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Horseshoe Inn Llanyblodwell - geograph.org.uk - 1802407.jpg
The Horseshoe Inn and bridge across the Tanat
Grid reference: SJ240229
Location: 52°47’53"N, 3°7’34"W
Population: 767  (2011)
Post town: Oswestry
Postcode: SY10
Dialling code: 01691
Local Government
North Shropshire
The townships of the ancient parish of Llanyblodwel

Llanyblodwel is a village and parish in Shropshire, adjacent to the borders with Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire. The spelling "Llanyblodwell" was commonly used in the past, and the village was sometimes simply referred to as "Blodwell". The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 767.[1] It lies seven miles west of the nearest town, Oswestry, in the valley of the River Tanat.[2]

The parish had a population of 817 at the time of the 2001 census.[3]The village is located in a scenic rural area, with attractive views of the Welsh hills. There were formerly several limestone quarries around Llanyblodwel, and limited quarrying still takes place.

Etymology, history

The name is possibly a mixture of English and Welsh. Llan translates as "church" or "parish", so Llanyblodwel means "the church at Blodwel": a tributary of the Tanat was formerly known as the Blodwell, a name with a probable Old English root.[4]

The church itself may have Norman origins. The ancient parish, on which the boundaries of the current civil parish were based, include the townships of Blodwell, Abertanat, Bryn, and Llynclys.[5]

There was historically a strong Welsh cultural and linguistic influence in the area. In a lecture given in 1878, the geographer E G Ravenstein noted that of 2,469 inhabitants of the parishes of Selattyn and Llanyblodwel, 900 spoke Welsh. It was, however, declining at this time: "in Llanyblodwell Welsh preponderates [but] the children of Welsh parents are often unable to speak Welsh. The Welsh service in the parish church has been discontinued since 1875, owing to a paucity of attendance".[6]


In the centre of the village is a listed[7] narrow stone bridge over the Tanat, built in 1710.

St Michael the Archangel church

The Grade-I-listed[8] parish church of St Michael the Archangel was heavily rebuilt in the mid 19th century to designs by its then-vicar, the Rev. John Parker. The design has been referred to in the Pevsner Architectural Guides as "bizarre", but "unforgettable", particularly the tower, which was apparently modelled on that of Freiburg Minster.[9] The interior is even more unconventional, with many texts and stencilled patterns. There is a 14th-century monumental slab in the south porch carved with a coursing hare, which some antiquaries have tried to connect with the hare iconography seen at Pennant Melangell, which once received the tithes of the township of Bryn.[10] The church contains a memorial[11] to Elias Owen (1833–1899), the Welsh antiquarian and author of "Welsh Folklore", published in 1887, who was incumbent at the church from 1892 until his death.[12] There are also a number of monuments to the Tanat and Bridgeman families in the church.

Llanyblodwel's timber-framed pub, the Horse Shoe Inn, is of late-mediæval date and like several other buildings in the village is Grade-II listed.[10][13]

There was once a substantial manor house, the seat of the Tanat family, near to the village at Blodwell Hall.[14] In the 15th century it had been the home of their ancestor, Gwerful ferch Madog, known as Gwerful Hael ("Gwerful the Bountiful") for her generosity and often mentioned in Welsh poetry of the time.[15] Sir John Bridgeman, who had married Ursula Matthews, the heiress of the Tanat estate, constructed a new house on the site in around 1700, along with formal gardens.[16] The site of the house is now occupied by a dairy farm, but an entrance gateway and a stone-built summerhouse dated 1718 still survive.


Blodwell Junction Station in 1962

Despite its remote rural location, the village was once served by a railway station (Llanyblodwell, later known as Blodwell Junction) on the Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway, and the Tanat Valley Railway also ran through the area.[17] Part of the line was still used for quarry trains until 1988, and sections are currently in the process of being restored as a heritage railway.


  1. "Civil Parish population 2011". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11126002&c=llanyblodwel+cp&d=16&e=62&g=6460603&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1448709842301&enc=1. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  2. Raven, M. A Guide to Shropshire, 2005, p.114
  3. Llanyblodwel CP, Office for National Statistics
  4. Ekwall, E. English river-names, Clarendon Press, 1928, p.39
  5. Llanyblodwel, GENUKI
  6. The Welsh Language in 1878, from a lecture Celtic Languages of the British Isles given to the Royal Statistical Society by E. G. Ravenstein. Reported in Bye-Gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties, May 1878.
  7. National Heritage List 1054661: Llanyblodwel bridge (Grade II listing)
  8. National Heritage List 1307719: St Michael's church Llanyblodwel (Grade I listing)
  9. Pevsner and Newman, Shropshire, Buildings of England series, p.336
  10. 10.0 10.1 Pevsner, p.337
  11. Cholerton, Moira. "Llaniblodwel commemoration". Elias Owen (1833–1899). http://www.owen.cholerton.org/05_elias_24.php. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  12. Davies, Ellis. "Elias Owen". Welsh Biography Online. The National Library of Wales. http://yba.llgc.org.uk/en/s-OWEN-ELI-1833.html. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  13. National Heritage List 1367152: Horse Shoe Inn and stables (Grade II listing)
  14. The Tanats of Blodwell; there was also a related Tanat family of landowners at nearby Abertanat.
  15. Williams, R. "Montgomeryshire Worthies", in Collections historical & archaeological relating to Montgomeryshire and its borders, II, 1878, 22
  16. Blodwell Hall, Shropshire, Parks and Gardens
  17. Nantmawr History, Cambrian Railways Society
("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Llanyblodwel)