LLANDOW COMMUNITY COUNCILThe three old ecclesiastical parishes of Llanmihangel, Llandow and Llysworney, now united in an administrative context by Llandow Community Council, have long and varied histories. On Llandow, the impact of the C20th and C21st centuries has been considerable, in Llysworney less so, in Llanmihangel & Siggingston barely perceptible. But these three places, in the heart of the rural Vale of Glamorgan, have been linked over many centuries by events and personalities to which the landscape and its buildings still bear witness. A few of those links are revealed below.
Llanmihangel & SiggingstonTo drive or walk through Llanmihangel is to take a journey back in time. Here, on opposite sides of a narrow country lane, stand one on the smallest medieval churches in the Vale and a superb Tudor gentry house. This harmonious landscape has been virtually untouched by modern developments (despite the magnificent five-bay stone barn east of the house having been converted into a residence towards the end of the C20th) and has a surprisingly rich history to reveal.
The house in its present form was built by James Thomas in the mid C16th and was occupied by him and his descendants until 1685 when it was acquired by Humphrey Edwin, a wealthy London merchant. Little altered since the C16th, it stands as an impressive monument to the wealth and influence of James Thomas (sheriff of Glamorgan in 1551) and his immediate successors.
Within the tiny church are monuments to members of the Grant family of Siggingston and the Edwins of Llanmihangel. The monument to Griffith Grant (d.1590) takes the form of a tomb chest with an effigy of the deceased carved in low relief. A man of some substance, Griffith Grant married a member of the powerful Carne family of Nash Manor and Ewenny Priory.
Also in the church is a flamboyant wall monument to Sir Humphrey Edwin (d.1707) who, as the memorial inscription reveals, was lord mayor of London in 1697.
There are no monuments in the church to the Edwins' predecessors at Llanmihangel, the Thomas family, most memorials having been removed early in the C18th by the Edwins when they restored the building. The Grant memorial, having been consigned to the churchyard, survived there for two centuries until it was relocated within the church by Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen, a member of the Franklen family of Clemenstone, who traced his descent from the Grants.
LlandowIn the mid C20th during the war years Llandow was associated with its military airfield, and today remains of runways and aircraft hangars still survive. In 1950 it was the 'Llandow Air Disaster' which captured the headlines when a plane bringing supporters home from a rugby international in Dublin crashed with the tragic loss of many lives. By the end of the C20th parts of the old airfield were providing sites for business and retail premises, and today the Llandow Business Park houses an increasing number of such units.
The old village of Llandow lies to the west of these developments, and here modern housing has added a new dimension to this attractive settlement. But within the village there still stand buildings from the medieval past, notably the church and, behind it, Church Farm, a picturesque thatched property which was built originally as the parsonage.
Immediately opposite the church is Great House with coach-house and hay loft, an impressive complex dating from c.1600 and modified to its present appearance in the C18th. At a little distance south of the heart of the village is Sutton, a late C16th/early C17th gentry house believed to have been built by Edward Turberville, member of one of Glamorgan's prominent gentry families and connected by marriage to the Carnes of Nash Manor. Turbervilles occupied Sutton until the early C18th when, on the failure of the male line of the Carnes of Ewenny, Edward Turberville transferred his family's seat to Ewenny.
In the churchyard are monuments to members of the Franklen family of Clemenstone, among them Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen (d.1929), clerk of the peace for Glamorgan and clerk of the county council, barrister, antiquarian, photographer and philanthropist, the man responsible for restoring the Grant monument to its rightful place in Llanmihangel church.
LlysworneyIn Llysworney, as in so many Vale villages, new house-building in the C20th transformed the overall appearance of the village. But at its centre, the village green the pond and the nearby medieval church still evoke a bygone era. Just beyond the church are other survivors from the past, the old schoolhouse built in the C19th and the imposing Great House farmhouse which bears the external imprint of an earlier century.
On the northern outskirts of the village is Moat House farm, a C16th/C17th building which stands within a medieval moated site the origins of which go back to the ancient Welsh cantref of Gwrinydd (hence the name Llysworney – the llys or court of the land of Gwrin). Robert Fitzhamon, the first Norman lord of Glamorgan, retained the fertile land around Llysworney and Llantwit Major in his own hands, and it is likely that a manor house would have stood on the moated site in Llysworney.
On the eastern edge of the village, and alongside the present-day B4270, stands the Carne Arms, its sign a pelican in her piety part of the heraldic device of the Carne family of Nash Manor and Ewenny. Originally a hall-house of the early C17th, the building still retains many of its original features. In the C18th the Carne Arms was the dwelling house of David Williams (d.1792) an early Calvinistic Methodist exhorter.
Nash Manor, a short distance to the south of Llysworney village, was the seat of the Carnes, a Glamorgan's gentry family who rose to prominence in the affairs of the county in the C16th. The mansion house was enlarged and enhanced over the centuries reflecting the needs and status of its owners.
Within Llysworney church, and in the churchyard, are monuments to generations of Carnes and Nicholl-Carnes who lived at Nash Manor from the C16th to the C20th.