Church of St John the Baptist

Cowbridge, United Kingdom

The Church of St John the Baptist is a medieval church in Llanblethian. Believed to have been built in the 12th century, the church boasts an unusual tower, consistent with the style more common in the south west of England. It underwent extensive restoration in the late 19th century, undertaken by C. B. Fowler of Cardiff.

The Church of St John the Baptist is first documented in a mid 12th century charter which showed it as a possession of Tewkesbury Abbey. Architectural evidence of its age lies in the short, low chancel which is established as 12th century. The west tower is in the Somerset style and was reputedly gifted in 1477, by Lady Anne Neville, heiress to the lordship of Glamorgan and wife of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III of England.

In the 1890s the church underwent restoration, conducted by the diocesan architect C. B. Fowler. The interiors were heavily restored, which included removal of the original wall plaster leaving the brickwork and mortar exposed. A benefit of the work was the opening up the fine oak roof, though much of the medieval timbers need to be replaced. During the restoration work the crypt under the vestry was opened and the remains of roughly 200 bodies was discovered. It is unknown if the crypt has been used as an ossuary for bodies moved from the graveyard or a mass burial site from an historical event.

The original 12th century chancel is located by the single-light window at the north wall, its internal stonework is original. The west tower is in the Somerset style, similar to that of St John the Baptist Church, Cardiff, the oldest medieval church in the capital. The tower stands as an exotic feature to the location with its features similar to those found in Cornwall and Devon, but rarely in Glamorgan.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jackie Hodges (17 months ago)
Visited for the Anniversary of my mother's passing. I also grew up attending the church and the Sunday School associated with the church. I also got married there 49years ago.
deborah painter (2 years ago)
Rosemary Blower (3 years ago)
Claire Edgeworth (4 years ago)
Very pretty church, great walks in the area
Claire E (4 years ago)
Very pretty church, great walks in the area
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