St Martin's Church, Cwmyoy

St Martin's in Cwmyoy, near Abergavenny, is a pretty little crooked church with a leaning spire.

Cwmyoy Church

The church of St Martin is unique, no part of it being square or at right angles with any other part. This is the result of being built on ground where subsidence has occurred in debris left by glaciation of the valley. Above the church, on the skyline, is a great gash on the side of the mountain caused by a landslide and it is this feature which gives the church and village its name Cwmyoy, sometimes spelt Cwm Iou or Cwm Iau, the valley of the yoke.

Local tradition says the landslide was caused by a terrible earthquake during Christ’s crucifixion, when there was darkness over the whole land and, according to St Matthew's gospel, the veil of the temple was torn in two.

St Martin's dates back to the Middle Ages and contains a medieval cross, thought to have been one of the crosses of the Pilgrims' Way to St David's. It is situated on The Cistercian Way, a long distance walk into the heart of Wales.