St David's church, Blaenpennal

St David’s church, Blaenpennal

There are three ancient churches around the edges of the Mynydd Bach. Those at Liedrod and Llangwyryfon are ancient Christian sites dating back to the age of the early saints (the Dark Ages in England) and sited within ancient circular walls. The first church at Blaenpennal (and a similar one at Llanbadarn Odwyn) was a subsidiary of St David’s church at Llanddewibrefi, probably built of wood and turf, but on the same site as the plesent 19th-century building. The first churches were Celtic Christian settlements, followed later by a Roman Catholic church. After the Reformation all such churches became Protestant, but the Church in Wales eventually became disestablished and although Anglican, it is now independent of the Church of England. Weekly services are still held in all three churches.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the Anglican church was extremely unpopular, due to poor ministration and the exorbitant tithe taxes imposed on impoverished farmers. This helped give momentum to the rapid rise of W1sh nonconformist religion, which took over Welsh society for the following two centuries and shaped Welsh society and culture as they are today.
The foundations were laid in the early 18th century by Philip Pugh of Blaenpennal and Griffith Jones of Llanddowror, two ordained clergymen who pioneered the circulating schools that converted Wales into a literate society.