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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to visit ancient Welsh chapel

As previously reported by Royal Central, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are set to spend a week at their Welsh farmhouse this summer. Among the multiple engagements that the pair will carry out during their time there, both will also take a visit to the Galilee Chapel at St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major on Tuesday 1st July.


St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major

St Illtud’s Church, one of the best known parish churches in Wales, was built by the Normans in the eleventh century. Over two hundred years later, the Galilee Chapel was built as an extension to the existing East Chapel. However, during the reign of Edward VI, the chapel fell into a state of ruins. It remained in this state until recently, when the Galilee Chapel Project was undertaken to restore the chapel, which by then was without a roof, to its former condition of glory.

A small part of the collection of Celtic Crosses held in the Chapel

A small part of the collection of Celtic stones held in the Chapel

With the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the development of the chapel began in 2013 and by November of the same year it was reopened to the public. The chapel now houses over 1,000 Celtic Christian stones, one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom. The aim of the project is to make the Galilee Chapel a centre for education in Celtic Christian studies, with facilities such as an archive room and a tea station to facilitate an increase in the community use of the church.

During their visit, Prince Charles and Camilla will be given a brief introduction to the Galilee Chapel Project, before taking a tour of the resorted building. They will meet with those who were involved with the project, as well as several parishioners, including 94 year-old Gladys Kilby, the oldest member of the church and Lee Mayes, the Construction Site Manager who worked on the renovation project.

The interior of the newly refurbished Galilee Chapel

The interior of the newly refurbished Galilee Chapel

The Rev. Huw Butler, Rector of Llantwit Major, has spoken about the historical significance of the Royal visit. He commented: “We are all really excited that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are making a special visit to the Galilee Chapel. As far as we know, it is the first ever Royal visit to the church making it such an historic event”.

The tour of the chapel comes as a part of Their Royal Highnesses’ annual visit to Wales. The official theme of this year’s visit is “Celebrating Wales, Past, Present and Future”.

Photo credit: With thanks to The Rev. Huw Butler, St Illtud’s Galilee Church and alexliivet via photopin cc

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