There has been a chapel on the present site since 1234. History blurs somewhat until 1705 when the church was in need of major repair. By then it was known as a ‘Chapel-of-Ease’ to the mother church of St Michael’s Cwmdu. The church remained under the patronage of the Vaughan family of Tretower Court until 1786. The late 18th Century saw some prosperity thanks to Queen Anne’s Bounty, who had bought land and farms in the area. However by the turn of the 19th Century there was only one Sunday service – in Welsh – and Eucharist four times a year.
The church continued to deteriorate until the living was bought by the Glanusk Trustees in 1860. It was altered and partially rebuilt in 1876 at a cost of £2,400 by the Patron, the future Lord Glanusk. The architect was JL Pearson who, ten years later also designed the Parish Room, now the Village Hall, all at Lord Glanusk’s expense.
The church was re-consecrated in 1877 and a district assigned to it – The Parish of Tretower. No longer a Chapel-of-Ease it became St John’s Tretower. The organ built by W. Sweetland of Bath in 1878 had a major overhaul in 1955. The stained glass windows are mostly memorials to the Bailey Family of Glanusk Park; the altar cross, the organ and communion plate were given by them. The small crucifix was designed and crafted by Robert Rattray, a local sculptor connected to the Legge Bourke family and given by Captain William Legge Bourke. The framed centrepiece of an altar cloth was part of a Victorian embroidered altar cloth found in the church. It was restored and hung in 2015.
By the early 20th Century the incumbency of Tretower had reverted to Cwmdu, until the mid 1980’s when Cwmdu and Tretower were amalgamated with Crickhowell.
In 2004 it was discovered that the East wall was extremely damp and the roof began to leak. Fund raising is very necessary but with a small congregation not getting younger this is hard. We have had two flower festivals, quizzes and continue to worry about it.
There is a service every Sunday at 6pm. Eucharist on the first Sunday of the month and Evensong on the following Sundays.
Mrs Peta Brabner – 01874 731122
Mrs Willow Cracroft – 01874 730225
St John Evangelist, Tretower, Crickhowell NP8 1RJ