Llanbadarn Fawr, Radnorshire

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Llanbadarn Fawr
St Padarn Church, Llanbadarn Fawr (near Llandrindod Wells) - geograph.org.uk - 681133.jpg
Llanbadarn Fawr Church
Grid reference: SO096643
Location: 52°16’11"N, 3°19’32"W
Population: 654
Post town: Llandrindod Wells
Postcode: LD1
Dialling code: 01597
Local Government
Council: Powys
Brecon & Radnorshire

Llanbadarn Fawr is a parish in Radnorshire. Consisting of a tract of undulating land directly north east of Llandrindod Wells, the community consists of the settlements of Crossgates and Fron and in 2001 had a population of 654.[1] The community name comes from the local church.


Llanbadarn Fawr was once a much larger parish. In John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales published in the 1870s, he states that "Llanbadarn Fawr", a parish in Rhayader district, Radnor; ... is divided into the townships of Brinhyfedd and Cellws; and it contains the village of Penybont".[2] Today the village of Penybont lies outside the jurisdiction of Llanbadarn Fawr being a parish in its own right.

The River Ithon flows through the community, passing the village of Crossgates. The parish is served by Pen-y-Bont railway station which is closer to the villages of Fron and Crossgate than its namesake Penybont.

Buildings of note

The most notable building in the community is Llanbadarn Fawr church. The River Ithon flows a hundred yards from the church, and this fact, along with the addition of the affix "fawr" to distinguish it from nearby Llanbadarn Fynydd, has led one authority to state that the church may be pre-Norman Conquest and the mother church of the area.[3] The earliest mention of the church is in 1304, and the name Llanbadarn Vaur appeared in texts in 1374.[3] The church name translates as the Great Church of Saint Padarn, after whom the church is dedicated.[3] The church, like many in the area, was rebuilt during the Victorian Era. The architect who carried out the restoration was S. W. Williams of Rhayader, described as having "built at least five rather ugly churches ... in Radnorshire".[1] Despite this, the Romanesque tympanum above the south door remains, one of only two in Wales.[1] The carving depicts a lion and lioness facing each other either side of a tree with a cat head and sun beneath them.[4] The porch also contains an inscribed centurial stone, dated 1171, from a Roman fort at Castell Collen.[3] The church is also significant for containing a figure described by historian Malcolm Thurlby as a Sheela Na Gig.[4] In 1176 Geraldus Cambrensis, the archdeacon of Brecon, sought sanctuary in the church.[1]

In Fron is Coedgwgan Hall, a grade II listed building.[5] Originally dated as a 16th-century manor house, the hall was rebuilt in the 19th century though the lateral chimney, dated as 1581, still exists in part.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Menna, Baines et al., eds (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6. 
  2. "Llanbadarn Fawr, Radnorshire". visionofbritain.org.uk. http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=4422. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Historic Settlements Survey - Radnorshire: Llanbadarn Fawr". Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust. cpat.org.uk. http://www.cpat.org.uk/ycom/radnor/llanbadarnfawr.pdf. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Llanbadarn Fawr Figure". The Sheela Na Gig Project. sheelanagig.org. http://www.sheelanagig.org/index.html#http://www.sheelanagig.org/SheelaLlanbadarnFawr.htm. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  5. "Coedgwgan Hall, Llanbadarn Fawr". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/wa-9347-coedgwgan-hall-llanbadarn-fawr/bingmap. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  6. "Coedgwgan Hall". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. coflein.gov.uk. http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/81117/details/COEDGWGAN+HALL/. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 

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