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St Cynog's church

Defynnog is a small village in the community of Maescar in the county of Powys, Wales. It lies immediately south of Sennybridge and about ten miles west of Brecon within the Brecon Beacons National Park. Defynnog lost much of its importance with the development of Sennybridge.

The village (which has also been referred to historically as 'Devynnock') sits beside the Afon Senni just south of its confluence with the River Usk and where the A4215 road meets the A4065. The Welsh name signifies the 'territory belonging to Dyfwn'.[1][2]

The local church, dedicated to Saint Cynog, contains an ancient stone with Ogham inscriptions and is a grade I listed building.[3] The old vicarage, at the northern edge of the churchyard contains the name of Moses Williams FRS on one of the beams of its attics.

In 2014, a Yew (Taxus baccata) found in the churchyard was estimated to be five thousand plus years old. It has been subject to extensive investigation, including dendrochronology, and DNA analysis.[4] The crown of the tree is 60 ft in diameter.[5][6]

The rectory within the Church grounds was once the property of Moses Williams FRS and his inscription is to found on the beams of one of the attics. The property immediately south of the lychgate (Ty Defynnog, Defynnog House) is almost certainly made up of two former cottages. Its cellar contains a stone slab of uncertain purpose.

The Sir John Davy School, now a cafe and antiques centre, ceased to be a centre of education when the local primary school was transferred to Sennybridge. The new school continued to be called Defynnog School until the mid-1980s when it was renamed Sennybridge School.

The Sir John Davy Alms houses are sited close to a former police station and court, later a brass rubbing centre and now a bed and breakfast, complete with police cells. Dewi Davies' book (p. 151) contains an account of sheep stealing in Defynnog.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL12 'Brecon Beacons National Park: western area'
  2. ^ Owen, H.W. & Morgan, R. 2007 'Dictionary of the Place-names of Wales' Gomer Press, Ceredigion
  3. ^ "Church of Saint Cynog, Maescar". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Blog 20/10/2014
  5. ^
  6. ^
  • "Law and Disorder in Breconshire", Dewi Davies, published by D.G and A.S. Evans, Brecon.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°56′22″N 3°33′53″W / 51.93947°N 3.56468°W / 51.93947; -3.56468