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Image of All Saints Church

3. All Saints Church

Walk past the shops and houses until you come to the alleyway on your right, climb the steps to the Parish Church of All Saints. The church dates back to 1141–the medieval part of the building is located at the back. It was built on a Roman site; the churchyard was paved with small bricks, being known as the Saints pavement. The tower and the Lady Chapel were additions built in the thirteenth century, the church was extended again in the 1860s, and further alterations in the twentieth century. Inside the church you can view the magnificent stained glass windows, commemorating Lifeboat disasters and the Railway. The church bells originally belonged to the Jesuit church of La Campania, in Santiago, Chile. Walk back down the steps and continue along the main road.

The Oystermouth Church of All Saints celebrated its 860th year in 2001. The Normans built the tower to defend the people inside from enemies. Originally the wooden doors at the back of the church were the main entrance. You may reach the belfry and clock chamber using the staircase–the stairs ascend in an anticlockwise direction designed to ensure that sword arms remained free. The first room that you reach allows access to the clock an onward to where the bells are kept. There is access to the roof which was a great vantage point from which to deter attackers.

The Nave is separated from the main part of the church by five arches that replaced the old north wall when it was taken down in 1860 when the church was enlarged. The Nave of the old building forms the south aisle of today's building.

The Lady Chapel is the cancel and sanctuary of the original church. It is a place of ancient worship, quiet and peaceful.

Remembrance Windows
St. Christopher's Window, on the west wall beside the door is a stained glass window commemorating the locality's connection with Mumbles Railway. St. Christopher is in the middle and the 3 different mumbles trains are depicted, as well as Oystermouth Castle and the Lighthouse. The window was dedicated to the church in 1982.

Image of stained glass window

Mumbles Lifeboat Window
The Lifeboat Window is perhaps the most famous. It is in memory of the eight lifeboat crew who drowned attempting to rescue the stricken ship “Samptama” stranded on the rocks off Sker Point, Proctor.

The window was installed in 1977 and tells the story of a major lifeboat tragedy with the wreckage of the “Samptama” and the upturned lifeboat in the centre. In the top o
f the widow, the eight lifeboat men are standing over the roaring sea. In the bottom of the window are rocks, the lifeboat house and a village street with cottages.

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