Llansantffraid-ym-mechain is a village close to the border between Wales and England, in the county of Powys, Mid Wales. The village of Llansantffraid sits at the confluence of the Afon Efyrnwy and the Afon Cain.
Nearby towns and villages include Llanfechain, Llanfyllin, Four Crosses, Llanyblodwel and Llanymynech.
The names of Welsh villages often cause confusion among the English (and sometimes the Welsh), and Llansantffraid-ym-mechain is no exception.
As recently as 2008 Powys County Council decided to correct a “centuries old mistake”, and drop the 't' from Llansantffraid. It seems the misspelling arose from a translation that had described the Celtic Saint Bridgit (Santffraid) as a man, rather than a woman.
Whatever the cause of the supposed misspelling the locals are not happy with the new version and as of 2011 they have joined battle with the county council and indeed have brought in reinforcements in the guise of the local MP Glyn Davies.
The fine looking church of St Ffraid lies on the northern edge of the village of Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. At its core supposedly lies a 12th century building, extended in the 14th century. A south porch and western bell-turret were added in the 17th century and a north transept in the 18th century. Inside is a medieval font and piscina, 17th century and 18th century wooden furnishings, and a few pre-19th century monuments. It stands in a sub-rectangular churchyard that has been extended in the last hundred years and this retains an early 19th century sundial and several interesting grave markers.
To the west of the village stands Foel Hill, the site of an Iron Age hill-fort. Y Foel Camp sits on the summit of the Foel Hill and there are signs of a rampart and a ditch typical of Iron Age fortifications.
Llansantffraid sits in a rural landscape, with its riverside aspect and the old church on the hill, it all makes for an attractive Welsh Border town. But blimey who gave planning permission for that carbuncle on the High Street, the Wynnstay Farm Stores.