The Parish Churches and Chapels in the Glasbury Area
This page is from "A History of the Parish Churches of the Wye Valley" by M.A.V. Gill
The excellent artwork is also by the same local author


This chapter will be dealing with local churches and chapels principally as buildings; but a church or chapel is more than an empty shell – it is a congregation of people who gather together in common worship, whether in prayer, praise and thanksgiving or in listening to the Word of God preached from the pulpit. At the beginning of the twenty-first century throughout the country many are in decline with waning numbers and ageing congregations. A hundred years ago the situation was very different: churches and chapels were all well attended, and each played an important role in the life of its community. J.W. Hobbs, reminiscing of his years as station booking clerk at Three Cocks (1902-1905), wrote that there were good congregations at St. Peter’s church, “chiefly the gentry, retired people, visitors at the Hotel, and some of the large farmers. Most of the working classes were chapel, except those employed at Gwernyfed or Tregoed. The strongest chapel was the Baptist at Glasbury, which was always full on Sunday nights, and often packed. Baptisms used to take place about once a year in the River Wye, which runs alongside the chapel. The chapel was the chief source of social entertainment. During the winter months was held what was called a Christian Union. The two Glasbury chapels and Felindre combined and held two entertainments in each chapel every winter. These always had to be arranged for the week of the full moon, so as to have moonlight on the way home. Our Three Cocks choir and band used to attend frequently. The chapel anniversaries were great events, both children and adults would take part and there were recitations and dialogues, solos, duets and quartettes. There were also frequent tea parties, lectures, Christian Endeavour and Prayer meetings, and concerts, but only on rare occasions were outside artistes engaged; we made our own amusements. Sometimes we would go farther afield, to Penrhoel or Maesyronen chapels or All Saints church, always on foot. We were not afraid of walking in those days;”


Christianity was brought to Llowes in the sixth century by St. Meilig, whose feast day (the anniversary of his death) is commemorated on 14th November. He was a younger son of Caw Prydain. This Romano-British chieftain from the area of Strathclyde, defended the province of Cwm-Cawlwyd from Pictish incursions during the latter part of the fifth century, eventually most of his family and followers being forced to seek refuge in Ynys-Môn (Angelsey), the territory of Cadwallon prince of Gwynedd. Here the young Meilig would have received religious education from the monks of Ynys-Môn, and perhaps further instruction under St. Cadoc at Llancarfan (near Barry). As there seems to have been more than one saint of the same or similar name, it is uncertain whether our Meilig is to be identified with the Maelog named in the Life of St. Cubi as one of that saint’s disciples. If they are the same, then Meilig joined his cousin in Cornwall, accompanying him on his travels to the south coast of Wales, then to the island of Aran More off the west coast of Ireland and finally back to Angelsey, before setting out with his own group of disciples to found a clâs (monastery) at Llowes.

Unfortunately there is no medieval Life of St. Meilig. However, as he had a more famous elder brother, there is a biographical sketch contained in the ninth century Life of St. Gildas. According to this: “Meilig, who had been consecrated by his father to sacred literature, and had been well-trained therein, came, after abandoning his father, and renouncing his paternal patrimony, to Llowes, in the district of Elfael. He there built a monastery in which, after serving God earnestly with hymns and prayers, fastings and vigils, he rested in peace, distinguished for his virtues and miracles”. The location of St. Meilig’s monastery and church has been debated. Some would place it in the hills near Croesfeilliog (Meilig’s Cross), and others above St. Meilig’s Well on Bryn Rhydd Common, where there are ancient earthworks. A more likely site is beneath the present church. Wherever it stood, the primitive church of St. Meilig may have been erected in dry stone, but was more probably a simple timber-framed structure with walls of wattle and daub, perhaps rebuilt and enlarged several times during the succeeding centuries.


