We had assumed that digging a French drain to replace a concrete hardstanding at Llangwm Uchaf in 2017 would be an unglamorous affair – but building works at historic churches are never without surprises. One of the great names associated with Llangwm is Walter Craddock, Puritan clergyman and founder of the first independent church in Wales, who was born in the parish and took his final living there.

In digging the builders uncovered a flat gravestone engraved with the word ‘Craddock’ – could it be the grave of Walter which we knew once existed?  The epitaph reads: ‘Here also lyeth the body of Elizabeth Gwyn, the wife of Cradock Gwyn of the Parish who was murdered in her own House ye 28 day of June 1743 Aged 84 years.  Here lyeth the body that lost its life By bloody villain full of strife Who coveted boath (sic) gold and land As anybody may understand Who be to those infernal foes Who dipt their hands in blood The King of Kings who knows all things One day will on them vengeance bring…”

Thank you to Lynne Savage, who tell us John Gwyn was the churchwarden during the tenure of Walter Craddock and to member John Hardiman who wrote in after the discovery to give us the full epitaph above, and to share that Elizabeth is said to have been killed by a tramp or by her own servant, some three days after she made her will.  Local folklore was abuzz with talk of the murder at Pwll Farm where you are still shown the remains of the bloodstains at the bottom of the stairs…

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