St David's Church in Laleston, Bridgend County Borough, is as a medieval church with its fabric, including timber roofs, mainly intact.
In 1180, William, Earl of Gloucester is recorded as having granted land in the area to William Lageles, from whom the village is thought to have got its name. The current church was built later, to replace the nearby church of St Cewydd, the site of which is known. The nave and chancel are believed to date to the late 13th and 14th centuries, and the southern porch and tower to the later medieval period.
During the 16th century the church and the manor of Laleston belonged to Margam Abbey, and in 1522, the parishioners were given a lease on the tithe barn. At the Dissolution, Sir Rice Mansel purchased the manor.
The church is built on a standard plan, with a west tower, nave and lower chancel. It has, probably incorrectly, been attributed to a 12th-century mason called 'Lalys'.
The tower interior is in the Perpendicular Gothic style. The church underwent restoration by John Prichard in 1871, and the stained glass windows, probably by Clayton and Bell, are from that decade.
The interior is limewashed, and features numerous engravings on the walls, dated to the 17th and 18th centuries. The chancel stalls, of oak, and the desk and pulpit date to 1958. William Clarke of Llandaff was hired for wood carvings in the sanctuary; he added the reredos in 1908.
Several graves of the Ben(n)et family of Laleston House (located close to the church), a family notable locally in the 17th and 18th centuries, are to be found in the church.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.