Bryneglwys stands just off the old turnpike road, now designated the A5104 amongst a twisting collection of rivers and streams. A curious place, the name of the village is rather apposite, translating as, ‘hill church’. Known as ‘Breneglus’ in 1284, by the taxation of 1291 it had become known as ‘Ecclia de Bryn Eglwys.’
It is possible that the church was of pre-conquest foundation, given that its dedication is to the 7th Century St Tysilio, son of the reigning King of Powys, the splendidly named, Brochfael Ysgythrog (Brochfael of the Tusks). The church itself is a pretty thing, a single chambered, largely perpendicular building, with the Yale chapel having been added sometime in the 16th Century and highlighting the connections between this parish and the terribly famous Yale family resident at nearby Plas yn Iâl. According to Elias Owen there used to be a cross in the churchyard, which by his visit in 1878 had been reduced to ‘steps and basement’ and sometime later was removed entirely, to the surprise of the resident vicar.
Bryneglwys does rather avoid written record for many years and seems rather happy about this. It is difficult to credit any development to the settlement during the 19th century, and even then it is not until the proliferation of Ordnance Survey maps in the late 19th Century that the situation of Bryneglwys becomes a little clearer to those outside its boundaries. I find this quite appealing.