The town hall building probably dates back to the Elizabethan era and was a prison until 1830 when money was raised by the townsfolk for the reconstruction of the building and it was converted into a town hall to replace the former Guild Hall which was then demolished.
The Building contains the town museum within Six of the original prison cells. The museum has some archaeological finds from Cowbridge and the surrounding area along with displays on the towns history and a collection of historical clothing.
the rest of the building is used by the town council and for public events.
The parish church of cowbridge was originally built as a Chapel of Ease for the parish church in Llanblethian and until the 20th century the Church was dedicated to St Mary. It was probably founded along with the town in the Medieval period with continuing alterations in that period untill being extended in the 14th and 15th centuries with restoration being carried out between 1848 and 1853 by John Pritchard and again during the 20th Century by George Pace. It is a Grade 1 listed building.
Although the church contains features from the 13th century, the most remarkable feature is certainly its impressive fortified tower which was built in the early 14th Century, Recently the church has recived a grant from the Welsh Historic Monuments agency (Cadw) allowing the tower to be restored to its mediaeval appearance.
There are some interesting grave memorials in the surrounding graveyard, When we visited the Church was closed but i belive there are some impressive interior features which i hope to see on a future visit
It was in 1254 that Sir Richard de Clare who was then Lord of Glamorgan granted Cowbridge it's first charter and by 1266 Cowbridge had walls around it with four gateways. Over the years much of the walls and 3 of the gateways have vanished with the stone probably being stolen for building but there are extensive remains of the South Wall including the South Gate and two angle towers which you can still enjoy.
The walls are Grade 2 listed
Opposite the lovely Plas Llanmihangel St Michael's Church is first mentioned in 1254 it has a lovely partly fortified tower. it is one of few Churches in Britain that has no Electricity.
The key is kept at Plas Llanmihangel so when we were stopping there we went over to have a look inside. Althoiugh the interior is simple it is lovely and well worth a look if you have time.
There is a churchyard cross and a Holy Well
The Physic Garden in Cowbridge was created by The Cowbridge Physic Garden Trust, they recreated the type of garden that In the Middle Ages would have been found in monasteries and close to hospitals where the Monks and healers coluld grow herbs and plants that would be usefull in treating a wide range of ailments such fevers, aches and pains, stomach and breathing problems.
The Walled enclosure was once laid out formaly with paths and flower beds and was at one time used as a kitchen garden by the grammer school before being used by the local council as a tree nursery. neglected for a number of years it had become an overgrown wilderness before the Physic Garden project was started to comemorate the Towns celebrations or 750 years since the creation of the Cowbridge Borough by Charter in 1254.
It is open daily from 1000 to 1600 but closed Christmas Day
Cowbridge Town Hall dates back as far as the Elizabethan era and served as a prison until 1830, when it was converted into a Town Hall to replace the former Guild Hall, demolished at that date.
Today it is the administrative offices of the Town Council, the two main halls are used by the community and the original cells of the House of Correction contain the Cowbridge Museum which is open to the public.
This historic building still retains many interesting features. The Mayor’s Parlour contains the well which was used to supply male prisoners with water. The Council Chamber has a facsimile of the 1421 Charter, an oil painting of the Cowbridge Seal used from 1762 to 1887, a copy of the Grant of Arms of 1888 and boards listing past Mayors, Town Clerks and Honorary Freemen.
This fantastic looking Medieval Church is situated just off the High Street of Cowbridge. The church was initially a chapel of ease to the parish church at Llanblethian.
One of the striking features of this Church is the great medieval whitewashed tower. This stands out from miles around, in fact we spotted it whilst looking at the town walls.
The graveyard contains many interesting ancient memorials and gravestones. The Church was closed during our vist but I have read there are many more ancient relics to see inside.
The South Gate is the only one of the town gates remain, it is part of the remaining wall and spans Church St just near the Old grammer School.
The Town Walls of Cowbridge are unique in Glamorgan. They were built in the 1300's to enclose the 'New Town' of Cowbridge.