St Cadocs Church Llancarfan on Llancarfan travel guide
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The church of St Cadoc’s is the focus of the small & charming village of Llancarfan in the heart of Vale of Glamorgan. A Celtic monastery, founded by St Cadoc, stood here in the 6th century. Following the Norman era, the monastery passed into the hands of the Benedictine monks of St Peter’s in Gloucester and consequently St Cadoc’s became a parish church.

The simple chancel arch of St Cadoc’s suggests a foundation of about 1200AD, and there is a beautiful 16th century window in the north of the chancel.

Except for a chance find the story of St Cadoc’s would have been much the same as many other old Welsh churches.

However during excavations in 2008 a line of red ochre was found beneath the limewashed walls of the nave. This simple find lead to St Cadoc’s Church being recognised as one of Wales’ most important medieval churches.

During the 15th Century the Taliban, or should I say the protestant reformists, under the influence of Henry V111 decided to vandalise the churches of the British Isles. The brightly decorated churches and abbeys were branded papist and were thus subjected to an age of vandalism and destruction.

Few if any churches survived the attacks. Statues, paintings, wooden screens, stone carvings , all were smashed in the name of God. Walls were covered with layer after layer of whitewash as if to cleanse the very souls of the old stone walls. Some works did survive however. Protected by the whitewash and hidden by layers of plaster the wall paintings remained intact, only hidden from man’s eyes.

Unfortunately during the Victorian Age another less violent though in some ways as damaging reformation took place. This time the Victorian architects were on the march. The old churches were again vandalised (albeit with good intentions). Demolishing and rebuilding many churches, remodelling others, “renovating” some, few churches escaped the “new reformation”.

Fortunately for St Cadoc’s back in 1875 the vicar of Llancarfan reported a lack of funds with which to renovate the old church. He was too poor to afford to rebuild and replaster the old church. Thus St Cadoc’s continued to serve its community for another 130 years with little changing, until in 2008 that line of red ochre was spotted underneath the limewash by an eagle eyed architect.

Conservators were brought in and a new and exciting age has dawned for St Cadoc’s. Today paintings are being uncovered that have been unseen for 500 years. Click on the link below to get the full story on the St Cadoc’s Church website.




Jan 21, 2014 by Maria Lester

Great church, just watch out for the verbally abusive workman. He started yelling and saying he didn't have to let us in and that we thought we were better than him. Mentally unstable or just a huge chip on his shoulder. Nit what you expect in a quiet country church you pop in to take photos.
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