The church of St Anno might seem like an unassuming church beside the A483 between the Radnorshire villages of Llanbadarn Fynydd and Llanbister, but treasure lies within!
Parking in the nearby layby, the church is approached from the back. A small sign points the way in, though the gateway is almost hidden in the hedge. A path shadowed by trees winds its way around to the front of the church and into the light.
We visited St Anno’s Church on a damp morning in early June. Overcast and threatening rain, it was perhaps not the best day to be exploring, but it was the inside of the church which held my interest.
A church has stood here since at least 1304. By the 1870s the medieval church was in a state of disrepair and was rebuilt in 1877 by David Walker with some of the old masonry being used within the walls. Old memorial wall tablets were restored and a 17th-century box pew was kept as a seat for the churchwardens.
Most importantly, it was decided that the 15th-century rood-screen should be preserved and restored in the new church. This is St Anno’s treasure! The fine timber carving is so intricate and delicate. The rood-loft has twenty-five canopied niches holding biblical figures.
The work could not have been done without the generosity of Mrs H. R. Stephens of Castle Vale, Llananno who paid for the rebuilding and restoration of the church.
Sadly, St Anno’s is no longer used for services, but it is open daily for those who would like to visit. So, if you’re travelling on the A483 (the main North – South road through Wales) between Newtown and Llandrindod Wells, don’t forget to drop by the church at Llananno and take a look inside.