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Church of the Holy Cross

A Grade I Listed Building in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4614 / 51°27'40"N

Longitude: -3.4495 / 3°26'58"W

OS Eastings: 299395

OS Northings: 174594

OS Grid: SS993745

Mapcode National: GBR HK.M521

Mapcode Global: VH6F8.5J7L

Entry Name: Church of the Holy Cross

Listing Date: 5 December 1963

Last Amended: 16 September 1999

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13187

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: To NE of town gate and grammar school.

County: Vale of Glamorgan

Community: Cowbridge with Llanblethian (Y Bont-faen a Llanfleiddan)

Community: Cowbridge with Llanblethian

Locality: Cowbridge

Built-Up Area: Cowbridge

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Cowbridge

History

The church was probably founded with the medieval town, and was formerly a chapel of ease of Llanblethian Church. The church was successively remodelled, reflecting the increasing prosperity of Cowbridge during the Medieval period. The present building incorporates a nave and chancel of later C13 work; C14 tower (spire destroyed by lightning 1480); C15 S aisle (pre 1473) and chantry chapel to N of chancel: C 16 addition (probably almonry, now vestry) to E end. In 1848, some chancel windows re-opened and glazed by Haycock, C19 N porch dates from restorations in 1850s by John Prichard (cost £1800). In 1893, the tower was renovated, and W gallery removed (cost £800). Further work in 1920s to early 1930s (especially roofs); further work by George Pace in later C20.

Exterior

Local stone walls and slate roofs. Nave with N porch; S aisle; central tower; chancel. North-east choir and Rector’s vestries, the former originally a chantry chapel. Windows of Perpendicular form, many restored or rebuilt in Prichard’s restoration. Unbuttressed North wall of nave; much of remainder of building buttressed. West nave windows of five lights above battered base with wide roll-moulded chamfered doorway. North wall of nave, from east end, with two windows, thirdly, doorway with blocked niche above, both set inside 1859 gabled porch and, fourthly, a five-light, square-headed perpendicular window with external trace of possibly lancet window opening each side. South wall of S aisle from E end with three three-light windows, chamfered doorway (blocked) and a further 3-light window. Square central tower with inset octagonal castellated parapet and, on north side, with full-height buttress on west and semi-circular stair turret on East. Choir vestry with two blocked windows in north wall and moulded doorway in west wall. East chancel window of five-lights and two south chancel windows of three-lights each.

Interior

Inside, nave arcade of five bays; plastered walls; C15 wagon roof to south aisle; oak boarded roof of circa 1926 to nave; trace of former west nave gallery; pulpit of 1890s. Pointed chancel arch; blocked door to rood loft stairway. Vaulted plaster roof to chancel with a two-bay arcade on to choir vestry, similar to nave arcade. Memorials include marble memorial in nave to David Jenkins Esq of Hensol (died 1664) and members of his family; early C19 memorial to Richard Bates and family; early C17 memorial in south aisle to William Carne of Nash; tablet in West chancel to David and Ann Edwardes of Rhyd-y-Gors, Carmarthen; memorials in chancel to eg Sir Robert Rich. Died 1799 and to the Reverend Thomas Williams who died in 1783. The church is the burial place also of Lewis Morgannwg, Richard Meyrick of Cottrell and of Benjamin Heath Malkin.

Reasons for Listing

Graded I as medieval church on key site in historic town centre. Group value with surrounding listed buildings.

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