One of the earliest references to the medieval church at Llowes occurs in the autobiography of Giraldus Cambrensis (circa 1146-circa 1223), Archdeacon of Brecon. At the end of the twelfth century there lived at Llowes an anchorite named Wechelen. This simple, unlearned man communicated with the cleric in a peculiar ungram-matical form of Latin. Explaining how he acquired his knowledge of the language (having never learned it), the hermit said that after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he had returned and shut himself in his cell. Here he grieved that he could not understand Latin, neither the Mass nor the Gospel, until one day at the hour of eating, he called for his servant at the window but no one came. Hungry and weary he fell asleep. On waking: “I see my bread lying on the altar. And going to it I bless the bread and eat it; and straightway at Vespers I understand the verses and the words which the priest say in Latin, and likewise at Mass... And after Mass I call the priest to my window with his missal and ask him to read the Gospel of that day... and afterwards I speak Latin with the priest and he with me”.

From this account of Wechelen’s miraculous acquisition of the Latin tongue, it would appear that the hermit’s cell abutted Llowes church and had a window in the wall, through which he was able to observe the altar, listen to the offices and call the priest to the opening immediately after the service; there is no indication as to whether the church was a stone structure. Although St. Meilig’s church might already have been rebuilt in stone on the present site earlier in the twelfth century, this may not have happened until somewhat later, in less turbulent times. When Pope Nicholas IV granted a tithe of church emoluments to Edward I in 1288, Llowes was valued at £8 (considerably less than nearby Glasbury).

Whether the medieval church suffered damage during the insurgency of Owain Glyn Dwr at the beginning of the fifteenth century is unknown, since nothing survived the mid-nineteenth century restoration apart from the lower stages of the tower. However, it seems likely, since a detailed description of the old south window suggests this was part of a substantial rebuilding at around this time, and a brief description of the church in the 1830s comments on the “extensive alterations and repairs, principally in the later style of English architecture”.

Writing at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Radnorshire historian Jonathan Williams notes that the old church “consists of a nave, a chancel, separated from the nave by a timber railing, a low square tower containing two bells, & having three ranges of lights on each side, and crowned with a weather-cock, and a porch, on the right side of which the lavacrum is placed. The entrance into the belfry is from the churchyard. On the south side of the church is a window divided by stone mullions into three lights under trefoil arches: the same is repeated above: The pointed arch of the window contains two small lights under trefoil arches. In the chancel, on the south wall, are suspended the armorial bearings of the antient & respectable house of Howarth. The family vault lies beneath. On the same wall are inscribed the arms of the family of Robarts, of this parish; Likewise sepulchral memorials are fixed of the family of Pugh, of Gaer, in this parish. Over the chancel-door, which opens into the church-yard, is a small & neat tablet, having this inscription: “Infra jacet Thomae Griffith filii Thomae Griffith de Llwyney, armigeri: Obiit primo die Januarii 1709, aetat.33. Resurgam”. Also a sepulchral memorial & escutcheon of the family of Jones, of this parish”. The “timber railing” may have been remains of a rood screen, and the mention of two rather than three bells may have been because for many years only two were rung, the tenor bell being cracked. Some of the old slit windows are still visible (although blocked) in the masonry of the tower. Of the funeral monuments, only some of the later memorials in the old church were returned to the walls when it was rebuilt.

Further details of the old church can be gleaned from the church-wardens’ presentments during the eighteenth century. There are references to windows that “want Glassing” (1700), the “Church to want Tiling and the Church walls to want Whitening” (1701), and the chancel to be “out of repair” (1702). In 1715 they note “the floor to want paveing” and “the seats not conveniently placed”: and in 1728 the floor of church and chancel was still “uneven”, though at some date before the end of the century the floors were paved with stone flags.

According to the visitation return for 1813: “Every part of our Church is in good repair, the roofs are sound, the windows glazed, the walls plaistered and whitewashed”. By 1851, only the chancel was in good repair, the churchwardens reporting that the church was out of repair, and in particular: “The Roof is falling in, about 23 of the rafters are broken and the church is kept up by props and is consider(ed) dangerous to enter”.


In 1851 James Watkins and Thomas Hughes were paid 2/6d for “examining the state of the church”. Perhaps as a result of their report, it was determined not merely to repair but to rebuild Llowes church. An alternative venue had first to be found in which to hold services for the duration of the reconstruction. The schoolroom was repaired (including liming of the walls and glazing) and duly licens-ed for the purpose.

