
2. St Eigon's church is about three kilometres south-west of Hay-on-Wye, lying back from the valley of the Wye. It retains medieval fabric, perhaps from the 13th century, but only one original window and has been the focus of restoration work on several occasions, the most recent as a result of the Second World War. A curiosity is the bell chamber over the porch. Apart from its font it retains no medieval fittings. The churchyard is partially circular and is likely to have an early medieval origin. See below for examples of old gravestones. A brass in the church indicates that the church suffered extensive damage from a German bomb in 1941 and required considerable restoration.
[Extracted from Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website, where further details are provided]

St Eigon's Church, Llanigon

St Eigon's Church, Llanigon

St Eigon's Church, Bell Chamber

3. In an upper chamber above the south porch (see above) are two treble bells (dated 1670) and one tenor (dated 1904). The tenor is the only bell now hung for ringing. An amusing incident was recorded by the churchwardens in October 1740:
The Wardens presented James Parry of the said Parish of Llanigon for prophaneing the Sabbeth day by playing ball upon Sundays and for breaking Open the Belfry to ring the Bells in the night time without the approbation of the said wardens and for carrying away the Key of the Belfry in spite of the Minister and Wardens.
[Extracted from Eisel, John C. (2002) The Church Bells of Breconshire Logaston Press, Little Logaston ISBN 1-873827-23-7].

St Eigon's Churchyard, 17C inscription

St Eigon's Churchyard, 18C inscription

Further details of St Eigon's Church are available on the Way-on-High parish magazine website.

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