Llandefaelog Fach, St Maelog Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 10th century Cross of Briamail
Maelog was the son of a chieftain in what is now south west Scotland, and a brother of St Gildas. The church was founded in the early medieval period but the current building is almost entirely a Victorian rebuilding, save for the west tower, which dates to the 16th century.
The Cross of Briamail (Brianmail Flou)
The treasure of St Maelog's church is a 10th century Celtic cross-slab, cared with an incised cross, a figure of a warrior, and a Latin inscription. The cross originally stood in the churchyard, but has been moved under the north tower arch inside the church to preserve it from weathering.
The cross stands 8 feet high and has been dated to some time between 900-950 AD. At the top is a Celtic cross, surrounded by a ribbon interlace pattern, and what appears to be a large letter 'S'. Under the cross is the figure of a warrior with a short sword and spear. Under the figure is a Latin inscription, and under this is key-pattern decoration.
The inscription reads 'BRIAMAIL FLOU', or 'The Cross of Briamail'. Who was Briamail? He could be the 6th century St Briavel, a hermit who lived just across the River Wye at St Briavels, Gloucestershire. Or perhaps the inscription refers to St Maelog, after whom the church is named.
There used to be a second carved stone at Llandefaelog. The stone was recorded in the 19th century as being carved with the name 'CATVC', probably a reference to St Cattwg, or Cadoc.
Other historic features include a 13th century font, an ornate Victorian reredos, a pair of 18th century marble monuments against the north wall of the nave, and a group of interesting 16th-17th century grave slabs. In the churchyard is a striking 1816 mausoleum in Egyptian style for the owners of the Penoyre estate.
St Maelog's is open daily to visitors.
About Llandefaelog Fach, St Maelog Church
Address: Llandefaelog Fach, Powys, Wales, LD3 9TT
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: 3 miles north of Brecon off he B4520 on a minor road. Nearest postcode for satnavs is LD3 9TT
Website: Llandefaelog Fach, St Maelog Church
Photo Credit: Philip Halling, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Llanddew, St David - 1.7 miles (Historic Church)
Llanddewi Brefi, St David's Church - 1.7 miles (Historic Church)
Brecon Cathedral - 2.2 miles (Cathedral)
Brecon Castle - 2.4 miles (Castle)
Brecon Gaer Roman Fort - 2.6 miles (Roman Site)
Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh - 2.8 miles (Museum)
Llanspyddid, St Cattwg Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Ffrwdgrech Garden - 3.3 miles (Garden)
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