On 2nd February 1852 a grant application for the rebuilding was sent to the Incorporated Church Building Society, together with a printed appeal listing sums already subscribed, and the architect’s schedule dated 31st January 1852. It was signed by Thomas Nicholson of Hereford. In a covering letter, Mrs. Julia de Winton of Maesllwch Castle explained the urgent need for repairs: “the roof of the church has now been propped up for nearly two years with bare poles, & the late stormy & such weather threatens to bring down the whole structure, whereby we may lose all that is valuable in the present church”. In April the Revd. John Williams informed the commission-ers that although “we are still short of the amount required, not withstanding we hope to commence our work in the course of next month. It is quite unsafe to use the old church in its present state”; in November he wrote that the original plan had been set aside and another adopted, the style of which would be “altogether superior to the former one... The building is not yet commenced, but will be commenced about February”. On 7th February 1853 a new schedule was submitted by Messrs. W. J. & A. H. Worthington of London. In due course the grant was transferred and increased to £75; when the work was completed and the money paid, an iron tablet (which is preserved at the back of the nave) was placed in the church acknowledging the condition of the grant: that 134 seats should be for the use of the poorer inhabitants of the parish.

Vestry and building committee meetings had been held from April 1852 onwards. On 23rd April 1852 it was decided to apply for an advance of £250 from the Public Works Loans Office under the provisions of the Act of Parliament 5 Geo. IV c.36. The incumbent was authorized to advertise for a plan, specification and estimate and to offer five guineas for the successful submission; and on 20th November it was agreed unanimously to adopt the plan of “Dominus Vobiscum’s”. The architect met with the committee to discuss various alterations, working drawings were produced and tenders were sought. On 4th April 1853 it was resolved that the tender (for £943:15:0) of William Jones of Brecon for the rebuilding of Llowes church according to Worthington’s plans and specification should be accepted. The work was to be completed by 22nd November 1853. Sadly, the Revd. John Williams did not live to see it; he died in September 1853 (his memorial slab is on the north wall of the nave). Already there were problems with the builder, who was on the verge of bankruptcy. The following March the building committee met to decide what steps should be taken on account of the “backward state of the Works”; at the end of May work on the church stopped altogether, workmen having refused to continued without payment of the wages due to them. Eventually, David Thomas (a Brecon solicitor) undertook to pay the workmen and complete the work on behalf of the contractor, with William Jones still superintending the work. Although the architect’s certificate of completion was signed in April 1855, the church was not actually finished until June.

When the opening ceremony was held on 26th June 1855, the cost of the rebuilding was reported to be about £1,200. During the course of construction £700 had been paid to William Jones in instalments, with an unspecified amount paid to David Thomas for the “8th & last instalment”. In August a letter arrived from the official assignee of the now bankrupt Jones stating that a sum of £300 was still owing; a few weeks later members of the building committee were appalled at receiving notices from the attorneys demanding payment of £1853-3-2d “being the balance due in respect of the work done”. The matter was placed in the hands of their solicitor. Some of the correspond-ence is transcribed in the vestry minutes book, but the outcome is not recorded, although a further £250 was apparently borrowed to pay for part of the extra expenses incurred.
According to the specification, the entire nave, chancel and porch were to be taken down to ground level, the foundations of the chancel and porch removed, and the tower taken down to the belfry. Of the old fabric, only such of the roof timbers as were “good & sound” might be re-used in joisting and sleepers, and only stone that was “sound and free from all imperfections” might be re-used in the walling but “none to appear on the outside face without being properly dressed with the hammer”. All the new walling was to be of stone “to be obtained from a quarry now open adjoining the Churchyard”; the dressings were to be of Harleydown Bath stone, the floors of good local paving stones, apart from the vestry and chancel, which were to be boarded or tiled respectively. The windows were to be glazed throughout with crown cathedral glass in small diamond quarries. Sums of £8:0:0 and £1:10:0 were to be provided in the estimate for a weathervane and an ornamental cast iron cross on the east gable; a magnificent weathervane with cast iron ornamentation (made by William Jones of London) now surmounts the tower, but the gable cross is of stone. In 1990 the cockerel was re-gilded and placed at the apex of a new pyramidal roof. Accounts of the new church describe the chancel roof as: “plastered between the timbers, and coloured ultra-marine blue, powdered with gilt stars”. This scheme has been restored in more recent decoration of the chancel.

