Llancarfan – St Cadoc’s Church


The church of St. Cadoc in Llancarfan was erected in the 13th century and rebuilt in the years 1284-1307. Further works were carried out later in the 14th century, when the southern nave was changed into a chapel and a tower was added. It is one of several churches in Wales dedicated to Saint Cadoc, but it is believed that it was in Llancarfan, that the saint served as an abbot. In the fifteenth century, the church was inside decorated with wall frescoes. Apparently, it also had a magnificent stained glass window in the presbytery, but in the seventeenth century a resident of the village named Whitton Bush destroyed it, repeatedly hitting and shouting: “Down with the Babylonian whore!”. In the years 1887-1888 the church was renovated and the west tower was rebuilt.


The church consists of a rectangular nave, a shorter and narrower, rectangular chancel and a southern nave with a total length equal to the main nave and chancel. From the west side there is a 14th-century tower topped with a parapet on protruding corbels and battlement. On the south side, a porch was erected in front of the entrance portal. Both naves and chancel have timber barrel ceilings from the 15th century. The southern nave, or later chapel, is separated from the nave by a fifteenth-century rood screen, originally the rood screen also separated the nave from the presbytery. The walls are decorated with late medieval frescos depicting seven sins, the death of Gallant and Saint George and the dragon. These frescoes are among the best preserved in the whole of Great Britain, and the image of Saint George and the dragon is the most complete painting on this subject in Wales.

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Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, St Cadoc’s Parish Church. A Grade I Listed Building in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan.