Pilleth church was built at the base of the hill, Bryn Glas, on which the battle between Owain Glyndwr and Edmund Mortimer was fought on 22 June 1402.
It would seem likely that this was an ancient religious site as just north of the church is a holy well.
The first stone church was probably built by Ralph Baskerville of Eardisley (bef.1105-86) under Chandos lordship, as in 1142 the pope confirmed that he had given Pilleth church to Llanthony Secunda which had been founded in 1136. In 1199 Pilleth was recorded in a confirmation of King John (1199-1216) as a chapel belonging to Llanthony. The Chandos family were largely dispossessed by the Mortimers in Radnorshire during the twelfth century and by 1282 even the Baskervilles seem to have been evicted from the manor by the Mortimers who took over patronage of the church.
The church consists of a single chamber of possibly twelfth century date built of very poor quality masonry.
The chamber was lengthened to the east and had a new west tower added, probably in the thirteenth or fourteenth century when under Mortimer patronage. This tower had a steep circular stair on one corner and was probably unstable as large buttresses were added to the corners later.
Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry