Directions – easy. Take the minor road west off the A470 to the village of Llanwrthwl – ¼ mile. This road takes you directly to the church. You can access the pretty graveyard either through the gate (the option Karen took) or up and over the stone wall stepping stones (the option I took!)
By now light showers had started but this didn't diminish from the lovely setting of this church / stone This may sound strange but the site 'feels' ancient. Its location surrounded by hills is wonderful.
It's a big lump of rock – approximately 2 metres high x 1.5 metres across.
The information board describes it as a 3,000 to 4,000 year old 'sacrificial' stone – I don't know what that is based on?
It is also well worth having a look inside the church which boasts a lovely 13th century font.
Overall a top notch place to visit. Highly recommended.
Visited 9th March 2003: Llanwrthwl Churchyard is a fat monolith, dominating the south entrance to St Gwrthwl's church. It seems likely that the stone was erected long before the church. Apart from anything else, it bears no resemblance to a cross shaft, and looks rather more like a ruddy great big standing stone (Rhiannon's word 'stout' sums it up). I can confirm that the churchyard isn't circular any more, just a bit rounded.
We visited on a Sunday, and there was a service going on in the church (shame because I wanted to see inside). I wonder how many people in the congregation realise how long the site has been in use for ritual purposes. I'm guessing at between 3000 and 4000 years!
St Gwrthwl's church is easy to get to (the only church in the village so you can't miss it).
This stout stone, over a metre and a half high, stands outside the entrance to St Gwrthwl's church. The churchyard is slightly rounded - according to the Clwyd-Powys archaeological trust, the NE perimeter is part of an earlier, smaller circular enclosure, and you can see a low scarp on the west and south sides. The present church is quite new, replacing an older one in Victorian times.
Interestingly, the river Wye is only about 100 yards away: perhaps this is significant in the positioning of the stone / site (or perhaps this is a case of me trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole).