|Where do we
find the first traces of Christianity in the Vale of
Glamorgan? In our own parish! Between 74 and 78 A.D. the
Silures of South Wales were subdued and there followed 350
years under Roman governance.
The main Roman road constructed
to link the east through Caerleon and Cardiff to Neath and
Carmarthen passed through Cowbridge, and it is possible that
Cowbridge was the site of the Roman fort of Bomium. A number
of large villas were established, including the 1.5 acre
site near Llantwit Major, its Romano-British occupants being
of high social status.
We know little of the extent of the extent of Christianity
in Wales during Roman times. Saints Julius and Aaron were
martyred at Caerleon during the persecution of Diocletion in
the late 3rd century.
Archaeologists discovered a small
Christian church at Caerwent, and more significantly for us
that part of the decayed Roman villa at Llantwit was used as
a Christian burial ground in the 4th century. However, it is
unlikely that the Christian faith survived in any dynamic
Christianity re-entered the Vale of Glamorgan with
missionaries from the west via the seaways which led to the
Age of Saints and the development of the powerful Celtic
Our parish is favoured in containing the sites of
two of the most famous Celtic monasteries, which had a
profound and far-reaching influence on the growth of
Christianity in the Celtic lands.