On 2nd June 1886 a vestry meeting was held to consider an offer made by Miss Elizabeth Beavan to replace the pavement in both the nave and the chancel with new encaustic tiles as a memorial to her brother (John Phillips Beavan). Her offer was accepted and on 15th August the re-flooring was dedicated “to its holy use”. The tiles and drawings for their arrangement were supplied by William Godwin & Son of Lugwardine, the manufacturers perhaps also providing skilled paviours to lay the pavements. Of the original flooring associated with the 1850s restoration, stones flags remain only in the tower and two narrow spaces in the nave (either side between the front pews and the organ and pulpit); the best of the red and black ceramic tiles from the chancel seem to have been cleaned and re-laid in the porch, a loose tile proving that these too had been supplied by Godwin of Lugwardine.

According to the 1853 specification, the windows throughout were to be glazed with diamond quarries of plain cathedral glass. By the time the church was completed in 1855, stained glass for the chancel windows had been donated, all from the same maker: Thomas Ward of London. Henry William Beavan (circa1800-1852) had been one of the church’s benefactors. The east window with its lancets containing pictures of the four Evangelists, their symbols in the roundels above, and the Last Supper in the apex was erected in his memory by his widow. Joanna Beavan also gave an exquisite watercolour design of the east window in a gilded Gothic frame “as a token of affectionate regard”. It now hangs on the north wall of the nave, but it is uncertain whether the gift was to the church in the first place, or to another member of the family and later donated to the church.

On the south side of the chancel, the window depicting Christ blessing the little children was given in memory of young William Francis Parry Elmslie, who died at Whampoa in China in September 1853. The adjacent window appropriately shows Christ calming the storm. This was presented as a thanks offering for the safe return of Captain Richard Collinson (brother of Julia de Winton) and his ship H. M. S. Enterprise. In 1849 he had been appointed to command an expedition by way of the Bering Strait for the relief of Sir John Franklin (lost with his ships the Erebus and Terror in his quest for the North-West Passage); sailing from Plymouth the following Janu-ary, he was in the Arctic from July 1850 until August 1854. The north chancel window with its scene of the Madonna and child receiving the adoration of the shepherds was likewise given by the de Winton family, in memory of Octavia Ramsey who died in childbirth in October 1850. The tiny window in the gable above the chancel arch depicting the Holy Dove descending was also installed in 1855.

The first floor of the tower originally served both as a ringing chamber and as a singers’ gallery. In 1885 the plain glass in its west window was replaced with stained glass showing the Transfiguration of Christ with Moses and Elijah on either side. This was made by Cox, Buckley & Co. of London, apparently after a design by Edwin P. Vulliamy, and was donated by Mrs. Frances J. Hill (widow of Walter de Winton IV). In 1900 it was decided to fill the tower arch with a glass partition; the present screen was installed in 1992.

In the north wall of the nave, the double lancet with Ss. Michael and George and the crest of the Royal Air Force above was erected in 1946, in memory of Kenneth George Charles Davies, missing in action in February 1942.


Under the east window is a strip of majolica tiling bearing the inscription: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”. This and a skirting of chocolate tiles along the north and south walls are all that remain of the mural tiles that once extended half-way up the walls of the sanctuary. They were given in 1891 by Charles Beavan in memory of his father; at the same time Miss Beavan offered a corona of lamps in memory of her parents. A photograph taken soon after completion of the mural shows the complex arrangements of pattern tiles, which were probably highly coloured, designed by William Godwin & Son of Lugwardine and installed by the manufacturer. In the following year designs for painted decoration to cover the upper parts of all four walls of the chancel were drawn by Robert Clark of Hereford. The groundwork was to be of light creamy yellow with a pattern of lines in Indian red imitating brickwork, each “brick” painted with curling foliage, a band of rosettes outlining doors, windows and the lower edge, and a scrolling foliate frieze beneath the wooden cornice. In one place a fragment of paint has flaked from the wall revealing a patch of yellow and red beneath; this suggests that Clark’s design was indeed executed, although since over-painted in plain cream. As for the tiles, by the 1920s many were loosening and falling from the wall. In 1931 it was resolved at a vestry meeting that they should be repaired, but on the very day that Edgar Evans of Hay came to do the work the vicar received a letter from Miss Beavan (a relative of the donor), in which she expressed her dislike of the tiles. The vicar accordingly instructed Evans to scrap the lot!


