About this church
Welcome to St Jerome’s, Llangwm, which has been a Christian place of worship for more than 1,000 years. The name Llangwm, translated from the Welsh means ‘Church in the Valley’.
This church built between 1185 and 1215 tells you its unique story, having married medieval methods of storytelling with 21st century technology. The Talking Tapestry of Langum tells of Flemish settlers who made Llangwm their home, and of their Liege Lord Godebert the Fleming, among whose descendants were Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.
When the Normans and Flemings arrived in the early 12th century, Welsh words for them were unpronounceable, so the community became known as Landegunnie. That name has morphed through 13 different spellings until the Welsh name Llangwm was restored in 1870.
The present church was endowed by Sir Adam de la Roche in 1185 and built on the site of the original Welsh church, which would have been where the chancel is today. Both nave and chancel have been rebuilt over the centuries, enlarging it and raising its roof to what it is today.
The De la Roche family chapel was built in 1350 in the aftermath of the Black Death and although the walls are now rendered, everything else remains exactly as it was, including a holy water niche, two highly decorated arches over the tombs of Lady Margaret de la Roche (1254–1315) and her grandson Sir Robert de la Roche (1315–1347). As you enter the chapel, immediately to your right is the squint, with which the family priest could synchronise his Mass with that being performed at the high altar.
The church underwent major renovations in 1835 and 1879, during which time many of the medieval aspects of the nave and chancel were removed, and have long since been lost. In 2016, with the support of the Heritage Lottery fund and other trusts and foundations, an ambitious project to restore the church and undertake research into the community’s medieval history took place. The result of that research produced ‘The Talking Tapestry of Langum’ now hanging in the De la Roche Chapel.
The church also has under floor heating powered by an air source heating pump, environmentally friendly lighting, a multi functional toilet, concealed kitchen facilities, a fully computerised audio visual system and comfortable seating. Having emphasised what remains of its medieval character, St. Jerome’s is fully capable of serving a 21st century community.
The Talking Tapestry of Langum App can be Downloaded onto both Apple and Android devices. It tells the story of Llangwm’s medieval history through the six images of the tapestry. It costs £2.99 to download, the funds raised going to the continued preservation of the church.