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Llantwit Major

 

Llantwit Major

Llantwit Major
Welsh: Llanilltud Fawr

East Street, Llantwit Major
Llantwit Major
 Llantwit Major shown within the Vale of Glamorgan
Population 9,486 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference
Principal area Vale of Glamorgan
Ceremonial county South Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LLANTWIT MAJOR
Postcode district CF61
Dialling code 01446
Police South Wales
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Vale of Glamorgan
Welsh Assembly Vale of Glamorgan
List of places
UK
Wales
Vale of Glamorgan

Llantwit Major (Barry and Penarth, and ahead of Cowbridge, which lies about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the northeast. The town centre of Llantwit Major lies about 9 miles (14 km) southeast of the centre of Bridgend, 10 miles (16 km) west of the centre of Barry, and about 15 miles (24 km) miles south-west of the centre of the Welsh capital of Cardiff which lies further to the east beyond Barry.

The town's name in Welsh, Llanilltud Fawr, is derived from the name of Saint Illtud, who came to the area from Brittany, Gaul. He founded the monastery of Illtud and the college attached to it, Cor Tewdws, which would grow into one of the most esteemed Christian colleges of the times. At peak it attracted over 2000 students, including princes and numerous eminent clergymen, some now revered as saints. Destroyed by the Vikings in 987, the monastery was rebuilt in 1111 and continued to be a centre of learning governed by Tewkesbury Abbey until it closed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The 13th-century St Illtyd's Church, built near the ancient monastery, today is a Grade I listed building and one of the oldest parish churches in Wales.

The modern town of Llantwit developed rapidly in the 20th century to accommodate Heritage Coast, which stretches from Gileston in the east to Newton Point beyond Southerndown in the west.

Contents

  • Name 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
  • Economy and local government 4
  • Notable landmarks 5
    • Roman villa 5.1
    • Listed buildings 5.2
      • St Illtyd's Church and monastery 5.2.1
      • Town Hall 5.2.2
      • Great House 5.2.3
      • Dove cote and gatehouse 5.2.4
      • The Old Place 5.2.5
      • Old Swan Inn 5.2.6
      • Plymouth House 5.2.7
      • Court House 5.2.8
      • Knolles Place 5.2.9
      • Old police station 5.2.10
      • War memorial 5.2.11
      • Bethel Baptist Church 5.2.12
      • Boverton Place 5.2.13
      • Dimlands 5.2.14
  • Education and sport 6
  • Cultural references 7
  • Notable people 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Name

Although the parish church glosses the name of the town rather literally as "Illtud's Great Church",[2] both the Welsh placename and its English form do not properly call the place "great" but rather "greater": the epithet distinguishes this Llantwit from Llantwit Fardre (Llanilltud Faerdref) near Pontypridd and Llantwit Minor (Llanilltud Fach; also known as Llantwit-juxta-Neath and Lower Llantwit)[3] near Neath. The Welsh placename element llan, meanwhile, is related to English lawn (which was borrowed into Middle English from French, which borrowed it from Gaulish) and referred to the sanctified community around early Christian settlements in Wales and its parish rather than merely the church itself (eglwys).

History

Saint Illtud, who gives his name to the Welsh name of the town

Llantwit Major has been occupied for over 3000 years and archaeological evidence has shown it was occupied in Neolithic times.[4] The remains of an Iron Age fort lie in the beach area.[4]

Excavations at the Roman villa at Caer Mead have revealed that this area was occupied during Roman times for around 350 years; its bathrooms and the mosaic pavements date from the mid 2nd century AD.[5]

