Originally a Celtic site founded around 500 AD and comprised of a Church, Monastery, school and mission centre. The West Church was built by the Normans around 100 and extended into the East Church during the 13th Century.
There are two ruined building, the one at the West end is the galilee chapel and a chantry that was founded by the Raglan Family. the ruin in the Churchyard was the priest's house.
Inside the Church there are some great features which include traces of some fantastic medieval wall paintaings and in the Western Church there is a good collection of carved Celtic crosses and carved memorial stones
The town hall was a Norman Manorial Courthouse for the Manor of Boverton and Llantwit Major, It was rebuilt under the Lordship of Jasper Tudor (Uncle of King Henry VIII). it then became a Guild hall (while Henry VIII was on the throne) and then the Bailiff's house. In the 1830’s the church leased the upper rooms to the 'Oddfellows' who carried out repairs and kept the building in good condition.
The building became the centre of entertainment for the town when Plays, concerts and dances were regularly held and for a time it was even used as a cinema.
The Old Swan Inn is an early 16th century public house in the centre of town and was the towns mint for a short period in the mid seventeenth century when the Inkeeper Edward Maddocks was allowed to produce his own brass coins. This attractive building was once Thatched and was owned by the Raglan Family.
We called in for a drink after having a walk around the town.
The Old Swan was an early 16th Century Tavern. During the Civil war period, the Innkeeper, Edward Maddocks struck brass tokens here gaining the house a reputation as a mint. Monthly manorial courts were sometimes held here including the last court Leet. The Old Swan was was also a popular inn for American visitors before the 1939-45 war when St. Donats Castle was owned by William Randolph Hearst.
Nowadays, the Old Swan is a lovely looking pub overlooking the town square. The interior is decorated with antiquities of years gone by. We just called in for a drink but happened to notice they were also serving some very nice looking bar meals.
Built in about 1440, the White Hart is the oldest, continuously occupied building in the town. We called in here for a drink on a sunny afternoon in May. It has a cosy seating area in the bar but since it was sunny we decided to make use of the patio area out the back.
St Illtud's Church, which was described by described by John Wesley in 1777 as "the most beautiful as well as the most spacious church in Wales". It has a very long history, people have worshipped here for about 1500 years. Illtud, a Welsh Monk founded a church, monastery and school here about the year 500. Illtud was one of the earliest Celtic Missionaries and travelled around to keep Christianity alive after the retreat of the Romans. St Illtud's Church became the burial place of local kings and an important mission centre. It contains one of the most significant collections of Celtic stones in Wales which date from the 9th and 10th century. One of which is the Houellt Cross which has a disc shaped head and elaborately carved with interlace and commemorates Hywel ap Rhys, King of Glamorgan during the 9th Century.
Attached to the West side of the Church you will see the ruins of the Galilee Chapel. There are leaflets inside the Church which outline the restoration project for these ruins. The roofless chapel is to be restored to create a centre for Celtic Christian studies and to provide an appropriate exhibition space for the Celtic Christian stones.
Other interesting features inside the church include the decorated wall paintings of St Christopher and Mary Magdalane, the effigies of an Elizabethan Lady and Medieval monk and the town curfew bell. Also, within the grounds of the Church you will see the ruins the Chantry priests house.
The town square is centred around an old preaching cross, which is now the war memorial. Around it is a group of Tudor buildings, erected when the town had to be rebuilt following a visit with fire and sword by Owain Glyndwr soon after 1400.
There are a number of great village pub surrounding the square including the White Hart which was originally a family house, built by Robert Raglan and is said to be the oldest continually inhabited house in the town.
Llantwit Major Town Hall is said to have been built by Gilbert de Clare. It was originally used as a manorial court, where the affairs of the manor were decided. The present Town Hall was rebuilt in the late 16th century.
This inn was originally a dwelling built by Robert Raglan and has been extended on both sides and to the rear. It is the oldest continually inhabited house in the town. There are a number of old pictures of the town inside, and the old beams and thick walls show its age
Thee two buildings that are the Old Swan Inn and the White Hart Inn are the same age and were built as houses, though the Old Swan claims to be the oldest pub in Llantwit Major.
They face each other across the the square.I t was said to have been a mint as the landlord Edward Maddocks struck brass tokens for his workers during the Civil War.
The stone built Town Hall stands on Burial lLane where it joins another road, thus forming a triangle. It is of two stories , the upper reached by steep stone steps. It was originally a manorial courthouse. Under Jasper Tudor it was rebuilt as a Guildhall , and then a bailiff's house. It was taken over by the town council in 1894.
The landlord of the White Hart believes it was once a church. This could be supported by the shape of the windows.
There is a large ruin overlooking the village, which is on the outskirts of Llantwit Major. It was enclosed and a barred door could not be opened.
It certainly looks very ruined so perhaps entrance is not permitted because it is dangerous.
The building belonged to the Seys family and when the last heiress married and moved to Froomn, it fell into disuse.
The grave yard has been well kept and many graves have recent offerings of flowers. Many of the gravestones date back to the 16oos though if of sandstone may have suffered from the elements and be difficult to read. there is a tall 'cross' with an unusual top dominating the graveyard. In a corner of the church walls is a railed off grave.
In about 500 AD St Illtud crossed the Bristol Channel and established a church and seat of learning- claimed by some to be the oldest in the world.
The present church is large and contains some interesting Celtic carved stones, stone reredos, a medieval altar, effigies .
Like many beaches in this area, the beach is pebbles but when the tide is out, there is a stretch of sand. The tide can be dangerous with undertow , but lifeguards are vigilant and warn bathers and paddlers when this occurs.
It is not easy for those who are elderly or unstable on their feet as the beach is reached by clambering over boulders.
Searching among the rockpools or pebbles , fossils can be found. We found a 'devil's toenail'.
The cliffs are sedimentaty rock and caves can be seen at the foot of the cliffs.