Offbeat Video

By Pete Goddard and Aliki Kraterou


No, you’re not seeing things – this wonky church really is sinking into the ground.

It’s known by locals as the leaning tower of Cwmyoy – and despite slowly sinking into the ground for hundreds of years, is still a fully functional church.

PIC FROM Pete Goddard/Caters News

The church of St Martin, Cwmyoy, Wales, dates back to the 11th century – but a landslide centuries ago, caused the church to lean at a right angle.

The church that has a crooked tower, chancel and the sanctuary, attracts dozens of visitors every month – and according to Reverend Derek Young, 76, it also has a small but dedicated regular congregation.

Rev Derek, who has been a vicar in the church for more than 20 years said: “A landslide of many years ago caused the tower of the church to lean to one side – sometimes it’s compared to the tower of Pisa in Italy.

PIC FROM Pete Goddard/Caters News

“It’s a lovely ancient church, dated right back in the 11 century- a pilgrimage church, for people to go  to the Abby church at St Davis.

“It is a beautiful place to live in Cwmyoy, a beautiful quiet valley.

“We welcome people here especially for our services on Sunday morning to join a small congregation.

“Many visitors come to see the church – more people come to see it than to worship.

PIC FROM Pete Goddard/Caters News

“We get many people to view the tower, the wonky church and we’re very grateful for the positive comments they leave in the visitors’ book.”

The gothic style church is supported by a buttress, undergoes safety inspections every five years and  according to Rev Derek, it’s perfectly safe.

He added: “It’s quite solid, quite safe.

“It takes some getting used to, people are sometimes queasy because of the shape of the church but it’s lovely to have services there, the acoustics are very good.

“It is still a place of Christian worship.”