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.