Llanddew is a small village lying some two miles north of the town of Brecon.
The remains of the imposing bishop’s palace, immediately to the north-
The church is the oldest in the county of Brecknock and is historically interesting as the parish church of Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) who was Archdeacon of Brecon from 1175 until 1203 A.D. The first mention of the church, probably built of wood, in Llanddew was in A.D. 500 when Aled (also called Eluned), daughter of Brychan, fled here for refused. The second church on this site must have been of stone, some of it elaborately decorated. The remains of the lintel of the great door with unusual markings (about 1020 A.D.) are in the south porch and a piscina of similar date is in the south transept.
The present church is a massive structure of the thirteenth century described by Professor Freeman as “unsurpassed for the combination of perfect plainness with perfect excellence”. Cruciform in shape, with a central tower and lancet windows, it is built of grey and red sandstone rubble. Though much restored it still contains original work.
Llanddew was a “clas” church, that is a mother church with monastic buildings. This was a peculiarly Celtic idea where a community of canons lived in cells (marriage was permitted) and worshipped together under a common code of rules. They went out to preach and celebrate communion locally under a cross in the open air. This practice probably ceased about 1170 A.D.
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.