St Gwrhai’s Church, Penstrowed

St Gwrhai’s Church, Penstrowed

Tradition has it that St Gwrhai founded a church here c.520 and is buried in the churchyard. The church is recorded in a document from 1254 as Ecclesia de Penestrewit. The church is dedicated to him, although Victorian Ordnance Survey maps name it as St George’s Church.

The current church building is thought to date from c.1863. However, in 1863 the diocese of Bangor noted that the church had been “renovated and improved” (while others had been “rebuilt”). The diocesan church building society had provided a grant of £50 towards the improvement.

The single bell in the bell-cote is inscribed: “Bring prosperity to this place.”

Inside the church is a memorial dating from 1821 and a “Roll of Honour” board which lists six men from the parish who died in the First World War. Attached to a collection box in the church is a brass plaque in memory of Malcolm David Owen, who died while being held prisoner of war by Japanese forces in the Second World War. This memorial was provided by his wife, Edith Mary Owen of Penstrowed Rectory.

You can see details of the local dead of both world wars on our web page about Mochdre & Penstrowed war memorial.

The nearby church room was opened by the Bishop of Bangor in 1908. Having travelled by train to Newtown station and from there by motor car, he also performed a confirmation ceremony for nine people. The oldest of them, aged 84, was the only person present who could remember the parish’s previous confirmation ceremony!

In 1909 children from the Sunday School, Bible class and church choir were delighted to find a Christmas tree in the church room, decorated with coloured lights and “good and useful articles such as boys and girls love”. The tree was donated by rector, Rev D Basil Jones, and his wife, who was the church’s organist. Father Christmas distributed the “good things” from the tree to the children before refreshments were served.

Postcode: SY17 5BS    View Location Map

Church website