St Illtyd's Church, Llanhilleth, Monmouthshire
Dedication: St Illtyd
Built: 12th century onwards
1. The church lies 350 m south of Abertillery. The nave may be 12th or 13th century but lacks ancient features. The saddleback roofed tower (right) is perhaps 13th century, and the chancel is 15th century. The latter inclines to the north.
[Extracted from The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower by Mike Salter, published 1991, Folly Publications, Malvern; ISBN1-871731-08-9]
2. This quaint deconsecrated church is the oldest building in north-west Gwent, and the site on which it stands was no doubt utilised before Christianity came to Britain. Tradition has it that the first Church on the site was a wooden structure built in the fifth century. However, the first written reference to the Church comes from a ninth/tenth century poem. This date ties in with current archaeological thinking which acknowledges the curvilinear church yard as indicative of the pre-Norman period. The existing stone font is believed to be contemporary to this phase. The Church was rebuilt by the Cistercian Monks (an order whose economy relied on sheep farming) in the late twelfth century and much of the fabric of the present building dates to that period.... The church was a part of the Church in Wales until it was disestablished in
the mid-twentieth century.
[Extracted from the Friends of St Illtyd's website, where further historical details and photographs are presented]
Photography: Michael P. Thompson
Date: 1 June 2004
Camera: Kodak Easy-Share DX4330 digital
St Illtyd's Church - south aspect
St Illtyd's Church - southeast aspect
St Illtyd's Church - east wall
St Illtyd's Church - south wall and west tower