Holy Cross Church, Cowbridge

Holy Cross Church, Cowbridge

Much of this church’s nave, tower and chancel date from the late 13th century. The church probably originated c.1254, as a chapel (under the control of Llanblethian church) in the newly established town of Cowbridge. It is now the parish church.

The tower’s size and shape suggest it was intended to be a watchtower or stronghold if the town was attacked. In the 15th century the church was enlarged with a chantry chapel and a new aisle, known as the south Llanquian aisle, which was reputedly a gift from Lady Anne Neville. She was the wife of Richard, Lord of Glamorgan and later King Richard III. A year before he was killed by Henry Tudor’s army, Richard III granted the church a chaplaincy in a document which still exists in the Glamorgan Record Office – complete with the king’s seal in red wax.

The church’s appearance was altered by the Victorians, who added the present porch and removed the gallery which was at the church’s western end. The nave and Llanquian aisle were re-roofed in 1925-26, when the arcade pillars between nave and aisle were reconstructed. This explains why we now see concrete bases for those delicate 15th-century columns!

The Edmondes family of Old Hall are among those commemorated by wall memorials in the church. The close links between the church and Cowbridge Grammar School are also evident, in the stained glass windows commemorating school benefactors and in various memorials to headmasters.

Holy Cross has a complete ring of eight bells made by the Evans foundry in Chepstow in 1722.

With thanks to Canon Derek Belcher and to the late Jeff Alden, of Cowbridge History Society

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF71 7BB

Parish website - information about service times etc