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About St james' church

About the church

In the second half of the 12th century the chapel in Wick was given to Ewenny Priory 'on condition that the Prior provide for three services weekly'.

At some stage it was annexed to the parish of St Brides Major.  We know that this was the position in 1563 and that it was served by vicars of St Brides until 1950, when the villages of Wick, Monknash and Marcross were combined to form a single benefice, which in turn became part of the Rectorial Benefice of Llantwit Major in 1983.

The oldest features or the church are the chancel arch, the chancel window and the font, which are Norman.  The stone altar has a pre-Reformation mensa slab with a cross carved into the centre.

The remains of a medieval preaching cross in the churchyard are separately listed as a Grade II monument, classed as 'at risk'.

By the mid-19th century the building had fallen into decay.  It also needed to accommodate more people.   With the help of a grant from the Incorporated Church Building Society, major work was undertaken under the direction of John Prichard, the Diocesan Architect.  This involved substantially rebuilding the north wall and replacing windows.  The windows from this era are in the Early English style, rising to a point, following the shape of a niche which already existed in the sanctuary.  In keeping with the fashion of the time, multi-coloured stonework was used around the windows.

The porch and vestry were also added, while the tower was heightened by four to five feet and capped with a pitched ‘saddleback’ roof in a style adopted for some other churches in this part of South Wales and the Gower peninsula.


The remains of a medieval preaching cross in front of the 19th century porch.  There is a memorial plaque in the side of the porch.

A nativity scene beneath the ancient cancel arch

The Norman font.  This is typical of fonts of the period and would have been used for the total immersion of infants at their baptism.

The tower with its saddleback roof


There are twelve monuments inside the church, the oldest above the pulpit dating back to 1698.

Other memorials take a different form.  One is a silver chalice dating from 1637.  More recent are stained glass windows from 1940.

A memorial to Frances Hewett, born 25th January 1798, who died aged 30.

A memorial to Mary Dunn, who died in 1737, aged 31

A chalice, inscribed 'The Communion Cup of the Parish of Wick, Edward Lloyd, 1637'.  Other members of the Lloyd family are remembered in a memorial above the pulpit.  The chalice is not kept in the church.


There are registers of marriages which have taken place in St James' Church since 1754.  Records of baptisms start from 1802 and of burials from 1813.

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