• St Dogfan's Church, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant
  • St Cedwyn's Church, Llangedwyn
  • Sardis Chapel, Llanwddyn
  • Ann Griffiths Memorial Chapel, Dolanog
  • Christ Church, Bwlch-y-Cibau
  • St Garmon's Church, Llanfechain
  • St Tysilio & St Mary Church, Meifod
  • St Ffraid's Church, Llansantffraid
  • Pendref Chapel, Llanfyllin
  • St Myllin's Church, Llanfyllin
  • St Silin's Church, Llansilin
  • St Wddyn's Church, Llanwddyn
  • St Melangell's Church, Pennant Melangell
  • John Hughes Memorial Chapel, Pontrobert
  • Seion Chapel, Llanrhaeadr-ym- Mochnant

Yew Trees

Churchyards are important refuges for plant and wildlife in an environment where so many of their habitats have been destroyed. Almost all contain yew trees, either around the edge or marking the path. What sets yews most decisively apart from other trees in Britain is the remarkable and unique association they have with ancient churches. The exact reason for the presence of yew in churchyards in unclear. Traditional theories are that they provided wood for longbows and to keep their poisonous foliage away from grazing animals. In woodlands, yews do not grow so big as in churchyards as they have less light and space.

Britain has lost most of its ancient woodland; churchyards are protective enclosures where they can be left to grow. As an evergreen plant, the yew was a symbol for the regenerative power of nature. As a very ancient tree it was the most perfect Christian symbol for resurrection to everlasting life.

Of the 200 largest old yews in England and Wales, 79 are in Wales and Powys alone has 43! Some of these can be found in the churchyards of St Silin's, St Dogfan and St Melangell on Trail 1, and St Garmon and St Ffraid's on Trail 2, and St Tysilio and St Mary on Trail 3.

Ancient yew tree in St Silin's churchyard

Wildflowers in the churchyard of St Dogfan's church

map
Map