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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.