St Michael's church is situated in the village of Llanyblodwel on the Shropshire side of the border with Wales, close to Offa's Dyke. The parish, which is rural by nature, has a population of around 850 people. Apart from farming there is little other employment, although quarrying does still take place on the eastern border. Llanyblodwel is located 8 miles southwest of the market town of Oswestry, 15 miles north of Welshpool and 20 miles west of the county town of Shrewsbury.
The village of Llanyblodwel nestles in the Tanat valley (which runs west to east throughout the parish) with the river Tanat running through its midst; a river popular with anglers for its salmon and trout fishing.
The area has always been of interest to people throughout the centuries. The Romans had their lime quarries and mines on top of Llanymynech Hill. Owain Glyndwr, the Prince of Wales who encouraged his countrymen to shake off the yoke of the English, had his castle built less than four miles from the church. In 1536 Henry V111 decided that the area should no longer be part of Wales and added it on to Shropshire!
Llanyblodwel is now a more peaceful place. The village has only about twenty houses. The railway line, which once brought slate from the top of the valley has been closed since the 1970s. The village grew up around the crossing point of the river, now spanned by an 18th century narrow stone bridge. Prior to this, travellers, drovers and their animals, all crossed using the ford. In the 15th century they would have had refreshment at the newly built Horseshoe Inn, which still attracts people today.
The name 'Llanyblodwel' has two Saxon meanings both indicating that this had been an area where savage struggle had taken place. 'Blaid wal,'-the 'wall of contention,' and then 'blood wold,' or (blood well) refers to a battle which occurred near Blodwel Hall, where the bodies of the fallen were said to have been dropped into the well and the water subsequently ran red!! But the carpet of wild flowers which can be seen in the valley also gives credence to the Welsh meaning of Llanyblodwel. 'Llan' in Welsh means 'a church' and 'blodwell', means 'flowers', so the name 'Church amongst the flowers,' seems an appropriate name to those who visit St Michael's church today