Monday, 10 June 2013

Of Lewises and wall paintings

The beautiful weather continues... at least for the moment. On Saturday I was invited out for lunch, and afterwards we decided to take an afternoon trip into the Vale of Glamorgan. For the non-locals, this is the rural area west of Cardiff as far as Bridgend. It's a place of pretty villages, winding lanes and, especially at this time of year, green everywhere.
We headed first to Llantrithyd. This tiny village is one of the "sources" of my own family history. Thomas Lewis was born there in about 1735, and presumably his forebears had been like him, "aglabs" or agricultural labourers there for generations further back than that. His grandson Richard Lewis moved into Cardiff to work at Penylan farm, where he met Elizabeth Harding. Their daughter Jane married my great-grandfather, Baptist minister David Jones.
We walked through the silent churchyard and found the ancient church open (left). It is a little in need of some tlc, yet I easily spent a little while absorbing the peace, and thinking of the generations of Lewises who had lived there.
Then we moved on to the nearby - and better known - village of Llancarfan. The church here is on an even older site, being the location of St Cadoc's clas or community 1500 years ago. It has been in the headlines as the removal of whitewash is revealing 15th century frescoes. I was surprised how much has already been done. The Seven Deadly Sins emerged first, followed by a large St George and the Dragon. Work will continue, I imagine, for years to come. The style reminds you of the "new" medieval frescoes in St Teilo's Church at St Fagans - but these are the real thing! Click on the picture to visit the church website.
If you're in visiting distance, or passing through South Wales, St Cadoc's Church in Llancarfan is well worth a visit. Fr M approves....  and you might pop into Llantrithyd too! 

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