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Church of St Mary the Virgin, Rhosili, Gower, Glamorgan

Photograph: John Ball
Date: 18 August 2004
Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S602 Zoom Digital

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Mary the Virgin

Built: 14th Century

St Mary's Church, Rhosili

Note 1: The [ruins of the] original Norman church engulfed by the dunes were excavated [in the 1980s] and simple painted patterns were discovered on the walls. The long, low 14th century church with a saddleback roofed tower in the middle of the village has a fine Norman south doorway with side shafts, chevrons, and dogtooth on the hoodmould. It may have originally formed the chancel arch of the church in the dunes. [Source: The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991; ISBN 1-871731-08-9]

Note 2: The church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, became the property of the medieval Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, sanctioned by William de Turberville. This gift is documented in a confirmatory charter of Bishop Anselm of 1230. The order was dissolved during the reign of Henry VIII, and rectors were appointed on behalf of the Crown by the Lord Chancellor, until 1920 when the Church in Wales was disestablished. The present structure still exhibits some of the original Norman structure but much was changed during extensive renovation work commissioned during the 19th century. The church consists of chancel, nave, small western tower and south porch. On the south side of the chancel there is a 14th century 'lowside' or 'leper's window' where it is believed feared outcasts of medieval society could participate in mass and attend confessionals without entering the building. [Source: Explore Gower website, where further details are available]

See my Webpage Archive feature for interior photographs of the church.

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