Although the foundation is much older, dating back to the time of St. Catwg (died around 560), the oldest part of the present building is the tower which dates from the twelfth century, although it has subsequently been much repaired. The Tower houses a number of memorials by the Brute family from Llanbedr, Aaron (1731-1801) and their son John (1752-1834), including one to Ann Lewis, a local midwife (died 1773) who is described as ‘an instrument in the hand of providence to bring into this world 716 children’.
The poet Henry Vaughan (1621-95), who is buried at Llansantffraed further along the Usk Valley, was educated at Llangattock, by the rector Matthew Herbert and he dedicated one of his poems to his old schoolmaster who was an important influence on him. Herbert was a royalist during the Civil War and imprisoned for his views by the Puritan regime and deprived of his church living.
Memorials in the church and churchyard commemorate many local families, including the nineteenth century iron masters, the Baileys and Kendalls. They also recall local craftsmen and professions, from cordwainer to blacksmith, wheelwright, saddler, gamekeeper, tailor and shoemaker. A window by the font celebrates the life of Rachel Jones, a Sunday school teacher for 45 years, who died in 1882.
Photograph by Aled Garfield
St Catwg, Llangattock, Crickhowell NP8 1PH