Eglwys Faen, Stone Church

NGR: SO 19285 15684
351 m.asl

Powys , Northern Outcrop - East (Morlais to Abergavenny)
map using leaflet map:
Access Follow the old tramroad from Pant-y-rhiw to a sharp right hand bend. The entrances are all in the projecting spur on the left
Description The cave is popular with Activity and Adventure groups. Water from the right hand series flows to Ace of Spades Chamber in Agen Allwedd. The large main entrance leads to right and left series and straight on through a squeeze (the cheese press) leads to a chamber with a boulder choke at the far end. Digging continues to the left of the choke and above it in the upper series called the Warren.
History B.D.Price, Ebbw Vale scouts & Brynmawr County Grammar School pupils, 1944-46; Upper Series, BNSSS, 1956
Conservation Suspected Palaeolithic occupation, but no evidence.
SSSI: 0080 Mynydd Llangatwg (Mixed)

Brendan Marris
A 'cave in the limestone rock at Darren y kille', John Ellwood, 1818 [CaC, 2000]
Brian Price (1946)
CSS Records 19, 1992, J.Cooper, I.Penney, J.Stevens, Grade 5
CaC 87, 2000, CSS, Grade 5
Jones, Theophilus, A History of the County of Brecknock, v2 p.493 (1809) "...To return however to the lime-stone vein at Llangattock, all that at present demand notice are the caves formed in it. One of them is called Eglwys faen, the stone church, or church of or in the rock; the entrance into it is low and troublesome, but upon advancing further, by the assistance of torch or candle light, a spacious vaulted room is discovered, from the roof and sides of which stalactites are every where pendent, some of them clear, like icicles, while in others the caleareous matter is arrested and petrified in the falling, and if the light be very strong they exhibit a brilliant display of natural gems. This church, which was also occasionally a place of concealment, or retreat from an enemy, as the name Daren y cil-le imports, is ninety yards long, thirty six wide and thirty feet high. and on the right and the left are several lofty winding passages leading into other openings, not so large or high, until at last the rock drops so low that they cannot be further explored."
The Cambrian, p.3 9 July 1831 Letter to the Editor from Y.Z., London, 16th June, 1831: '...a cavern called Eglwys-faen, the interior of which is truly wonderful; one room being above ninety yards long, thirty six wide, and thirty feet high, with stalactites every where pendent, some of them clear like icicles...the natives have many tales about its having been used by the Druids as a church, as a secreting place from an enemy &c. &c.'
British Caver, 4, 8-11, 1939 [Excavation by W.F.Grimes]
British Caver, 15, 31-37, 1946
Cullingford, C.H.D. (1951) Exploring Caves,p.60-61
British Caver, 22, 80-83 & 95-96, 1951
British Caver, 25, 25, 28, 1954
HCC Newsletter 2, 10, 1951
SWCC Newsletter Nov. 1951
SWCC Our Caves, No.1, 1951. Survey, Location and Description.
Caves of South Wales, Stratford, T., 1995
A Caver's View of the Clydach River (Cwmbran Caving Club, 1986), Schuurmans, T.
CaC 87, pp.37-42, Clive Gardener, The Lost Cave of Llangattock? [A 'cave in the limestone rock at Darren y kille' ... by John Ellwood, 1818]
Descent 203, pp.30-31 (2008), Researching cave radon
Brendan Marris Caves of South Wales
Cambrian Cave Registry entry 814
© Cambrian Caving Council ⓗ