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Llangynog is likely to have its origin in the time of St Cynog, who was born around 434. He was the son of Brychan, king of what is now Breconshire, and one of a family of Celtic saints who undertook missionary journeys and founded churches across Mid and North Wales during the Fifth Century. He or one of his followers may well have founded the church here: the shape of its churchyard, more or less round, is generally taken as a sign of antiquity. Today the church stands at the heart of the village which grew up around it.
The first written mention of Llangynog church is in the Norwich Taxation of 1254. The original church was almost certainly a wooden building, later rebuilt in stone. Little is known of it before 1791-92, when it was rebuilt in Georgian style with round-headed doorways and windows with wooden frames. These details must have offended the Victorians and a further rebuilding took place a century later. The architect chosen was W H Spaull of Oswestry. His are the windows with their simple geometrical tracery, the south porch, the vestry and the little bellcote.
Externally the design is timeless and pleasing: internally the impression is of a simple village church, though one might wish Spaull had been less thorough. The arch-braced roof, the pews and the colourful tiles in the chancel date from the restoration: the chancel woodwork was given in 1941 in memory of Captain Arthur Lloyd whose family owned the slate quarries on Craig Rhiwarth. The churchyard contains many interesting gravestones made from local slate.
A more detailed guide is available in the church, and more information can be found at www.cpat.demon.co.uk/projects/longer/churches/montgom/16482.htm
Three miles from Llangynog, in a beautiful setting near the head of Cwm Pennant, stands the historic pilgrimage church of St Melangell with its celebrated medieval shrine.
More information can be found on www.st-melangell.org.uk or www.living-stones.info/en