The earliest reference to bells in Llowes church is in 1708, when the vicar, one of churchwardens and the majority of the inhabitants pleaded that the Consistory Court should intervene to prevent the destruction of their ancient bells. They testified that “there are now & for the time whereof the memory of man is not to the Contrary, there have bin three tuneable Bells which were and still are whole and in good order”. It appears that one of the local gentry Edward Howorth and four others (Thomas Howorth, Thomas Powell, Thomas Griffith and Walter Price) were zealous bell-ringers. Having augmented the bells of Clyro church from four to a ring of five, they now turned their attention to Llowes and were conspiring with the local bell-founder (Henry Williams) to “break the sd Antient Bells and to make five New Bells”, at a proposed cost of sixty pounds to the parish. The ancient bells were saved.

From the churchwardens’ presentments we learn that in 1719 the “clapper to the great bell” was wanting; this was presumably replaced. However, from 1725 to 1727, in 1741, 1770 and again regularly between 1785 and 1789 (when it is sometimes specified as the tenor bell) one of the bells is noted as being out of order or cracked. It is probable that throughout this period only the two smaller bells were sound and able to be rung, which may account for
Jonathan Williams’s description of Llowes church tower as contain- ing only two bells, though the 1813 visitation return reports the bells to be “kept in good order”. However, by 1845 the bells were “not all entire”, while the 1851 return specifies: “Two bells are not in repair”.

In Nicholson’s original 1852 schedule, fifty pounds was allowed for “recasting Bells” in the estimated cost of rebuilding the church. Worthington’s specification of 1853 includes instructions to the carp-enter and joiner to provide for “hoisting and fixing No 5 Bells in Tower”, and to the smith for: “The 3 present old bells to be sent to Bristol to be recast and two new ones to be provided with all proper appendages and fixed in the tower”. The work, if done, was to be an extra upon the contract. The work was not done, and for a while Llowes retained its three ancient bells.

However, five years later the subject was brought up again. At a vestry meeting held on 4th January 1858 the vicar was requested to correspond with Messrs. Burncastle to ascertain on what terms they were prepared to supply new bells, taking the old in exchange. At a further meeting on 17th April it was decided to accept the tender of Mr. A. Bowen of the Phoenix Bell Foundry, Clerkenwell to recast the bells. Each of the three bells now in the tower bears the inscription: “BOWEN FOUNDERS LONDON 1858”

In 1908 Mrs. Edith J. Vulliamy gave the chiming tower clock in memory of her aunt and uncle (Elizabeth and Samuel Beavan of Brynyrhydd). According to the specification from John Smith & Sons of Derby, the hammer for striking the tenor bell on the hour was to be mounted in an iron framework, “so bolted to the bell frame that the ringing of the bells would not be interfered with”. By this time, it appears that the bells were not actually being swung, but chimed. While quoting for the cost of a chiming apparatus, the clock manufacturer comments that “it is a most dangerous thing to chime the bells by the clappers, the bells remaining stationary as you say is now done”. At the same time as the clock was installed, chiming hammers operated by levers on the ground floor were provided for each of the bells. The old wheels and other ringing gear still remain in the bell chamber.

The Celtic cross, now set in a cavity at the back of the nave, is surrounded by mystery. In appearance it is a twelfth century preaching cross with remains of a scratch dial (a type of sundial but registering only the hours of services) carved on one of the narrow sides.

However, modern scholarship suggests that it may originally have been a menhir (prehistoric standing stone) – a rough-hewn slab of rock transported during the Bronze Age across the river Wye from somewhere near Hay and erected in the hills above Llowes beside an ancient trackway. Here for centuries it was revered by pagan wor-shippers until the arrival of St. Meilig in the sixth century. Instead of destroying the monument, he Christianised it in an act of purification and marked it with the sign of the cross; from then onwards it was known as “St. Meilig’s Cross”. A local spring was also the focus of pagan worship. That too he blessed, and it is still called “St. Meilig’s Well”.

