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Llancarfan Church
Home of St. Cadog

The Church of St. Cadog in Llancarfan was established by that saint in about AD 515. He was wandering through the kingdom of Penychen at the time and was reported to his uncle, King Pawl, for disturbing some pigs! The swineherd had hoped for some compensation but, instead, found his land given to Cadog for the founding of a monastery!

Along with nearby Llanilltud Fawr (Llantwit Major), Llancarfan became the most celebrated of all Welsh monasteries. It was especially famous as a seat of learning and its Abbots included the author, St. Gildas. Though St. Cadog died in Calchfynedd (the Chilterns), his body was returned to Llancarfan for burial where it became a magnet for pilgrims far and wide.  The present building dates mostly from the 12th and 13th centuries, although the remains of a 9th century pillar cross is embedded in one of its window surrounds. The weathervane represents a golden hind to remind us of the legend of St. Cadog sheltering such a beast in his cell.

 

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