monks' grange at Nash (hence the name) was the richest estate
owned by the cistercian abbey at Neath, it included accommodation
buildings and a college (these recently have been rebuilt
from ruins and can be found to the northwest of the pub),
a forge (just down the lane to the west), a carpenters workshop
(to the left of the pub), trout pools, dove cotes, animal
buildings (ruins remain to the rear of the pub) and a huge
tithe barn, over 200ft long, a building so large that the
porch alone now accomodates a modern house!
left of the pub, the remaining ivy covered gable end can
be seen from the garden but much of this barn was "robbed
of stone" to build "newer" buildings over
the centuries. All of this was surrounded by hundreds of
acres of the best farming land in Wales.
the downfall of monastic houses in 1536 the land and buildings
were sold off to the wealthy Stradling family of St Donats
Castle to the East, now home to Atlantic College.
Nash Point Lighthouse
of background...Nash Point Lighthouse
Point Lighthouse was the last manned lighthouse in Wales.
Since 1998 it has been automatically operated and is monitored
by Trinity House's Control Centre at Harwich.
last approximately 1 hour. In addition, subject to weather
and environmental conditions, the Fog Signal will be sounded
on the 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of each month. Sounding
the Fog Signal adds approximately 15 minutes to the tour.
A tour is not suitable for everyone, including some physically
less able people. Please check in advance.
Easter until end of September tours take place on Tuesdays,
Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
1st October and throughout winter tours take place on Saturdays
and Sundays at 2.30pm only.
tours avaialble on request from schools, special interest
groups, clubs and societies. Please contact Chris Williams
on the contact number below.
is available with a small charge by the landowner.
Children: (2-16yrs) £1.50
(2 adults and up to 4 children) £10.00
by prior arrangement
A History of
buildings in the parish include a Roman villa at Caermead
which remains as faint earthworks in a field, the 13th century
parish church of St Illtud and a 15th century town hall.
The once mint (coin) for the town is now an attractive (once
thatched) 15th century public house, called the Old Swan
Inn, in the center of the town. Also, at Hill Head, near
St. Illtud's Church, lies a 13th century dovecote next to
the site of the old tythe barn built for the monks at the,
once St. Illtud's, monastery. Another site on Hill Head
is the (13th century) gatehouse, now belonging to St Illtyd's
Church, Llantwit Major. There is a plaque on the gatehouse,
telling of its history. Historians have recently suggested
that this plaque may have been erected after a grain-related
incident involving local peasant Benjamin Kirkham that later
resulted in his expulsion from the town. These plaques also
appear on many other buildings in the town which hold historical
 St Illtyd's Church and monastery
Main articles: Illtud, St Illtyd's Church, Llantwit Major,
and Cor Tewdws
town grew up around a monastery or 'llan', founded in the
5th century by Saint Illtud as a centre of learning. Saint
David, Saint Samson, Saint Paul Aurelian, Saint Gildas,
Saint Tudwal, Saint Baglan and king Maelgwn Gwynedd are
said to have studied at the Cor Tewdws, the divinity school.
It has often been called "the oldest university in
the world". The present church on the site largely
dates from the 13th and 15th centuries and contains interesting
medieval wall paintings and a fine reredos. There are also
a number of important early Christian sculptured stones,
three with inscriptions. One is the memorial to King Rhys
ap Arthfael of Morgannwg who died in the mid-9th century.
Another may date from Saint Samson's time. St. Illtyd's
church thus predates the Age of the Saints in early Welsh
Christianity and thus by its very existence provides evidence
of continuity with Christianity in the context of the Roman
middle of the Vale of Glamorgan lies a small coastal town
of Llantwit Major (or, in 0Welsh, Llanilltud Fawr). Llantwit
Major has been often called "the most beautiful of 0places".It
is a quaint old town four and a half miles south-west of Cowbridge.
possesses a medieval town hall the ruins of a manor house,
and a historic church as 0well as the foundations of a Roman
Major is an excellent location for exploring South Wales
and the cosmopolitan 0capital city of Cardiff, as well as
the splendid area of the Brecon Beacons National Park, 0the
Gower Peninsula to the west, and the historic valleys.
has been found of domestic seaside settlement at Llantwit
Major, dating as far 0back as the Neolithic period. For
350 years, the area was ruled by the Romans, Roman 0villas
have been found, with bathrooms and the mosaic pavements
dating from 0the mid 2nd century. However, Llantwit came
to the prominence after the Romans had 0left,with the foundation
of a monastery by St Illtud in the late 5th century. This
rapidly 0became as a seat of learning as much as religion,
attracting students from all 0over the 0world, and was reputed
to have had seven halls, 400 houses and 02000 pupils.
attracted royalty as well as St David himself, and is named
as a royal burial place. It 0was also a busy mission centre
for founding new churches, yet nothing solid remains to
0show where the monastery was sited or what it looked like.
Church Halls and individual cells were probably made of
timber, and this would 0account for the lack of remains.
Traditionally, the site of the monastery is supposed to
be 0just north of the present church of St Illtud, and maybe
the ancient foundations still lie 0buried beneath later
houses. Nothingcan now be seen of the monastery apart from
a 0small collection of 9th century in St illtud's church.
Illtud's church is a mixture of different periods of building
strung out, in line, one behind 0the other. The Western
(or old) church was the original parish church built on
pre-Norman 0foundations. A tall, slim tower was built onto
the eastern end in the 13th century and 0was followed by
a new Eastern (or monastic) church and chancel at the far
western end 0of the original building. The now ruined Lady
chapel (or Galilee), was added later. There 0are traces
of a number of medieval wall paintaings, and in the Western
Church, a 0remarkable collection of carved Celtic crosses
and carved memorial stones, bear moving 0testimony to the
renown of this hallowed centre of Welsh Christianity.
has grown considerably in recent years, but the winding
narrow and high-walled 0streets of the town centre still
preserve its ancient character. The town also 0retains a
0number of fine old buildings, including a 15th century
town hall, a 0medieval gatehouse and 0a circular dovecote
near the church, and some 016th century inns and houses.
A mile to 0the south, near Colhugh Beach, 0there are ditches
and earthworks belonging to an early 0Iron Age fort.
Donat's Castle, a couple of miles to the west of Llantwit,
is a 13th century fortress 0which has been lived in since
the time it was built.
meet the needs of its inhabitants, the castle has continually
undergone alteration and 0extension, most notably in the
early part of this century when it was bought by Randolph
0Hearst, an American newspaper magnate, and completely modernized.
The castle is 0now the home of Atlantic College, an international
sixth form school.
St Donat's Castle
Castle is a medieval castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales,
overlooking the Bristol Channel in the village of St Donat's
near Llantwit Major, and about 25km west of Cardiff. Since
1962 the castle has housed the international Sixth form
college Atlantic College.
castle lies on a promontory with precipitous sea cliffs
on the west.
court about 40m across within a polygonal inner curtain
wall is closely surrounded by an outer court and curtain
wall with a dry moat facing the eastern approach. The outer
wall mostly survives and has a small original tower entirely
contained with it on the north, and a square gatehouse on
the east. The inner court is entered by an arch on the east
side beside the rectangular Mansell Tower. The curtain walls
date from c.1300, having been built by the first Stradling
(or perhaps by his widow's second husband. The western part
of the inner curtain wall is gone, making room for the early
16th century north-western and western ranges; the north-eastern
range is of the late 15th century; the late 15th century
Great Hall is on the south of the court.
The Watch Tower, by St Donat's Castle in 1777
it, squeezed in between the inner and outer curtain walls,
is the Bradenstoke Hall, consisting of the inner curtain
wall, the somewhat realigned inner curtain wall, a modern
wall on the east end built at the point so that an early
14th century roof (brought from Bradenstoke Abbey in Wiltshire)
would¨fit. The western range has been largely replaced
by a three-storey building whose ground floor is a large
modern dining hall with a 15th century roof, probably Flemish
in origin but imported from Boston Stump Church (Lincolnshire).
The Lady Anne tower on the south-western corner of the castle
has been rebuilt many times.
earliest surviving parts of the castle were built in the
late 12th century by the de Hawey family. Ownership passed
to the Stradling family in 1298 through the marriage of
Sir Peter Stradling to Joan de Hawey.
Stradling family (which included a notable recusant, a well-known
antiquary and a Latin poet – an earlier Stradling heiress,
also the subject of a particularly hyperbolic lamentation
by the Welsh poet Tudur Aled) owned St Donat's Castle until
the death of Sir Thomas Stradling in 1738, when ownership
of the castle passed to Sir John Tyrwhitt. Archbishop James
Ussher resided there for a time during the Civil War.
the castle fell into a state of disrepair. Partial restoration
was started by Dr John Nicholl Carne, who claimed to be
descended from the Stradlings, and bought the castle in
1862. Morgan Williams, the owner from 1901 to 1909, carried
out extensive and careful restoration.
seeing photographs of the castle in Country Life magazine,
it was bought and revitalised by newspaper magnate William
Randolph Hearst in 1925. Hearst, who at the time was having
an affair with the actress Marion Davies, spent a fortune
renovating the castle, bringing electricity not only to
his residence but also to the surrounding area. The locals
enjoyed having Hearst in residence at the castle; he paid
his employees very well, and his arrivals always created
a big stir in a community not used to American excesses.
Hearst spent much of his time entertaining influential people
at his estates. He is renowned for holding lavish parties
at St Donat's; guests included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas
Fairbanks, and a young John F. Kennedy. Upon visiting St
Donat's, George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: "This
is what God would have built if he had had the money."
newspaper empire fell on hard times; the castle was put
up for sale but requisitioned for use by British and American
troops during the war. Hearst died in 1951 and the castle
was bought by Antonin Besse and given to the Governing Body
of Atlantic College.