The stone slab with its lightly incised cross probably stood at Croes-feilliog on the road between Clyro and Painscastle until the end of the twelfth century. One may conjecture that then it was removed into Llowes churchyard, its surfaces sculptured and painted, with the ornamental Celtic wheel-cross on one face, plain Latin cross on the other, and a scratch dial on one side; one may also conjecture that this was done at the instigation of Maude de St. Valerie (wife of William de Breos, Lord of Brecknock), perhaps as a memorial to Wechelen.

According to one tradition, the Celtic cross in Llowes church once marked the burial place of Wechelen. When removing the stone from the churchyard in 1956, workmen from the Ministry of Works excavated beneath the base only to reveal that “it stood on virgin ground comprising rock and marl”. The absence of any bones does not preclude the possibility that it was erected by Maude de St. Valerie as a memorial to the anchorite; the orientation of its scratch dial proves that at some later date (presumably during the seven- teenth century) the cross was removed, and when replaced was set up in a different location. According to Giraldus, not only was the holiness and blessedness of the hermit “miraculously shown forth by many signs and virtues during his life, but by still more after his death”. Clearly his burial place (which may also have been the site of his cell) was for a period a place of pilgrimage; it could well have been marked by the cross. The association of the cross with St. Meilig was soon forgotten, but country folk still remembered the ancient tale surrounding the menhir: the tale of a giantess hurling the stone across the river. Legend and history merged; Maude was identi-
fied with the giantess who built Hay castle in a night, carrying stone from Glasbury in her apron; the cross was identified with the pebble that fell into her shoe and was thrown in anger into Llowes church-yard. Thus the Llowes cross became known as the “Moll Walbee stone”.

During the Commonwealth period, when many parish crosses that had survived the Reformation were destroyed, it seems likely that the Llowes cross was temporarily removed, either overturned by Puritans or hidden by parishioners. With the Restoration of the monarchy the cross too was restored, but probably to a different location within the churchyard. Its orientation was reversed so that the ornamental cross now faced east and was visible from the church door instead of from the western approach, and the now obsolete scratch dial faced north (rendering it useless). In 1830 it again narrowly escaped destruction, when workmen thought to use it as a corner stone for the new school. They had dug a pit around it some four feet deep, and were only prevented from uprooting the cross by the timely arrival of the vicar, who ordered them to stop work and replace the soil.

On 1st May 1952 it was scheduled as an ancient monument. On 1st November 1956 it was moved into church and rededicated on 2nd December by the Bishop, who preached a sermon on “The Cross”. When moved, the overall height of the slab was estimated at approximately 12 feet, its weight at about 3 tons, and the lower part was described as tapering to a point “rather like a chisel”. In the churchyard it had stood at over seven feet high, but is now set somewhat lower so that one feature of the carving illustrated in early drawings is no longer visible: a podium beneath each cross.


At the side of the main pathway leading to the church stands a sundial made by Adams of London, which was given by the Revd. John Williams (vicar 1810-1841) in 1812. It was remounted on a stone pillar by the Kilvert Society and parishioners of Llowes in 1954, as a memorial to the diarist the Revd. Francis Kilvert (1840-1879, curate at Clyro 1865-1872).

Within the church, the memorial tablets are self-explanatory, some having been removed from the old church and mounted on the walls of the new. Of particular interest is a small ceramic tablet above the Beavan monument on the south side of the nave. This is the only memorial tile in any of the churches of Radnorshire, a very early example that seems to have been made soon after the death of Hugh Beavan in 1837 (perhaps by Henry Minton). Within a couple of years an impressive marble tablet with carved stone surround was erected commemorating Hugh and his eldest son, who had died some eighteen months later.

