Llantrisant Heritage Trail
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Llantrisant Walking Trail
Getting to Llantristant
From the South – From M4 junction 34 head north on the A4119. At its junction with the B4595 turn right and follow the B4595 to a sharp left turn and head up the hill into Llantrisant centre. Take the first left and then follow the road to the right down the hill to Gwaun Ruperra Road Car Park to start the walk. (Sat nav. CF72 8QQ)
From the North – From the A470 follow the A473 through Tonteg and Church Village to its junction with the A4119 at a roundabout. Here turn right to the junction with the B4595 where turn right and follow the B4595 to a sharp left turn and head up the hill into Llantrisant centre. Take the first left and then follow the road to the right down the hill to Gwaun Ruperra Road Car Park to start the walk. (Sat nav. CF72 8QQ)
A number of bus operators serve Llantrisant. For information enquire Traveline Cymru Tel. 0871 200 2233, Web www.traveline.info
Starting Point - Gwaun Ruperra Car Park at road leading to Llantrisant Common
At the Bull Ring there is an information board with many interesting facts about Llantrisant and the ‘Beating the Bounds’ ceremony. This is located by the statue of Dr William Price which is a focal point for the square.
The Bull Ring is so called because it was used for bull baiting, a ‘sport’ which involved the use of dogs being set on a bull tethered to a metal ring. It was a local attraction particularly on market days, when the market was held near the Guildhall. The practice was eventually disallowed in Llantrisant in 1827, not because of cruelty to animals, but because of the unruly behaviour of the crowds watching!
The statue to Dr William Price was erected in 1982 and commemorates one of the town’s most famous residents. Dr Price was an eccentric surgeon, chartist, scholar and self-proclaimed druid who pioneered the legalisation of cremation in Great Britain after winning the court case held following the death and cremation of his baby son ‘Iesu Grist’.
When Dr. Price eventually died himself at the age of 94, over 20,000 people came to witness his cremation.
The Model House overlooks this square and is a former workhouse dating from the mid 19th century. The poor of the area who could not support themselves were taken in by workhouses who put them to work and a strict regime to turn them into ‘model citizens’.
Note also the town pump in front of the Model House, recently renovated. Take George Street to the left of the Model House and head uphill to see a Blue Plaque in front of you.
‘Y Pwysty’ the weighing house, or Pwysty, was located on this site since medieval times. Once known as The Angel Inn, it was at Y Pwysty that the weight of goods were regulated at the markets and fairs held in the town.
The town scales were also kept here and this was regarded as a very important establishment when governing the market
Go to the left of Y Pwysty through a gate and on the left see the Blue Plaque on ‘The Guildhall’ . This building was used for the ‘Hundred Court’ from which local justice was dispensed and disputes settled by the ‘Court Leet’ of 12 local jurors. This building dates from 1773 and there was originally a Guildhall building here from medieval times.
We are now on the Castle Green that remains the property of Llantrisant Town Trust along with the Common, Graig and Guildhall. Note the stocks, which were a common form of punishment for minor offences in medieval times.
Walk towards the castle and on the right note the memorial stone and plaque to the longbowmen from this area who fought at the Battle of Crecy in 1346.
Ahead we see what remains of Llantrisant Castle which was built by the Normans to oversee the conquered Vale of Glamorgan to the south and the warring Welsh tribes in the northern valleys. It was built originally by Richard de Clare but eventually declined in significance and by the early 15th century was in ruins. It was famously used as an overnight prison for King Edward II in 1326. To gain an appreciation of the castle take the path down to the left of the castle and walk round to return up to the Castle Green.
Leave the Castle Green by the gate to our right as we look at the castle, to soon cross the oldest street in the town, Yr Allt and over to another gate into the Parish Church. Dedicated to three saints Gwynno, Illtud and Tyfodwg, the church dates back to the 11th century and inside the church is an inscribed cross dating to the 7th century. You may wish to take some time in this peaceful place to study some of the ancient gravestones.
Leave the church grounds by the main gate slightly downhill and note as you leave the church the former chapel on the left, with its separate graveyard.
Ahead as we leave the church is a Blue Plaque for the Parish Workhouse . The four cottages from the end of Swan Street here were used as the Parish Workhouse from 1784. Not to be confused with the dreaded Union Workhouse which formed part of the Model House mentioned earlier, these houses would have better treated their ‘inmates’ and were paid for from parish funds.
Turn right along Swan Street now and head back towards the Bull Ring. Note the car park on the left and you may wish to detour into this area to see the gravestones from the previous Wesleyan Chapel that was located here and also the remains of a ‘Chwarae Pel’ or ‘Fives Court’ which was a game, similar to the modern game of squash, played regularly here in the 19th century.
Continue back now to the Bull Ring and down the hill to the car park at the start of our walk.