St Issui's Church

Top choice in Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog

Halfway up a thickly forested hillside in the Vale of Eywas, this tiny 11th-century church is like a time capsule of Welsh faith and culture, buried too deeply in these hills ever to change. Astonishing as it is in its perfectly situated, weathered simplicity, it's inside that its true wonders reveal themselves: a finely carved wooden rood screen and loft, dating from around 1500; medieval frescos of biblical texts; coats of arms and a red-ochre skeleton; and memorials to people long dead.

The church is usually open and empty – leave a donation in the box. Immediately downhill from the church at the corner of the road is a spring, with flowers, toys and other offerings strewn about, and ribbons tied to an overhanging tree. Known as the Holy Well of St Issui, it is believed to have healing powers and has long been a pilgrimage site. One of the steps leading down to the spring is carved with a Maltese cross.

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