The old church at Penallt is set in a little dip in the trees about a mile north of the village (see map). Most of the building is late medieval, with a sixteenth-century porch (the date on the door is 1539). Inside, the wagon roof has carved bosses with intriguing symbols - strange heads, the Instruments of the Crucifixion, three fish symbolising the Trinity. There is also a splendid early seventeenth-century pulpit. Outside, you can see the base of the churchyard cross.
No-one knows who the church is dedicated to. One local tradition is that it was St James, the patron saint of pilgrims: so Penallt could have been a staging-post on the route to St James’s great shrine at Compostela.
The Parish of Trellech and Penallt encompasses St Nicholas's Church at Trellech and the Penallt Old Church.
The YouTube video below shows Sarah Haeffner bellringing at the church on May 25th 2008. "The 24 Elders - Round the Throne" is a pattern of chiming used at Penallt. Bell fittings are derelict (e.g. no clappers, no wheels, no ropes). Ellacombe chimes are regularly used.