Llanmaes sits north of Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Barry can be found 10 miles to the east, Cardiff 14.5 miles north east, and Bridgend 10 miles north west. The village is some 2 miles from the Glamorgan Heritage Coast at Stout Bay, and the Valeways Millennium Heritage Trail passes through Llanmaes en-route from Llantwit Major and Boverton on the coast, toward Llanmihangel, Sigingstone and Llanblethian to the north.
The residents of Llanmaes are proud of their village and this is reflected in the success they have achieved in Best Kept Village competitions.
I quote the chief Judges comments after one such competition : The village green is the focal point of the village and is utilised for many outdoor events staged in the village. “The entrance to the village was quite captivating where at the triangular junction of the lanes a feature had been made of the newly painted old village pump with a flower bed and seat behind.
Other innovative features were noted such as a wooden bridge over the stream with materials purchased with the award from winning the competition last year and the construction of an ornamental culvert by one of the villagers. Around the well-maintained Blacksmiths Arms it was delightful to see memorabilia of crafts from past days such as the anvils and cartwheel equipment attractively displayed. It was difficult to fault the Churchyard, which was well mown and cared for, particularly noting the strimming between gravestones - something often forgotten.
The area surrounding the Village Hall and playground were carefully maintained and it was pleasing to see the bus shelter impeccable, with no signs of graffiti and with an up to date and informative notice board concerning village affairs. One would be hard put to find such well swept pavements and roads with a complete absence of litter.”
Malifant Castle, (sometimes Malefant) of which very little remains, is thought to have been a 14th century defensible hall or tower.
The village church is dedicated to St Cattwg and contains pre-reformation murals that have escaped damage and were recently exposed during renovations. A mural of St George and the Dragon is one of only three such paintings in the country.
The Churchyard holds a stone cross of circa.15th Century. A stone Calvary or churchyard cross base, made up of four steps similar in nature to crosses found in other churchyards across the Vale. A modern cross is set in the original socket stone.
The Church of St Cattwg (sometime St Cadoc) is first mentioned in a document of 1254 and has a large 12th century stone tub font. The church may have had a much earlier Celtic foundation.
A tower was added to the lower chancel in 1632. The oldest piece of Communion plate was once here, dated 1495, and the church registers go as far back as 1583. One entry is the burial of Ivan Yorath in July 1621: he had fought at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was apparently 180 when he died.
Llanmaes House is a grand three-storey house built in the 16th century. It has been remodelled considerably and contains Renaissance style rooms. A dovecote is also situated on the same site as the house and is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens.
Other Resources : www.llanmaes.net and www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk