Rebuilt Medieval church highlights the history and culture of Wales

By staff writers
October 15, 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has opened a 13th century church in Wales which was dismantled and rebuilt stone-by-stone over 20 years 50 miles away at the National History Museum, St Fagansa, in Cardiff.

St Teilo's Church from Pontarddulais near Swansea has been restored to recreate its appearance in 1520. Copies of a rare series of 16th century paintings, which were uncovered as it was being dismantled, adorn the walls.

Dr Williams is from Wales, and he served as Bishop of Monmouth and as Archbishop of the Church in Wales, a disestablished art of the worldwide Anglican Communion, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.

He was accompanied at the ceremony by First Minister for Wales Mr Rhodri Morgan and other officials

Morgan believes that his great-grandparents married at the church, which was used regularly until 1850 and then occasionally during the summer until 1985, reports the BBC.

The Archbishop, who is from Swansea himself, said the restoration was an "amazing achievement" and a "real triumph for the country". He spoke of the dedication of those who had undertaken the work on the building and frescoes

"This is a stunning addition to the treasure trove of Welsh history contained in St Fagans," Mr Morgan added.

The museum has a number of buildings, representing Wales through the ages, but this was one of its most ambitious projects. Dr Williams commented that it was also part of the process of discovering more about Wales' history in the Middle Ages.

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