The Rectorial Benefice
of Llantwit Major

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Marcross
Monknash
Wick
Llanmaes
Llanmihangel
Gileston
St Athan
Llantwit Major   

 

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Houelt Cross

    "(I)N NOMINE D(E)I PATRIS ET (S)PERETUS SANTDI  ANC (C)RUCEM HOUELT PROPE(R)ABIT PRO ANIMA RES P(ATR)ES EUS "
    "In the name of God the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Houelt prepared this cross for the soul of Res his father."

    Houelt, son of Res, was probably
    Hywel ap Rhys, who was king of Glywysing
    (the land between the rivers Tawe and Usk.) 

 

Samson CrossEast Samson cross

West face          East face

"+SAMSON POSUIT HANC CRUCEM + PRO ANIMA EIUS +"
"Samson placed his cross for his soul"  (West face)

"+ ILTUTI SAMSON REGIS SAMUEL + EBISAR +" "(for the soul of) Illtud, Samson the king, Samuel Ebisar"  (East face)  

    This cross is 2.15 metres high and was probably capped by a wheel cross but this is now missing.  It originally lay by the path on the north side of the church and when it was raised to bring it indoors two skeletons were found beneath it.

 

There is also a smaller sandstone slab with carved panels of double-headed plaitwork and a further pillar known as the Pillar of Samson.  This is 2.75 metres high and carries the inscription:

"IN NOMINE DI SUMMI INCIPIT CRUX SALVATORIS QUAE PREPARAVIT SAMSONI ABATI PRO ANIMA SUA ET PRO ANIMA *IUTHAHELO REX ET ARTMAIL ET TECAN."   
"In the name of the most high God begins the cross of the Saviour which Samson the Abbot prepared for his soul, and for the soul of *Iuthahelo the King and of Artmail and of Tecan."

*  Iuthahelo is thought to be Ithel, a king of Gwent who died in 846. 

These stones date from the late ninth and early tenth centuries and suggest that the
monastery at Llantwit Major contained a flourishing and artistic school of sculpture at the time.

"IN NOMINE DI SUMMI INCIPIT CRUX SALVATORIS QUAE PREPARAVIT SAMSONI ABATI PRO ANIMA SUA ET PRO ANIMA *IUTHAHELO RE

 

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