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30 January 2015
Mist in the woods below Penallt The sword and scallop shell of St James at Penallt | Webblog | Links | Contact us |

The old church at Penallt is set in a little dip in the trees about a mile north of the village. Most of the building is late medieval, with a sixteenth-century porch (the date on the door is 1539). Inside, the wagon roof has carved bosses with intriguing symbols - strange heads, the Instruments of the Crucifixion, three fish symbolising the Trinity. There is also a splendid early seventeenth-century pulpit. Outside, you can see the base of the churchyard cross.

No-one knows who the church is dedicated to. One local tradition is that it was St James, the patron saint of pilgrims: so Penallt could have been a staging-post on the route to St Jamesís great shrine at Compostela.

The village stretches away to the south. Adjoining the Bush Inn is a nature reserve based around four traditional hay meadows. Here you can see orchids and migrant birds - more information on the Gwent Wildlife Trust web site.

As you walk south-east from the village you pass the Argoed, a seventeenth-century mansion which once belonged to the father of the socialist thinker Beatrice Webb.

Penallt An endearingly sturdy angel on a gravestone at Penallt | Home | Back |
Remains of the churchyard cross at Penallt

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