The graveyard at Llantarnam

St Michael's Church, Llantarnam

The church of St Michael in Llantarnam was first built by the monks for their tenants.

Llantarnam Church

Grid reference: ST 30700 93153

The church of St Michael at Llantarnam is well worth a visit. It was probably built by the monks for the use of the local community. The basic structure is twelfth century and the chapel to the north seems to have been added in the thirteenth century, possibly as a lady chapel. (The Cistercians were known for their special devotion to the Virgin Mary.)

The arches to the north chapel were put in in the sixteenth century, possibly after the dissolution of the monastery, when the Morgan family took to using the chapel as a burial place. It contains a massive 16th century tomb bearing the family arms. A magnificent series of wall paintings, including one of the Virgin with a priest and an altar server, was lost during repair work in 1921.

You can see the base of the old churchyard cross. Visiting preachers would have spoken here, and it was a stopping-off point in parish processions. Also in the churchyard is the grave of John Feilding, a Rorke's Drift VC.

More on St Michael's at http://www.stmichaels-llantarnam.co.uk/History.htm

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