Llantwit Major

A shorter journey today for us found us at ‘L for Llantwit Major’.  A varied day of history, a blustery beech walk and Greggs vegan sausage rolls. What more could a man want?

There are a couple of different way of getting to Llantwit Major by train from Cardiff.  You can either go via Bridgend on a modern GWR train, change and then south to Llantwit Major, or you can choose to go TfW via Dinas Powys, Barry, Rhoose.  Going via Barry allows you to travel over the viaduct at Porthkerry, something I normally just look at from the ground up. It’s a wonder it is still standing given the problems they had constructing it in the late 1900s, with lots of subsidence experienced and underpinning necessary.  Sorry, I didn’t man to make you nervous next time you are crossing it.

Llantwit Major railway station

After arriving at Llantwit we headed for the historic part of the town taking in the town hall and views of some attractive and tempting pubs. We arrived at St Illtud’s church which seems a microcosm of history covering the last 1500 years. We struck lucky here in that the church happened to be open, it being a Sunday.

This was the site of the Monastery of Illtud and the college known as Bangor Illtyd, said to be  one of the most esteemed centres of Christian culture in the Celtic world with 2000 students – no wonder there’s a lot of pubs in the town.  Some claim this is the oldest educational establishment the country was on this site and St David and other saints were taught here in the 5th century.  I wonder how he did in his SATs.

The church now houses a collection of Celtic stones which date back to the 9th century. The church itself dates back to the 11th century with later additions in the 13th and 15th century. I was particularly impressed by the medieval  wall paintings in the old chapel.

St Illtud's church

After adsorbing all that history it was time to head to the sea. Its about a kilometre SW of the town and we mainly kept to the paths that ran parallel to the road.  Not too many people around today on this blustery Sunday. The tall crumbly cliffs east and west of the pebbly beach always look impressive.

Llantwit Major beach

On arriving back in the town we had a bit of lunch and then ambled onto the station for our train home.  We waited, and waited, and waited ……….   a bit of a medical emergency at Bridgend apparently.  Eventually it arrived and all was well – with the casualty too I hope.

Date of trip: 10 Mar 2019

See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations

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