History in Structure

Church of St Illtyd, St Gwynno and St Dyfodwg

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Latitude: 51.5416 / 51°32'29"N

Longitude: -3.3764 / 3°22'35"W

OS Eastings: 304640

OS Northings: 183425

OS Grid: ST046834

Mapcode National: GBR HN.G5FQ

Mapcode Global: VH6DX.FJC1

Plus Code: 9C3RGJRF+MC

Entry Name: Church of St Illtyd, St Gwynno and St Dyfodwg

Listing Date: 18 August 2000

Last Amended: 18 August 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23942

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

ID on this website: 300023942

Location: Located in an elevated position towards the centre of the village and to the W of the castle.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Town: Pontyclun

Community: Llantrisant

Community: Llantrisant

Built-Up Area: Llantrisant

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Tagged with: Church building

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An Early Christian church was founded on the site and a grave slab preserved inside the building is C7-C9. This church was replaced by a substantial Norman church, first mentioned in documentary records in 1254. A picture of the interior of the church before a major restoration of 1874 shows arcades with round arches on cylindrical columns, and a low chancel arch. The chancel walls and N aisle wall are retained from this period. The massive tower is late C15 and the remaining walls may have been rebuilt at this time. In the C17 the S porch was either added or rebuilt. The restoration of 1872-4 was undertaken by John Prichard and involved a new interior as well as refenestration and possibly the addition of the N porch. In 1894 further work was carried out by Seddon and Carter, including a new W door to the tower and alteration or rebuilding of the N porch. The vestry was added at some time during the C19 and most of the roofs have been replaced.


West tower, nave without clerestory, S and N aisles, S and N porches, chancel and N vestry. Constructed of rubble sandstone under slate roofs. The fenestration is mainly C19 in red and grey stone. The massive C15 tower is in 2 stages divided by a string course, on a high moulded plinth and with battlemented parapets. High diagonal buttresses, each with 4 offsets and decorative pinnacles. Above these are large, crude gargoyles, attached to the string course of the parapets. Octagonal stair turret at NE angle, in 3 stages with battlemented parapets, and with small rectangular stair lights. The tower has a W doorway, rebuilt in 1894, of yellow stone with triangular head, a pointed arched doorway and 3 orders of continuous mouldings, reached by 5 swept steps. The jambs of an earlier doorway also survive. Above the door is a 3-light window with a square hoodmould under a relieving arch of voussoirs. The lights have Tudor-style heads. Small rectangular light to S face, just above the string course. Two-light belfry openings to each face of the tower, all Tudor arched with plain hollow mouldings. The S aisle has a gabled porch to the centre, with 2 windows to each side. Angle buttresses with offsets between the windows and at the ends, a high plinth and corbelled eaves. C19 windows with segmental heads of voussoirs containing 3 lights with trefoiled heads. The front face of the porch has a round-headed doorway with moulded arch on imposts containing a door with ribs. Square hoodmould above doorway, above which is a rectangular recess. No side openings to porch. The chancel is lower and narrower than the nave, and has 2 single lights with trefoiled heads and hoodmoulds. To the R of the L window are 2 grave slabs mounted on the wall. They are hard to read but are dated 1751 and 1716. The E end of the chancel has a 3-light window with cusped intersecting tracery. Hoodmould with head bosses of a man and woman. To the L is a shallow rectangular recess with narrow stone sill and lintel, which may have contained another grave slab. A lean-to vestry has been added to the L of the N side of the chancel, with trefoil-headed light in the E end. The N aisle has the same arrangement of openings as the S aisle, with a central porch flanked by pairs of windows separated by angle buttresses. The porch is of snecked stone with dressed quoins and has a chamfered pointed arched doorway with hoodmould containing a late C20 door. Inside the porch is a round-arched doorway with C20 double doors, stone side benches and an arch braced roof.


The nave has 5-bay arcades with alternating circular and octagonal piers, with moulded capitals supporting pointed arches with double chamfers. Nine-bay roof with arched braces, arched wind braces, low-set tie beams and moulded wall plates with dentils. Benches to either side of a central aisle with moulded arm rests. Pointed chamfered doorway at E end of N aisle leading to vestry. Four-centred tower arch with narrow mouldings. Half-glazed wood panelled screen across tower arch with stained glass and a dentilled decorated cornice. It is a memorial to the Rev Canon John Powell Jones, vicar of the parish 1865-83. There is said to be a baptistery under the tower floor. Small chamfered pointed arched doorway in N wall of tower chamber leading to stair turret, and C20 stairs on S side. Tall pointed chancel arch, double chamfered, on triple shafts with foliate capitals and wide polygonal bases. Three-bay chancel roof, the E bay with sound-boarding, the other 2 bays with arched braces and a central ridge piece. Wood panelled reredos with cusped blind arches with ogee heads.

C15 octagonal stone font on square base with broach stops and a chip-carved circular design to each face (similar to the fonts at Pyle and Llanharry). Small organ to L front of nave, and polygonal wooden pulpit to R by George Pace, 1967. In the S aisle is an altar, behind which is an Early Christian grave slab incised with a circular cross flanked by smaller crosses.

Stained glass to E window depicting the Crucifixion and Mary and John, dated 1873. By Morris & Co. and designed by Burne-Jones. It was commissioned by John Prichard in memory of his relatives who had lived in the parish. The 2 lancets to the S side of the chancel are contemporary and by Clayton & Bell. They are in memory of Rev Evan Morgan and his wife Letitia (d.1864 and 1868), and depict the Charge to Peter and Noli me Tangere. The L window of the S aisle shows Saints Peter, Paul and John and was presented by Evan Evans in memory of his brothers. It is also of 1873 and by G H Cook. The stained glass window to the R is a First World War memorial depicting soldiers. R window to N aisle in memory of David Henry Simon, vicar of the parish, 1923-39. The remaining windows contain pink and yellow glass.

An effigy of a C13 warrior wearing a simple tunic and head-dress is set into the wall at the E end of the N aisle. It depicts Cadwgan Fawr of Miskin, one of the Welsh opponents of Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan, 1217-30. It was moved to this position in 1873. There are many stone and marble wall monuments in the church. Above the effigy is a marble tablet with fluted pilasters and cornice, dated 1742, but hard to read. At the W end of the N aisle is a black slate tablet with round arched head and decorated with scrolls and vases, to Ann, daughter of Morgan David (d.1740), aged 36. Memorials to the Barrett family of Miskin including S aisle, to R of doorway, a stone tablet with arched head, listing members of the family who died C17-18. In the S aisle, a memorial in the form of a scroll to the Lewis family. Marble tablet with shield to L, to Richard Evans (d.1866) of Watling Street, London. To the R of the chancel arch is a tablet bearing a draped urn to Anne Thomas of Ynys y Plwm (d.1845), signed Porter. Tall stone tablet in chancel, raised from ground, to Mary, wife of Evan Prichard (d.1740) and other members of the family. On the S wall of the chancel is a large marble tablet with arched head and scrollwork to Dr Richard Thomas (d.1733). To the R is an plaque with head boss, to Mary, wife of Henry Nichols (d.1735).

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* for the prominence of the fine medieval tower, visible from a considerable distance, and for the early Christian origins of the site.

External Links

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