St Illtud, Llantwit Major

St Illtud, Llantwit Major
Record Type:
Parish Church
Church code:

Statutory Designation Information

Listed Building?
This is a Grade I Listed Building
Scheduled Monument?
There is a Scheduled Monument within the curtilage or precinct

National Park

The church is not in a National Park

Conservation Area

The church is in a Conservation Area

Buildings At Risk Status

On Buildings At Risk Register?
This church is not on the Buildings at Risk Register

Approximate Date

Approximate Date:

Exterior Image

St Illtud's Church, Llantwit Major
St Illtud's Church, Llantwit Major
Exterior from south west
Year / Date:
Philip Morris
Philip Morris

Summary Description

The oldest part of St Illtud's Church, known as the 'West Church', dates from the early C12; the 'East Church' and the 'Galilee Chapel' from the C13, with various alterations in the C14 and C15. It was restored in the late C19 and early C20, with mid to later C20 refurnishings by George Pace. The Galilee Chapel was restored in 2013 and now houses the important collection of early medieval stones. The West Church is built on the site of a pre-Norman 'clas' church and granted to Tewkesbury Abbey, confirmed in charter of 1106. The two parts of the church indicates that a monastic presence was maintained on the site up until the Reformation. Llantwit Major was the site of the famous monastery founded by St. Illtud, probably originally nearer the coast. This had been a major centre for teaching for the Celtic church since its foundation in about 500AD and missions had been sent from here to Brittany, Ireland and Scotland. The community probably moved to the present site of St Illtud's Church in the 8th century following the Viking invasions. St Illtud's remains the largest and most splendid of the many medieval parish churches in the Vale of Glamorgan, described by John Wesley as 'The most beautiful and the most spacious church in Wales'. Within the grounds of the church are three scheduled ancient monuments, the Chantry Priest's House, the Churchyard Cross and the footbridge, and the churchyard walls are also listed. Sources: Cadw listing; Vale of Glamorgan County Treasures (Vale of Glamorgan Planning Department); Llanilltud Fawr: the story of a Celtic Christian Community (Philip Morris)

Visiting and Facilities

The church is open for worship.
The church is open during the hours of daylight, with welcomers and guides usually present. Interpretative material is available in the Galilee Chapel and church bookshop. Level access through the Galilee Chapel, and a single step through the main porch. All-access toilets within the Galilee Chapel. Parking is available in the town's free carparks, with limited parking in the lanes around the church. Access to the churchyard and church through the east gate is by a flight of steep steps, but level access through the south and west gates.

Church Website

Church Website:

Sources and Further Information

View information on worship and access at this church on the Church In Wales web site
RCAHMW (2004) Coflein [Digital Archive/Document]
Philip Morris (2009) St Illtud's Church, Llantwit Major [Digital Archive/Graphic material]
St Illtud's Church, Llantwit Major
Cadw (1996) Historic Wales Report [Digital Archive/Document]
Listing description for St Illtud's Church
Philip Morris (1997) St Illtud's Church - East Church [Digital Archive/Graphic material]
St Illtud's Church - East Church
Philip Morris (1905 (adapted)) St Illtud's Church Ground Plan [Digital Archive/Graphic material]
St Illtud's Church Ground Plan