This was a fine early church dating back to the early Middle Ages. Initially there was an enclosure here that was constructed in the 4th or 5th century. The name probably means the chapel of Maelon and it is quite likely that this was the man who gave his name to the cantref of Maelienydd. By the 9th century the site was in use as a cemetery and some time around 1100 the stone chapel was built. The building of the chapel and the coming of the Normans to the district in the person of Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore is probably not a coincidence. In the very late twelfth or early thirteenth century a new rounded apse was added encompassing the chancel and a new western apse was added to the nave, making this a totally unique church with two rounded apses. Was this done to show the Welsh church's idependence from the Mortimers? It could certainly be called a very un-English style. The church was abandoned in the early sixteenth century.
The chapel was found during a rescue excavation before the site at SO.068612 was built over by the suburbs of Llandrindod Wells. The finds from the dig have been placed in the Llandrindod Wells museum and the remains of the chapel moved to a site near the lake at SO.062607. More details on the excavation can be found here.
Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry