St Michael’s Church in the village of Eglwysfach is the most northerly parish church in the modern Diocese of St Davids. There was a church on the site prior to the current building which was known as Llanfihangel Capel Edwin which dates from 1623 and there may have been a local church in the area before this. Llanfiangell Capel Edwin means Edwin’s Chapel of St. Michael’s Church. There is a story that during the dark ages King Edwin of Northumbria brought an army down through north Wales and crossed the Dyfi near Pennal. He fought and won a battle at Llandre, returning to his camp at Ynys Edwin near the Dyfi Estuary where there is now a farm of the same name. In thanks to the Lord for his victory in battle, the story goes that he founded a chapel called Capel Edwin which may have also been used as a burial ground.

The 1623 church was built by John Lloyd of Ynyshir but unfortunately no drawings or visible remains survive. A low earthwork in the eastern half of the churchyard may represent the location of the 17th century church.

In 1833 the church of Llanfihangel Capel Edwin was entirely demolished and rebuilt. The church that stands here today was dedicated to St Michael. It was designed by the architect George Clinton and built by D. and W. Lewis at a cost of £500. It is of simple design in the Tudor Gothic style of  a ‘preaching box’. The chancel was added in 1914. The Lychgate is believed to belong to the earlier 1623 church though substantially rebuilt and enlarged in 1833.

Recent research has revealed the site of the old well adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance within the graveyard . This has now been restored and will be blessed by the Bishop of St Davids at the R. S. Thomas Literary Festival in September 2017.
St Non was the mother of our patron saint St David and this well is said to have healing properties particularly for rheumatism.
The Life of St David, a vita written around 1095 by Rhigyfarch, is our main source of knowledge for both St David (died c. 589) and his mother, Non.  Rhigyfarch was a Norman cleric whose father had been Bishop of St David's for 10 years.

The following article and old photographs were discovered in the National Library by Dr David Williams.


The Incorporated Church Building Society's plan of St Michael's Church, Eglwys-fach, when built in 1832.


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