Llanmadoc Church of St Madoc

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are major building remains

NameLlanmadoc Church of St Madoc
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthoritySwansea
1974 AuthorityWest Glamorgan
CommunityLlangennith, Llanmadoc and Cheriton

The church of Llanmadoc stands in a partly curvilinear churchyard, though the most markedly curvilinear side, to the N, is part of a post-1945 extension. This is an early Christian site, as evidenced by three Early Christian monuments or parts of monuments, one an inscribed slab of late 5th-early 6th century date (PRNs 32w, 33w, 34w), now housed within the church. The earliest (PRN 32w), of late 5th-6th century date, is built into the sill of the SE nave window,; the others are pillar stones dating from 7th-9th century (RCAHMW 1976, 36-7 no 844; 40 nos 865-6). (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER–ref. Evans)

he present church probably dates from the late C12, after Llanmadoc was granted by Margaret, Countess of Warwick, to the Knights Templars (1156). The round headed chancel arch suggests the C12, and when plaster was scraped off during the 1856 restoration round-headed apertures were also noted in the north wall. The tower was probably a later mediaeval addition. It was subsequently in the possession of the Knights Hospitallers then vested in the Crown at the Dissolution. The site is of great Christian antiquity: there is a stone of c. AD 500, to

Gatehouse Comments

Towered church suggested as defensive by Harrison. Part of a group of Gower churches that Harrison suggests where fortified against the welsh but what protection such churches had was likely to be against pirate raids and it is arguable if such protection can be considered as 'defensive' or 'fortification'. It should also be noted it was standard for all churches to use martial symbols like battlements to represent God's dominion on earth and that church towers are structure which have to hold heavy, moving and vibrating bells and which need to be strongly built for this reason, particularly in places, like much of Wales, where mortar is of poor quality.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSS438934
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Copyright Roger Winser All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Roger Winser All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Roger Winser All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Harrison, Peter, 2004, Castles of God (Woodbridge; Boydell Press) p. 82
  • Newman, J., 1995, Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (Yale University Press) p. 390
  • Orrin, G., 1979, The Gower Churches (Rural Deanery Of West Gower) p. 21, 44-46
  • Davies, J.D., 1879, A History of West Gower, Glamorganshire (Swansea Vol. 2 p.


  • Harrison, Peter, 1995, 'The tower churches of Gower' Gower Vol. 46 p. 15-23 online copy
  • Glynne, 1897, 'Notes on the older churches in the four Welsh Dioceses (continued)' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 52 p. 398 online copy


  • Edith Evans, 2003-04, Early-Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project (Yr4) GGAT 73