THE old expression ‘if walls could talk’ could be aptly used to describe many buildings across Powys.

Indeed with more than 70 Grade I listed buildings scattered across the county, many Powysians are never more than a walk away from history.

Together these buildings provide the patchwork of not only the history of Powys, but the entire country.

The County Times shares a few of our treasured monuments.

St Melangell’s Church - Llangynog

St Melangells Church. Picture. Wikipedia.

St Melangell's Church. Picture. Wikipedia.

St Melangell Church.

The small church in Pennant Melangell on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains near Llangynog houses the oldest Romanesque shrine in Great Britain, dating from the early 12th century.

The churchyard predates the Christian era and is ringed by ancient yew trees.

The church contains a fine 15th-century oak rood screen with carvings that tell the story of St Melangell and Prince Brochwel of Powys.

St Melangell's Church remains a Pilgrims' Church, attracting visitors from all over Britain and beyond.

The shrine. Picture. Wikipedia.

The shrine. Picture. Wikipedia.

The shrine.

Why is it historic?

The shrine tells the story of St Melangell, an Irish woman who had fled her homeland and a forced marriage in the 12th century.

Melangell is said to have hidden a hare in the folds of her cloak to save it from the hounds of Prine Brochwel of Powys.

The Historia Divae Monacelle claims the hounds had refused to go near the woman and the horn had stuck to his lips when he had gone to sound it which had impressed the Prince of Powys.

So much so that he gave her the lands in the valley where the church still stands.

In the centuries which followed the hares of the valley became known as Melangell’s lambs and it was illegal to kill one in Llangynog until the 17th century.

A local belief lingered into the 19th century that the hares remained protected.

In 1876 it was noted that when a hare was pursued by dogs the belief in the valley had remained that if anyone cried ‘God and St Monacella be with thee’ it was sure the animal would escape its hunters.

St Melangells Church in 1795. Picture. Wikipedia.

St Melangell's Church in 1795. Picture. Wikipedia.

St Melangell in 1795.