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A history of Porthkerry Church

This was a talk given by historian and author Graham Loveluck-edwards on 10th June 2023 entitled; the cult, the Baron, the Captain and the drowned man. It is a history of the site of the church at Porthkerry. It was delivered in St Curigs Church Porthkerry as part of the Llandaff Diocese Churches Unlocked Festival 2023 and was attended by approximately 60 guests.

The talk spans the earliest signs of life on the site which are contemporary with an Iron Age hilfort on one side and the remains of a Celtic roundhouse on the other. It’s earliest history is also linked to an old legend about Ceri, a relative of the legendary tribal king Caradog who governed the area after the Roman occupation and maintained a naval fleet ion the old port (now long gone).

In this talk I also discuss:

  1. The twelfth Century reference to a. Priest in the location
  2. The three stages of building at the church dating back to the 13th century
  3. Lost features of the church building
  4. The discovery of a skeleton and chalice under he arch and who it might have been
  5. The restoration carried out by the Romillys and who Sir Samuel Romilly and the Baron Edward Romilly were
  6. The bell tower and the Lewis family
  7. The 16 foot cross with its intricate carvings now lost for ever
  8. The visits by John Wesley and the link with Fontygary
  9. The war diary of a Rhoose farmer whose family is remembered
  10. The tomb of the Portrey family
  11. The Marian cult
  12. The grave of the unnamed drowned man
  13. The grave of the German Naval Captain and inventor

If you know this old church, this is everything you ever wanted to know and more. For website for the parish can be found at I also wrote about the Marian Cult in my book Legends and Folklore of Bridgend and the Vale available here.

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The railways and viaducts of the Vale of Glamorgan

In the video on the link below I chat with train enthusiast and local historian, Gavin Douglas OBE about the birth of the railways in the county of the Vale of Glamorgan.

We look at when they were built? How they were built? Who built them? and why? The scheme to build a railway line and port at the estuary of the river Ogmore at Ogmore by Sea and why it never happened.

We also look at the iconic viaduct at Porthkerry and the disasters which beset it. How it collapsed multiple times and how it was rebuilt and preserved to this day. This video is an episode in the History on your doorstep series. Written, and presented by Welsh author and historian; Graham Loveluck-Edwards and broadcast on Bro Radio. In this series of radio programmes and accompanying videos, I examine a topic of history local to the Vale of Glamorgan and interview experts who give us unparalleled insight and explanation. I hope you enjoy them. And if you do, please subscribe to this channel and share them on social media.

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400 years before Gavin & Stacey

What was Barry like in the 1500s and 1600s?

A must watch for history buffs in Barry and surrounding areas in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

I gave this talk to the children of Romilly Primary School in Barry on 3rd February. They are learning about the Tudor period in history so I thought I would bring it home to Barry for them.

I cover:

▶️What Barry was like in the Tudor period

▶️What was so different back then

▶️What it was like being a child growing up in the sixteenth and seventeenth century

▶️What children did for fun, 

▶️where they lived, 

▶️what they ate

▶️I use John Speeds ‘Map of Glamorganshire’ and John Leland’s ‘Itinerary in Wales’ as sources

▶️I discuss the mystery of the disappearing castle at Porthkerry

And they asked lots of questions!

Great to share this video with your kids if they are local and learning about this era in history. 

Sound quality isn’t the best as it was recorded in an echoy classroom. If you struggle with it, click the CC button for subtitles.

Click this link to watch the video on YouTube: