Llanblethian – St John’s Church

History

The church of St. John in Llanblethian was erected in the 12th century, the chancel certainly comes from this period. At that time it was in possession of the Tewkesbury Abbey. In the 14th century, the temple was enlarged and the culmination of the expansion was the addition of a tower in 1477, from the foundation of Lady Anne Neville, wife of Richard, prince of Gloucester, later king of England, Richard III. In the 90s of the nineteenth century, the church underwent a renovation, during which the interiors were renovated and the original wall plasters were removed, leaving rough walls. The positive of these works was showing of an oak ceiling, although some of the medieval beams had to be replaced. During the conservation work, a crypt under the sacristy was opened and debris of about 200 bodies were discovered. It is not known whether the crypt was used as an ossuary for bodies moved from the cemetery, or whether it was a place of mass burial from some tragic historical event.

Architecture

The church consists of a rectangular nave, an older, smaller but also a rectangular chancel, a chapel built on the south side of the nave and located next to it southern porch. To the west, the church is ended by a fifteenth-century tower. Its appearance is quite unusual for the Glamorgan region, and more characteristic of the Cornwall area. It has corner multi-stepped buttresses, a staircase in the north-east corner and a crown in the form of decorative battlement and four pinnacles.

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bibliography:
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, hurch of St John the Baptist. A Grade I Listed Building in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan.
Website wikipedia.org, Church of St John the Baptist, Llanblethian.