Llansantffraed is located between Brecon and Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Powys, South Wales. The hamlet sits on the banks of the River Usk , 1 mile from Talybont and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. To the north lies Llangors Lake, separated from the village by the Allt yr Esgair (393m) outcrop. The area is popular with walkers and there are many walking trails including a climb up the aforementioned Allt-yr-Esgair and a trail around Llangors Lake. Those who appreciate a longer hike might choose the Usk Valley Trail or the Taff Trail that pass close to Llansantffraed.
Llansantffraed is most famous for its association with poet Henry Vaughan, whose gravestone can be found in the church cemetery. There is also a memorial to him inside the church.
Born in 1622 at Newton, Powys, Vaughan spent several years in London studying law and medicine but was called home at the beginning of the Civil War. Because of their strong Royalist followings, he and his brother were imprisoned for some time.
However, when he was 30, his attention turned towards more spiritual matters. Even though Vaughan had published poetry before then, his work from then on was much more religious. The poet described himself as a “Silurist”, coming from the Celtic tribe of the Silures who lived in south Wales and resisted against the Romans.
Vaughan was known by many as the “spiritual father of Wordsworth”, showing how he was an important figure in the world of literature at the time. He died in 1695.