The beautiful interior of Llantrisant Parish Church is fascinating for many reasons, particularly its historic monuments and items along with its splendid gothic architecture.
Many of those items presented to the church have been gifts in memory of various family members and loved ones.
An Elizabethean styled chalice, still used for Communion services and a silver communion plate from 1750 are described by G E Halliday in 1901 as “A silver chalice 7 inches in high with a pattern cover hallmarked 1626. It resembles an Elizabeth cup circa 1576 in general design. A handsome bread-dish hallmarked 1750 and inscribed: “The gift of William and Jane Matthews, Llantrisant October 10th 1750”, round which is engraved “For we have seen His Star in the case and have coine to worship him”. The dish is 11inch in diameter.
There are also a copper gift chalice and paten, the gift of J. Coates Carter in 1897.
The effergy of a warrior in the wall was said to represent Cadwgan Fawr of Miskin who opposed Gilbert de Clare when the Norman lord attempted to suppress Welsh custom in the town. This however is rather doubtful as the effergy has no characteristics, shield or crest and why would an opponent to the Norman lord be remembered within the Norman church that he ruled?
Visitors cannot but fail to be impressed by the splendid candelabra hanging over the chancel step which is only comparable in Wales to the one at Brecon Cathedral. It is a fine example of Georgian workmanship and was brought by sea across the Bristol Channel from Wasbrough of Bristol, who traded out of Narrow Wine Street to Aberthaw. It was presented by Mrs Anne Bassett and often used before the introduction of gaslight to the church.
The inscription reads “The gift of Mrs Anne Bassett, late of Miskin, to the parish of Llantrisant”. Anne Bassett would have paid around £25 in 1787 for the chandelier and £2 for packaging and packing. She was wealthy by virtue and marriage. The tablet marks where she and her husband William are buried in the chancel.
The large brass eagle lectern dates from 1893 and the Bible is placed on it for reading during services. It was the gift of Mrs Cecilia Jones of Coventry Street, London in commemoration of her family who had been connected with Llantrisant. “This lectern was presented in 1893 by Mrs Cecilia Jones, nee Lewis, in loving memory of her family, who were all born in this parish.”
The fine oak screen was installed in 1894 in memory of Canon Poiwell Jones which allows privacy in the vestry for baptism by emersion and for today’s church choir who change into their gowns before service begins/
There are two stained glass windows in the chancel dedicated to the memory of Rev Evan Morgan, Vicar of Llantrisant, who died in 1864 and his wife, Letitia who died in 1868. Other stained glass windows record the connection of the church with the Prichard family of Colenna – presented by Diocesan Architect J Prichard. The stained glass window on the south side was presented by Evan Evans in memory of brothers Thomas, Richard and William in 1873.
There are also three brass tables on the walls of the church. One in the chancel is again in memory of Mr Prichard of Colenna, one in memory of Major J Hewett JP (1786-1868) and Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan the Hewett family of Tir Mab Ellis and one in the memory of an infant son of R Hill. The Sir Christopher Cole hatchment in memory of him would have hung at Lanelay Hall prior to being presented to the church where it now hangs.
Visitors will be enchanted by the many inscriptions on the walls, floors and treasured items. For family historians they provide an incredible amount of information for their research.
As stone on the floor reads:
“Here lies Morgan Rees, honest and trew,
Beloved by most and hated by few.
Excel in stone cutting, tyling improve
Hope that he rest with angels above.”