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St Rhidian and Illtyd's Church, Llanrhidian

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Map ReferenceSS49SE
Grid ReferenceSS4969092250
Unitary (Local) AuthoritySwansea
Old CountyGlamorgan
CommunityLlanrhidian Lower
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
A church at Llanrhidian was thought to have been first established by St Rhidian in the 6th century, the church was later dedicated to St Illtyd. The church was granted by William de Turberville in about 1167 to the Knights Hospitallers of St John, by whom the present building was probably begun in the 13th century. In 1400 its chancel was described as ruinous, and the present chancel and the tower were perhaps added in the 14th century. The unusual massiveness of the tower (it includes at its top a base for a beacon fire) suggests construction at a time of serious defensive needs. The chancel has an inclination to the north. Its two south windows have trefoil heads, but the east window has simple Perpendicular tracery. By c1854 the church was in poor condition, and plans were drawn up to rebuild the nave and chancel, the tower alone being considered sound. There were difficulties in affording all that was necessary, and following demolition of the nave the decision was made in 1855 to retain the old chancel. In 1858 the church was re-opened by the Bishop of St Davids. A further restoration was carried out in 1899-1901, concentrating on the chancel. A new oak roof was constructed in the chancel, copying an earlier one; a new chancel floor was laid and a carved altar and other fittings were installed, including carved bosses added to the nave roof. An ancient stone known as the Leper Stone discovered near the tower was brought into the porch in c1865.

Reference: Cadw listed buildings database.

C12 or C13 origin, much restored in 1858.

GME 15/01/2001