Village & Community
Coychurch (Welsh: Llangrallo) is a small village that sits between Pencoed and Bridgend in Wales, bordering with the Bridgend Industrial Estate . The village has grown since the 1960s from a few hundred inhabitants to over 2,000. This is in part due to the availability of employment on Bridgend Industrial Estate only half a mile away and its easy access to the M4 motorway about a mile distant.
History records that there was a Celtic settlement in Coychurch in the 6th century, on the site of the present church. It was built on the safety of rising ground, away from possible floods, yet with springs and on ancient routes. The oldest monuments are the Stone of Ebissar of the 9th century and the Celtic Cross. The preaching cross marks the central meeting point of the settlement. Later St Crallo from Brittany founded the church in the l0th century and the theological college adjoining it. The existing church is a splendid 13th century building.
Apart from St Crallo’s Church the village as an excellent Primary school teaching pupils between the ages of 3 to 11. There are two public houses the White Horse and the Prince of Wales. There is a village shop/petrol station and garage, though the post office in the shop has now closed. There is a hairdressers Root 66 and about a mile outside of the village is the Coed-y-Mwstwr Golf Club and the Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel. The Bridgend Industrial and Waterton Industrial Estates are a short distance away with businesses, stores, shops, banks and a post office.
The Williams Memorial Hall, which was left in trust by the William’s family, is on the main road in the centre of the village and provides excellent facilities for a wide range of activities.
One local legend claims that after his death in battle near Ogmore Castle, King Arthur was secretly laid to rest in a cave in Coed-y-Mwstwr Forest, just behind the village of Coychurch, for fear that the news of his death might split the nation. When his son came of age to replace him on the throne, Arthur’s death was announced, and his body moved to a grave at Cor Emrys church close to Pencoed.
There is much history associated with the village. The great yew tree is a reminder of the days when the trees were grown to make weapons for the bowmen. The village greeted nonconformity with enthusiasm and John Wesley preached at St Crallo’s in 1771.
The Rev. Thomas Richards, author of the first comprehensive Welsh-English dictionary, which was published in 1753, is buried in St Crallo’s graveyard. A handsome plaque was unveiled at St St Crallo’s in 1990 by Lord Tonypany, former speaker of the House of Commons, to mark the bicentenary of the death of Rev. Richards.