Jeff’s History Blog – My trip to Llancarfan and Penmark

On this trip I decided to check out Llancarfan first. This is a quiet little village set in the middle of rolling green hills of the country side – first stop is the village church, St Cadoc. This church dated back to 1190. This church has a battlement tower, with a gold stag lighting conductor, painted on the south wall is a 17th century Apostles’ creed. The nine-sided font with leaves underneath is 14th century and there is a stoop beside the south doorway. Nice church well worth a visit.

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St Cadocs Church

My next trip took me 2 miles west of Llancarfen, to the village of Penmark approaching a church of St Marys. I was really impressed with this church also again set in a small village I could see Roose airport in the distance.  I don’t recommend cycling to this place – too many hills. This church dated to 12th century although the south doorway suggests the nave is 14th century and some of this church was rebuilt in 1860. The mouuments included those of Cathrine Lewis 1682 and Thomas Lewis 1689. In the field next to this church, is the ruins of medieval Penmark castle, composed of inner and outer ward, the site combines traces of 12th century ring work the stone building was added in the following century, est by Robert Fitzhamon as a primary caput for the region. Penmark Castle was constructed by the Umfravilles, lords of Penmark at about the time of Fitzhamons death in 11th century.

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St Marys Church

The Unfravilles owned Penmark Castle for over 2 centuries and then passed it to the St John’s family, when Elizabeth Umfraville married Alexander St John.

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Penmark Castle

The St Johns continue to hold the stronghold until 1656, when they sold the castle to Colonel Phillip Jones a leading Parlimentarian. Some claimed that Owain Glyndwr assaulted the castle in 1402.

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