St David's Church, Trallwng (Trallong), Breconshire
Dedication: St David
Built: 13th century with substantial rebuilding (by Buckeridge) in 1861.
1. The eastern part of the single chamber has a 14th century window. The western part is perhaps 13th century, like the font. A south window and the priest's doorway are 16th century. An early Christian pillar stone with Latin and Ogam inscriptions was discovered during the heavy restoration of 1861 by Buckeridge.
[Extracted from The Old Parish Churches of Mid Wales by Mike Salter, second edition published 2003 by Folly Publications, Malvern; ISBN 1-871731-62-3]
2. St David's church sits on the northern lip of the Usk Valley, 8 km west of Brecon. The church is a single-celled structure, the core of which is certainly medieval though there was also considerable rebuilding in the Victorian era. Some of the windows are refurbished Perpendicular survivals as is the priest's door. Internally there is little of early date except for the font and an early medieval inscribed stone (see below). The churchyard appears to have been sub-circular in the beginning but has been enlarged subsequently.
The church at 'Trallonge' appears in the St David's Episcopal Register in 1513, though the manor of the same name is referred to more than three hundred years earlier by Giraldus Cambrensis. According to Rees the parish was known as Trallwng Cynfyn in the late 12thC. Glynne's description of 1855 evokes a whitewashed building, its windows with trefoiled lights, and generally in a poor state of repair. The interior was dark and the western end partitioned off for a school room. The new roof, windows and timber porch were constructed by C. Buckeridge in 1861 at the instigation of the Revd Gilbert Harries. This reputedly saved the building from demolition. It was during the restoration that the Ogam stone (see below) was found serving as a lintel for one of the windows. In 1885 the roof was raised and slates replaced the stone tiles.
[Adapted from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) website, where further details are available]
3. In 1805, Theophilus Jones wrote: On the west is what is called a steeple, in which there is one small bell. In recent years this 'steeple' has been replaced by a bell cote. The proportions of the bell suggest it is no more than 400 years old. It was probably hung by a local agricultural engineer.
[Adapted from The Church Bells of Breconshire by John C. Eisel, published 2002 by Logaston Press, Herefordshire; ISBN 1-873827-23-7]
Photography: John Ball
Date: 11 March 2009
Camera: Nikon D50 digital SLR
Towards east window
Towards west window
|Left: 13th century font.|
Right: Early Christian pillar stone discovered during the 1861 restoration, when it formed part of the lintel of one of the windows in the original church. The stone was originally set in the earth the other way up.
The inscriptions, in Ogam script and in Latin, date from circa AD 500. The ring cross was incised later, probably in the 600s to 800s, after the stone had been reset in the ground in its present orientation.
The Ogam notches down right-hand edge of the pillar read: CVNACENNIVI ILVVETO (The stone of Cunnacennius Ilvveto)
The Latin inscription reads: CVNOCENNI FILIV(S) - CVNOGENI HIC IACIT - (The stone of Cunocennius, son of Cunogenus: he lies here)
[Details adapted from notes mounted on wall inside the church entrance.]