Oxwich – St Illtyd’s Church

History

The church in Oxwich was erected in the twelfth century, possibly on the site of an early medieval church from the 6th century, according to the tradition belonging to Saint Illtyd, who based on the legend, himself had to bring a baptismal font to the building. In the fourteenth century, the church was expanded, among others, a tower was added on the west side. In the nineteenth century, the building was subjected to a restoration.

Architecture

The church consists of a rectangular nave and a four-sided chancel with an unusually small size. The chancel arch between the nave and the presbytery comes from the 12th century, however, the small size of the choir proves that it may be an earlier structure, later absorbed into an extended church. Its window with a tracery on the east side dates back to the 14th century. The nave of the church is divided into two parts differing in width, which in turn indicates that it was extended towards the west, perhaps in the fourteenth century, when the tower was added. The tower is quadrilateral, crowned with a prominent parapet on corbels and battlement. It has five floors, and the stairs are in the thickness of the southern wall. A small sacristy was added to the southern wall of the presbytery, but it is an early modern addition. Inside the church you can find a male and female tombstone from the fourteenth or fifteenth century.

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bibliography:
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website gatehouse-gazetteer.info, Oxwich Church of St Illtyd.