• Gower Churches

Llanmadoc Church

Llanmadoc Church is the smallest of the Gower churches and is dedicated, unsurprisingly, to St. Madoc. The building is of 13th Century construction, although much of what is seen today of the building dates back to only 1865, when the church was renovated quite extensively. This work also involved reducing the height of its tower which can now appear quite stumpy in relation to the rest of the architecture. During this renovation, traces of a medieval wall painting were uncovered - one of only a few churches on the peninsula where such work, which used to decorate the walls of all these churches, have been found.

Early Gower churches did not possess north side windows. These were laid in 19th century restorations. It is interesting to note that Llanmadoc has the only church still possessing no north-side window on the whole of the peninsula.

The Reverend J. D. Davies was the Rector of Llanmadoc Church, along with that of nearby Cheriton from 1860 to 1911. He has become famous locally for writing what has become known as The Gower Bible - huge volumes of work depicting the local customs, history and legends of his parishes which he entitled "A History of West Gower". A historian's dream, the books have not been available in print for many years but a copy of each volume is available for study at Swansea Reference Library.

These marvellous books were not the only work the Rev. J. D. Davies bestowed upon his beloved peninsula. His skill as a master carpenter is evidenced in the finely carved oak altar that still stands within Llanmadoc Church and the curiously styled old rectory that lays across the road from the church grounds was both built and designed by the rector (he based his design around a house he saw during a holiday he partook in Switzerland ). The Reverend, one of the more famous and loved characters in the peninsula's long history, died, aged 81 in 1911.

The church is usually kept locked, but a key can be borrowed from the friendly owners of Llanmadoc's village shop. The first items of note as you enter the dimly lit building are the two large stones that stand within the twin recesses of the left hand wall. The first of these has been identified as the village boundary stone and dated around the 13th century. The second stone is the larger of the two and is believed to be the remains of the old churchyard cross. This once stood on a raised platform with steps leading to it from all directions. Most of these churchyard crosses were destroyed by Puritans under order of Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century.

  • Llanmadoc Church
    Llanmadoc Church

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