Llanharry is located in the county of Rhondda Cynnon Taf, South Wales. It is close to the M4 motorway, which passes Cardiff in the east and Swansea in the west. For much of its history the village has been linked with iron mining, from Roman and Elizabethan times and through to the 20th century. However, the earliest known visitors were not miners, but a much earlier semi-nomadic tribe of Bronze Age people known as Beaker Folk. In 1929, the skeleton of a man with the customary beaker pot was found in the village and is now on display at The National Museum of Wales.
At the centre of the village stands Llanharry parish church, St Illtud's. The history of the church can be traced to the late 12th Century and it was rebuilt in the 1860's, but it is possible that the first Christian settlement grew up around a wooden church in the 5th or 6th Century.
No one knows what Llanharry means, but it is known that the name of the church and the puzzling names 'Llanhari' and 'Llanharry" began to appear in documents right through The Middle Ages.
Both the Reformation and the Civil War affected the church itself. During the reign of Edward VI church goods were confiscated by the Protestants, whilst in the time of Oliver Cromwell Rector Edmond Gamage was ejected forcibly from his living in 1649 and suffered much financial hardship until the Restoration in 1660. The Bear Inn public house sits adjacent to the church. An interesting old building it was a school in the 19th Century, a Friendly Society during the Napoleonic Wars, and for a while a Victorian Night School for coal and ironworkers.