Llanddew Church
Llanddew Church

Llanddew is a small village lying some two miles north of the town of Brecon.  St. David’s Church and the Village Hall form the heart of the village.   The Church is the oldest church in the historic county of Brecknock and the building dates from around the 13th Century and is in cruciform shape with a central tower.   A booklet on the history of the Church can be found in the bookstand.  The booklet was written by the late Ursula Jepson with illustrations by the late Ruth Miles.

The remains of the imposing bishop’s palace, immediately to the north-east of the churchyard was built during the 12th century, its most famous inhabitant being Giraldus Cambrensis who, as archdeacon of Brecon, occupied it from 1175 to 1203.  It was in the year 1188 that Archbishop Baldwin stayed in Llanddew during his recruiting for the Crusade mission and Geradus Cambrensis escorted him through Wales.  Ruins of the Bishop’s Palace still remain and incorporate a double vaulted well known as Bishop Gower’s well which dates back to 1340AD. Architectural finds in the village show that there was a thriving community of 300 in the medieval ages, many serving the important religious centre at that time.   Ruins of the Bishop’s Palace still remain and incorporate a double vaulted well known as Bishop Gower’s Well.

At the centre of the community is the village hall which was formerly an old Church School built in the 1800s and renovated in 1990s to meet the required present day standards.

Just north west of The Old Vicarage north of the crossroads in the centre of the village lie the ruins of the C13 hall of a medieval residence of the Bishops of St David’s recorded from the C12. Llanddew Castle was occupied in the C12 by Giraldus Cambrensis, as Archdeacon of Brecon 1175-1203. He called it ‘a small residence. …. well adapted to literary pursuits and the contemplation of eternity’. Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury stayed at Llanddew on his tour of Wales with Giraldus in 1188. The castle was derelict by the C16. Sold in the 1650s, but returned to the see of St David’s after the Restoration. Restored in 2003 when a cushion shaped corbel was found in the top corner.

Llanddew Castle
Llanddew Castle

Ruins of a medieval hall, rubble stone thick walls on three sides with the front wall gone. Walls are thicker at the base with a ledge to support the beams of a former basement ceiling. No evidence of former stone vaulting. High surviving end walls at one end of rear wall which otherwise survives to just above basement height. Right end wall has remains of big pointed end window with splayed reveals. Left end wall has external put-log holes a splayed loop to basement right. Rear wall has crease lines of former gabled external porch, of which some projecting stones survive each side of elliptical-arched door with stone voussoirs. Basement has base of a fireplace projection on inside rear wall.

The site is a private residence, with no public access and is visible from the road.