Cwmyoy, St Martin's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 13th century cross
HistoryVery little is known about the origins of the church at Cwmyoy. It seems very likely there was a church here before the Norman Conquest, and St Martin's stood on the old pilgrim's route to St David's in Pembrokeshire. Today the church welcomes a different sort of visitor, for it stands on the Cistercian Way long distance trail.
The De Lacy family became lords of the manor after the Norman invasion. In AD 1100 William de Lacy founded a priory at nearby Llanthony. William's son, Hugh de Lacy, gave the new priory the manor and church at Cwmyoy. Monks from Llanthony Priory served the church at Cwmyoy, but after the priory was dissolved in 1538 the manor was granted to Sir Nicholas Arnold, Lord Chief Justice for Ireland.
The walls are lined with a fascinating array of memorials, many of them carved by the Brute family of masons. The Brutes were prolific throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, and their memorials adorn numerous churches in the Black Mountains. Their memorials are characterised by depictions of cherubs and baskets of flowers.
Inside the south door is a very plain early medieval font, and there are several beautifully carved memorials set onto the walls of the porch.
VisitingThe church is usually open to visitors. It does take some getting to, for Cwmyoy is located on very narrow, winding lanes. As you navigate those lanes, it seems as if you are going back in time, delving deeper into the past of this incredibly scenic and deliciously remote area. There is no obvious parking place, but I managed to find a place where the verge was wide enough to park. I highly recommend seeing Cwmyoy as part of a visit to Llanthony Priory just a few miles north.
About Cwmyoy, St Martin's Church
Address: Cwmyoy, Monmouthshire, Wales, NP7 7NT
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: In the centre of Cwmyoy, on minor roads north of Llanvihangel Crucorney
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Partrishow, Patricio Church - 1.4 miles (Historic Church)
Llanvihangel Crucorney, St Michael and All Angels Church - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Llanthony Priory - 2.9 miles (Abbey)
Llanthony, St David's Church - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Clodock, St Clydog's Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Longtown Castle - 3.8 miles (Castle)
Llanbedr, St Peter's Church - 4.1 miles (Historic Church)
Rowlstone, St Peter's Church - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Cwmyoy, St Martin's Church: