St Martin’s Church, Llanmartin

Whilst of course a parish church in its own right for much of its history, St Martin’s church (like numerous other local examples) in reality served as little more than a ‘family chapel’ to nearby Pencoed Castle, home for centuries to the Morgan family and their successors. Little now remains within the church to suggest this role except the elaborate tomb of Sir Thomas Morgan and his wife now located within a recess of the chancel wall. The tomb bears carved images of fourteen children! – Seven boys and seven girls, although Sir Thomas and his wife actually had eight boys and five girls. The varied facial expressions of each should be carefully studied.

With the exception of the 13thcentury west tower, the church was rebuilt in 1858 at which time the former family burial chapel (built 1541) which was located to the north of the chancel (where the vestry is now located) was swept away, along with any family tombs that might have remained. Also lost, is a colourful decorative scheme of 1880, the stencil work to the chancel ceiling being all that remains. The stained glass to the east window is somewhat of a mystery – look closely and you will see that it has been cut down from a much larger design – its original intended location is unknown. Within the west tower window there is a random assortment of pieces of medieval glass.