Celtic Crosses in the Vale of Glamorgan
Published: Saturday 16th Nov 2013
Written by: The Wales Cottage Holidays Team
It’s taken over 50 years to come together, but Wales Cottage Holidays visitors to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast can now see Celtic crosses at St Illtud’s church in Llantwit Major that date back over 1000 years.
The actual site goes back to early Christianity in Wales in around the year 500, with the Galilee Chapel at St Illtud’s dating from the C13th. The idea of restoring the ruined chapel was first mooted 50 years ago and it’s now a visitor centre and new home for the Celtic crosses. One of the crosses is the Abbott Samson's Pillar Cross, sometimes known as the King Stone and believed to be one of the oldest known inscribed Christian stones in Great Britain. The story states it fell into a giant's grave (a local lad of 7ft 7ins) nearly killing some mourners and had then been covered in earth. Whilst working in the graveyard in the C18th, one of the stonemasons uncovered the grave and unearthed the stone. As for today’s builders, site manager Lee Mayes has had designs of the Celtic crosses tattooed onto his right arm!
The chapel was officially opened by the oldest member of the congregation, 94 year old Gladys Kilby, and a Songs of Praise service was also held featuring soloist Charlotte Ellet from the Welsh National Opera. St Illtud’s Church is a very important site, one of the cradles of Celtic Christianity and visitors are encouraged to come to the chapel and see the Celtic crosses in their stunning relocation. See Wales Holidays cottages on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast here.