Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
St Bride's Major, Glamorgan, is a village on the road to the coast 4 miles South West of Bridgend. The road enters the village through a fold in the limestone downs of Ogmore Down and Old Castle Down. About 3/4 miles across Old Castle Down are the slight ruins of Castle upon Alun, an outpost of Ogmore Castle. Nearby is Coed-y-Bwl, famous as the “daffodil wood”, one of the glories of the area in spring. In 1818 workmen digging on Old Castle Down discovered what must have been one of the most remarkable archaeological finds recorded in Wales — bronze helmets and daggers of the Late Celtic period, richly inlayed with gold, silver, and blue enamel. The finds were mysteriously lost when they were sent to the Society of Antiquaries in London. The description remains to tantalize archaeologists.
The entrance to St Bride's Major itself is guarded by a fine grove of trees, on the left-hand side as you come from Bridgend. They were planted to commemorate the visit of General Picton in 1815. Picton was staying with his brother-in-law, then Rector of St Bride's, when he received the news of Napoleon's escape from Elba. He took his last Holy Communion in St Bride's Church and set out immediately to join Wellington in Belgium. He met his death in the Battle of Waterloo.
St Bride's Church stands on the slope of a small hill to the right. It consists of a chancel, nave, and North porch with the usual massive tower and battlements so characteristic of many Glamorgan churches, built, one feels, as much for defence as for the service of God. The chancel arch and North door are Norman, the rest of the church mostly in the Decorated style. The Butler family, who held the nearby manors of Dunraven and Ogmore, have numerous monuments in the church. In a recess of the North wall is the tomb of a knight in plate armour with his lady. The effigies probably represent John Butler and his wife, Jane Basset of Beaupre, through whose daughter the manor of Dunraven passed into the hands of the Vaughans. The canopy is enriched by carvings, and on the front of the tomb are “weepers”, in this case the Sons and daughters of the deceased couple. The church contains many other memorials. The churchyard is dominated by a fine cross.
On the Beacons Down, behind St Bride's, are numerous tumuli. The ancient trackway known as Heol-y-Milwr (Soldier's Way) crosses this high ground from Ogmore Castle.
Nearby towns: Bridgend, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Porthcawl
Nearby villages: Aberkenfig, Boverton, Brynmenyn, Coity, Cornelly, Coychurch, Ewenny, Kenfig, Llandow, Llangan, Llanharan, Llanharry, Llysworney, Marcross, Monknash, Newton Nottage, North Cornelly, Nottage, Pencoed, Penllyn, Pyle, Saint Donats, South Cornelly, Southerndown, Tondu, 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