Llanidloes, St Idloes Church
Llanidloes, St Idloes Church
A 14th century church dedicated to a little-known Celtic saint. The church interior is worth seeing for its Early English nave arcade and its outstanding hammerbeam roof.
Very little is known about St Idloes save that he lived in the 7th century and was the son of a red-haired knight named Gwyddnabi ab Llawfrodedd. The church in Llanidloes is the only church in the world dedicated to Idloes and stands on the site of an earlier building. Curiously, Idloes was never canonised as a saint, he was merely a religious leader, which makes the dedication even more unusual.

The oldest part of the current building is the squat west tower, dating to the 14th century and topped with a pyramidal roof. The tower may date as early as 1350 and might have served as a fortified tower for the town.

The striking hammerbeam roof was brought here in 1542 from Cwmhir Abbey after the abbey was dissolved. The roof is made up of 19 bays and is carried on stone corbel heads. The timber trusses are beautifully moulded and the hammer beams are decorated with gilded figures of angels.

The nave arcade was also brought from the abbey church at Cwmhir and dates to around 1200. The arcade is considered one of the finest examples of the Early English style in Wales.

The church was restored in the early 18th century and completely rebuilt in 1882 by the ubiquitous GE Street.

Beyond the nave arcade and the beautiful roof, other historic features include the 16th century helmet of a knight high on the wall, a 14th century font and a reredos design by the Victorian firm of Clayton & Bell.