The church you need is actually St Illtud's in Llanelltyd and is easy to find as it is right on the A470 just north of the A496 junction. There is a car park right next to the church.
It was starting to get dark and I was half expecting to church to be locked as there were no lights on. Fortunately the gate leading into the church yard was closed but not locked – as was the church door. It was very dark inside but I managed to find the light switch.
The stone is propped up against the far wall on the right and is held in place by a small chain. There was a portable heater on the floor in front of the stone. The stone is about 1.5 metres high and 0.5 metres across at the base.
There was a pamphlet available in the church which refers to the stone although I was unable to make out the footprint said to be carved in it. This could have been due to the poor lighting or perhaps it was on the reverse side of the stone?
The pamphlet gives some interesting information about the stone:
'This famous stone was found in 1876 amongst debris in an outbuilding near the church.
On the stone is an inscription of mid 12C date – 'Vestigium Kenyric tenetur in capite lapidis et ipsemet antequam peregre profectus est'. 'The footprint of Kenyric is imprinted at the head of this stone before he himself set out for foreign parts'.
On the stone is clearly carved a footprint which is said to be that of a pilgrim. It is said to be the only stone of its kind in existence.
Why did Kenyric have an imprint of his foot made on the stone? One theory is that placing a foot on the stone was considered by the pilgrim to guarantee a safe return from a visit to foreign lands. There is some evidence for a superstition of this kind amongst Welsh sailors.
Kenyric was possibly a local chieftain.
Within the churchyard there are four ancient yew trees'.
Posted by CARL
15th December 2011ce