St Cadwaladr’s Church, Bishton

The original decorated and perpendicular church was damaged in 1760 when part of the tower collapsed into the nave and considerable rebuilding and restoration had to take place. The north porch is a 19th century addition. Whilst some of the lancet windows are original, the east window, the west tower window and the two south windows to the nave are Victorian insertions. The chancel arch is a mystery – presumably reconstructed from earlier stonework and incorporating medieval corbel heads of a monk, a nun, a man and a woman. Also look out for a stoup, located near the north door, to contain holy water. The font is a late medieval piece, whilst the stained glass to the east window dates from c.1915 and depicts Christ as the light of the world and as the good shepherd. It is recorded that the use of the Welsh language in services continued here until 1828.

‘Bishton’ is a corruption of ‘Bishopstown’ and this was the location of one of the residences of the Bishops of Llandaff for many centuries. Bishop John Pascall died here of the plague in 1361. Cadwaladr was the last Welsh ruler to call himself ‘King of Britain’ and he earned the title ‘blessed’ for his peaceful disposition. Bishton church is the only church is the country dedicated to Cadwaladr, although there is a suggestion that Magor church also was originally dedicated to him. He died of the plague in 664AD.