Llandre (Llanfihangel Genau Glyn)Church sit in a small village 5 miles north of Aberystwyth. It is more properly named Llanfihangel Genau’r Glyn, but it shortened name was easier on the tongue so is in more common use. There is a persistent legend that the church was originally intended to be sited at Glanfred, on the banks of the Leri about a mile to the north-east, and be dedicated, like the church at Llan-non, to St. Ffraid- or Bridget.
The builders constructed the walls, but each morning when they returned to their work, and the previous day’s work had fallen down. One day apparently a mysterious voice was heard whispering in the wind. It gave instructions that the church was to be dedicated to St. Michael (Mihangel), and built at the mouth of the valley – Genau’r Glyn.
The dedication to Mihangel suggests an early Welsh church. There are about 100 dedications to the Archangel in Wales, and 8 in Ceredigion. The Celtic cult of Mihangel is associated with heights according to Padraig O Riain in the Cardiganshire County History.
The church used to be called Llanfihangel Castell Gwallter, and this name is to be found on the communion cup which is dated as 1573. An antiquity of the area is given by the presence of the “Holy Well” just below the lych gate and recently restored. The tradition in the village is that it was used as a healing well not that long ago.
The present building, a 19th century restoration, stands at the entrance to a steep cwm. The graveyard extends outside the walls so that scattered tombstones poke up through the woodlands on the steep slopes above the church. The slope is unstable in places, and the graves are gradually tumbling down the hill.
A Community service restoration project in the area is slowly helping to rework the nearby walls and re-enforce the church lands.