Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Ewenny, Glarmorgan. This little village lies 1 mile South of Bridgend on the northern slope of a low hill. The small pottery industry is still established here, and Ewenny ware is still for sale. But the great attraction of the place is Ewenny Priory, which can claim to be the best example of Norman ecclesiastical architecture in Wales. The conventual buildings and church overlook the meadows of the Ewenny river, which joins the Ogmore close at hand. The Priory was founded by Maurice de Londres and was linked with the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter's, Gloucester, by a deed of gift dated 1141. Little remains of the Priory buildings, but the impressive circuit defensive walls, built mainly in the 13th century., still stand encircling an area of over 5 acres. The principal gateway preserves its portcullis grooves. The modern mansion stands inside the circuit walls, which have recently been restored by the Ministry of Public Building and Works. There is a large columbarium in the mansion grounds, which remain private.
The church, in spite of alterations, is still wholly Norman in character, with powerful cylindrical columns and rounded arches. The North transept was demolished in the last century, after falling into ruin, and the plain West wall was built at the same time. The porch is a Tudor addition. Otherwise the Priory's whole atmosphere is of the 12th and early 13th centuries. The font is Norman. An 8-ft wall separated the nave from the monastic church. The choir is beneath the vaulted tower. The South transept is unaltered, with a fine arcaded gallery leading up to a door in the tower. This transept contains sepulchral slabs, including one of the founder, which gives an excellent example of a Norman-French inscription in Lombardic characters, reading: “Here lies Maurice de Londres, the Founder. God reward him for his services”. The transept also has an altar tomb to a member of the Came family and a touching memorial to John Came (died 1700, aged fifteen): “Ewennys hope, Ewenny's pride”.
From the churchyard, the military character of the building can be easily appreciated. The tower is strongly embattled, and battlements also run round the whole roof of the South transept. On the outside South wall is a Mass dial, which gave the time of the four principal monastic services. The churchyard yews are venerable, and a sunken path between cypresses leads to the porch. In the churchyard are supposed to be buried a native of Ewenny who was cook to Charles I and another who was smith to Cromwell.
On the hill leading to Colwinston is the small Methodist chapel associated with the Victorian preacher Edward Mathews (Mathews o'r Wenni). He was one of the great practitioners of that dramatic oratory which was the glory of the old Welsh pulpit.
Nearby towns: Bridgend, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Porthcawl
Nearby villages: Aberkenfig, Bettws, Blackmill, Boverton, Brynmenyn, Coed Ely, Coity, Cornelly, Coychurch, Flemingston, Gileston, Gilfach Goch, Hendreforgan, Kenfig, Llandow, Llangan, Llangeinor, Llangynwyd, Llanharan, Llanharry, Llysworney, Marcross, Margam, Monknash, Newton Nottage, North Cornelly, Nottage, Pencoed, Penllyn, Pyle, Saint Athan, St Brides Major, Saint Donats, South Cornelly, Southerndown, Tondu, Tonyrefail, West Aberthaw, Wick, Ystradowen
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation