Llantwit Major Town Hall

button-theme-crimeLlantwit Major Town Hall

A medieval building on this site had fallen into “ruinous condition” by the 16th century, when the present building was erected, probably on the earlier foundations.

The building’s style is similar to the old town halls of Cowbridge and Cardiff, both demolished in the 19th century. From the late 13th or early 14th centuries, this was the administrative centre of the manor of Boverton and Llantwit Major. The manorial court was held here, and the fairs and markets which took place outside were managed from here. They were called glove courts because the fairs could not start until a glove was run up a flag pole. This was part of a system of regulation, similar to the trading standards of today. Rogue traders could be placed in the stocks as punishment!

A 1527 document records that “Thomas Van murdered John Fleming under the Town Hall of Llantwit Major, but was pardoned”.

The building was rebuilt during the reign of King Henry VIII, the ground floor being taken up with shops and the upper floor being used by the Church. Later a school was established on the ground floor, and other parts were used by the parish constable as a cell.

Part of the building hosted a butcher's shop – look closely at the stones surrounding the door to see marks where the knives were sharpened. Other parts were used as a morgue (for storing dead bodies before burial).

In the mid-19th century the Oddfellows Society leased the upper floor and restored it. The society assisted members in times of need (such as old age), long before the welfare state. The ceiling still features two circular signs, part of the society’s ceremonies.

From this time the Town Hall became the community’s entertainment centre, the venue for concerts, plays and political rallies. It later hosted a cinema. In the First World War it was the district’s recruiting office and was designated as an air raid shelter, because bombing of Britain by Zeppelin airships was a concern.

Now the Town Hall is home to Llantwit Major Town Council and the town’s Heritage Centre. The upper floor is still used for community events.

With thanks to Nigel Williams of Llantwit Major History Society

Postcode: CF61 1SD    View Location Map

Website of Llantwit Major Town Council