Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

Callwen Church, Upper Tawe Valley

Callwen Church is in the Upper Tawe Valley, opposite the Dan Yr Ogof National Showcaves of Wales. If heading towards Sennybridge and Brecon, it is on the right-hand side of the road, after The Gwynne Arms and before you get to the Tafarn Y Garreg.

There had been a chapel here for a long time before the current church was constructed in the nineteenth century. Rebuilt in 1840 and then in 1892-3, Callwen Church benefitted from the influx of workers to the quarry and brickworks at Penwyllt, seeing a large growth in its congregation.

It became a vicariate in its own right in 1894, and between then and 1957 had 3 vicars in succession: Rev Edwards, Rev Hughes, and Rev Bonsall Edwards.

In 1957 Callwen was joined to the benefice of Abercrave, and in the 1980s or 1990s to this was added Capel Coelbren to form the parish of Cwmtawe Uchaf, which lasted until the reorganisation of the Church in Wales in 2016.

It now forms part of the Ministry Area served by the Vicar of Ystalyfera and the Rector of Ystradgynlais, along with St. Cynog's, Ystradgynlais, St. David's, Ystalyfera, and Capel Coelbren.

Saint John The Baptist Church, Callwen, came under the Vicar of Abercrave in Cwmtawe Uchaf, along with Coelbren.

After the reorganisation, it is part of the Ministry Area that reaches from Ystalyfera, through Ystradgynlais to the Upper Tawe Valley.

The memorial stone reads:-

Erected by the Southampton Training Aviation Company in gratitude to the men of this village
Who risked their lives and time in searching for one of their aircraft lost on the mountain 17th January 1939

Read more about the loss of Anson L9149

A view of the rear of the church.

When the church is not open for a service, the only parking is in the lay-by area in front of it, alongside the road.

Looking along the side of the church across the graveyard

Looking across the frontage of the graveyard, up the valley, in the direction of Sennybridge.

In the graveyard of Saint John The Baptist Church, Callwen

Across the graveyard of Callwen Church

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