The church has two fonts. The one now used for baptisms is mid-nineteenth century, contemporary with the restoration of the church. The other is of great antiquity, perhaps dating from the Early English period when the medieval church of Llowes was first built in stone, although some believe it may be Norman or even pre-Norman. Following the rebuilding when the earlier font was made redundant, its basin was used for many years as a flower container in the garden at nearby Brynyrhydd, before being returned to the church by Colonel Beavan. In 1956 it was raised on a new base, and pews at the back of the church were removed to make space around the font and the Celtic cross.

After the Reformation it was compulsory for every parish church to display the Royal Arms, painted on canvas or board, or directly onto the plaster of the wall. The royal arms in Llowes church date from the period of George III (1760-1820). Painted in oil on canvas, it was restored and reframed in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002.

In a visitation return for 1851, the Ten Commandments are said to be “on the north side of the church”; they were probably painted on the lime-washed wall of the old building. According to the specification for the rebuilding of the church in 1853, the Creed, Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments were to be written on “slabs of ¾" slate in English characters in blue letters with ornamental principal initials and red secondary ditto to be fixed on each side of the east window”. The slabs were made. They probably were initially fixed either side of the east window and remained there until the decoration of the chancel in the 1890s. At a vestry meeting on 21st April 1900 the vicar and churchwardens were empowered to re-erect the tablets “at their discretion”. Three of the tablets (the Decalogue being inscribed on two) are now mounted in the nave either side of the chancel arch, the fourth rests against the south door of the chancel.

According the visitation return of 1807 “the inhabitants of this Parish often meet to practice Psalmody”. In the new church, the gallery in the tower at the west end of the nave was intended for the singers and musicians. Allowances were made in the specification for the west gallery front, also for the clerk’s desk. On the plan of the church marking the layout of seating in 1855, the latter is shown in the northeast corner of the nave now occupied by the organ. Llowes had acquired a seraphine (precursor of the harmonium) to accompany the singing possibly as early as the 1840s, but this proved too limited in its range. In January 1874 Edwin P. Vulliamy offered to give the church a pipe organ; it was duly placed in the corner of the nave, the reading desk and tablet erected to the memory of the Revd. John Williams having to be moved to accommodate it. However, this too seems to have been considered too small; within six months enquiries were being made of the organ manufacturer (Henry Jones of South Kensington) about possible additions to the instrument. As all parts would have to be enlarged and reconstructed, he did not recommend this course; he advised rather that the instrument should be sold and that he should build a new organ – one larger in size. In 1953, the manually operated organ was provided with an electric blower by Ingram & Co. of Hereford, given by the parishioners in memory of the Revd. Thomas Madoc Jones (vicar 1926-51).

Among the furnishings of the church, the pulpit and the pews in the nave are contemporary with the rebuilding, as are the altar rails. The choir desks in the chancel were given in 1873/4, and the credence table and litany desk in 1953. Of its two lecterns, one was given about 1883, the other in 1927. In 1960 a new altar was erected with oak panelling on the wall behind, supplied by J. G. Newton of the Caermawr Workshop in Hay.

Amongst the church plate (which is not stored in the church) is a silver chalice bearing the London hallmarks for the year 1632/3 (maker’s mark: RW) and the inscription: “Pa: LLOWES Richard Williams Churchwarden 1633”. The chalice and paten now used to celebrate Holy Communion are part of a set presented by friends and parishioners to the Revd. Thomas Williams (vicar 1859-1914) on his completion of 50 years as vicar of Llowes, and given by him to the church on 14th October 1909. A pair of seventeenth century brass altar candlesticks was given to the church in 1953.

The embroidered panel on the chancel wall is part of an old red altar frontal. This may have been the frontal listed in an inventory of 1900, or more probably the frontal purchased in 1917 from the proceeds of a sale of work organized by Colonel Beavan and his family. Unused for many years, it was found in fragments in the tower; in 1995 the central portion was mounted and given by his widow as a memorial to Mr. Keith Morris. The present white altar frontal was purchased second-hand in 2002.

From the mid-1950s onwards, a plough stood at the rear of the nave which was used each year in various country services, in particular on Plough Sunday and at Harvest Thanksgiving. On 15th January and 24th September 1961 these two services were broadcast by the BBC.

Source : -- "A History of the Parish Churches of the Wye Valley"  by M.A.V. Gill - 2010