Llanrhidian – St Rhidian and St Illtyd’s church

History

The present church in Llanrhidian was built in the thirteenth century by the Order of the Knights Chospitaller, according to tradition on the site of an earlier temple from the sixth century, founded by Saint Rhidian. Probably in the fourteenth century, the chancel and tower were added, which unusually massive structure also suggests performing defensive functions. In the mid-nineteenth century, the church was in a bad condition, which resulted in the renovation and thorough reconstruction of the nave, and then the chancel.

Architecture

The church consists of a wide rectangular nave and a narrower and shorter chancel on the eastern side. On the west side there is a massive tower topped with a parapet on corbels and battlement. In the south-eastern part, it has a communication tower. At the top of the tower there is a large stone called the Parson’s Bed, which served as the basis for the fire, for signaling warning residents of the threat from the land or sea. In the porch which adheres to the southern wall of the nave, there is an interesting, carved leper stone. It is a rectangular block of limestone about 2 meters long, carved with two human faces, surrounded by strange and grotesque animal performances. It could be part of the viking’s tomb.

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bibliography:
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Parish Church of St Rhidian and St Illtyd A Grade II Listed Building in Llanrhidian, Swansea.