Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan

Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is a fascinating, and one of the most historically-rich places to visit in South Wales.

With a population of around 14,500, Llantwit Major is a small rural town, but to those who live in the area, it is often referred to as "the village" as its shopping centre consists of just one main street (Boverton Road) but does in fact reveal a surprise for the visitor...

By road, there are several routes from the west, north and east into Llantwit Major. In this article, I will describe the route from the east - that is, you would travel west from Cardiff past Cardiff (Wales) Airport.. and then following the road, through St. Athan and eventually into Llantwit Major via the village of Boverton, and a mile or so along Boverton road and find yourself adjacent to the town shopping centre laid out on the right hand side of the road. You could be forgiven at this point, for thinking that Llantwit Major is a modern town, but if you were to travel a few hundred yards more, the road would narrow and twist and you would enter "old Llantwit" with a much more medieval feel as the buildings you can see there scan back up to 1500 years.

What's in a Name?

In Welsh Llantwit Major becomes Llanilltud. 'Llan" can be translated as "church" and "Illtud" refers to St. Illtud , the name of an early Celtic Monk who arrived from Brittany and established a monastic school for his followers around the 5th Century. The school went on to become famous and gave Llantwit Major the reputation of famous religious centre in the Celtic Church.The church building remains to this day,and is thought to be one of the oldest parish churches in Wales. A must visit, because inside the church with its crooked walls, is to be found ancient stone carvings dating back to its beginnings.

Llantwit Major Town Hall

Llantwit Major Town Hall originates from the 13th Century,but was ransacked by Owen Glyndwrduring his rebellion in the 1400s against the rule of Henry IV of England. But Owen Glyndwr's rebellion was later overthrown by the superior resources of the English. In the 15 century the Town Hall was rebuilt.

In the turret of the Llantwit Town Hall hangs a bell bearing a Latin inscription "Sancte Iltute, ora pro nobis" that translates as "St. Illtud, pray for us"

Throughout its history, the Town Hall has held all sort of events up to modern times when there is a Victorian Fair held in the grounds during the summer months.

Further Posts/Articles relating to Vale of Glamorgan, Wales - see archive list in right hand column or Vale of Glamorgan Page ..  Please feel free leave comments.  

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