In the 5th century, after the withdrawal of the Roman legions, Saint Illtud came to the Hodnant valley from Brittany and founded the monastery of Illtud on the Ogney Brook, and a college, in close proximity to the current St Illtyd's Church, about a mile from the sea.[6] The exact date of its founding is unknown, but some sources indicate around the year 500 AD; the blue plaque on the church today also gives this date.[7][8] Because of its monastery and teaching centre it became a major centre for education and Celtic Church evangelism, attracting scholars from across Wales, Devon, Cornwall and Brittany and the wider world.[9] The college of Llantwit, known as the College or Seminary of Theodosius (Cor Tewdws in Welsh) or College of St. Illtyd, at its peak reputedly had seven halls, over 400 houses and over 2000 students,[10] including seven sons of British princes, and scholars such as St. Patrick, St. Paul Aurelian, the bard Taliesin, Gildas the historian, Samson of Dol, Paulinus, Bishop of Leon, and St. David is believed to have spent some time there.[11][12][13] According to documents, whilst Saint Patrick was a priest at the monastery he was abducted by Irish pirates, later becoming the patron saint of Ireland.[12] Samson was known to have been summoned by Dyfrig to join the monastery in 521 and he was briefly elected abbot before leaving for Cornwall.[14] King Hywel ap Rhys (d. 886) was buried at the monastery.

The college suffered during the invasions of the Saxons and the Danes and was destroyed by the Vikings in 987 and the Normans in the late 11th century.[7][8][12] However, in 1111, it is documented as being restored but likely in a lesser state than the original.[12] It is known to have continued to function as a monastic school until the 16th-century Reformation.[12] The ruins of the original school house are located in a garden on the northern end of the churchyard and the monastic halls were located in a place called Hill-head on the north side of the tithe-barn.[12] Although nothing of the original monastery remains, the present church was originally built between 950 and 1400 and its earliest existing secular buildings date from the 15th century.[6] The church and school became the property of Tewkesbury Abbey around 1130 after becoming part of the Norman kingdom of Glamorgan.

After the dissolution of the monasteries by king Henry VIII during the Reformation, it became independent from Tewkesbury in 1539.[15] St Donat's Castle, 1.5 miles (2.4 km)[16] to the west, was built in the 13th century.[17]

In the 20th century, Llantwit developed into a dormitory town and grew about 15 times in size to accommodate the postcode areas to live in Wales.[19]

Geography

Llantwit Major Beach panorama

Llantwit Major is located in southeast Wales and mid-west along the coast of the Penarth, and ahead of Cowbridge, which lies about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the northeast. The town centre of Llantwit Major lies about 9 miles (14 km) from the centre of Bridgend, 10 miles from the centre of Barry and about 15 miles (24 km) from the centre of Cardiff which lies further to the east.[20] Boverton is an eastern suburb of Llantwit.

A small stream, the

  • Llantwit Major Town Council
  • BBC Wales feature on Llantwit Major
  • Llantwit Major at DMOZ

External links

  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  2. ^ [forum.southshields-sanddancers.co.uk/boards/viewtopic.php?t=26076 1]
  3. ^ Davies, Elwyn. A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names. University of Wales Press (Cardiff), 1967. ISBN 0-7083-1038-9.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Renee, Rob (6 April 2006). "Llantwit Guide".  
  5. ^ Rivet, Albert Lionel Frederick (1969). The Roman villa in Britain. Praeger. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Town history". Llantwit Major History.org.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Jones, Andrew (7 February 2002). Every pilgrim's guide to Celtic Britain and Ireland. Canterbury. p. 70.  
  8. ^ a b Palmer, Martin; Palmer, Nigel (1 September 2000). The spiritual traveler: England, Scotland, Wales : the guide to sacred sites and pilgrim routes in Britain. Hidden Spring. p. 232.  
  9. ^ Barber, Chris; Pykitt, David (1 November 1997). Journey to Avalon: The Final Discovery of King Arthur. Weiser Books. p. 114.  
  10. ^ Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1908). Transactions – Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. The Society. p. 33. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Newell, Ebenezer Josiah (1887). A popular history of the ancient British church: with special reference to the church in Wales. Society for promoting Christian knowledge. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Hall, Samuel Carter (1861). The book of south Wales, the Wye, and the coast. pp. 252–. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Williams, Peter N. (March 2001). The Sacred Places of Wales: A Modern Pilgrimage. Wales Books. p. 21.  
  14. ^ Tristam (Brother.) (July 2003). Exciting holiness: collects and readings for the festivals and lesser festivals of the calendars of the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales. Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd. p. 305.  
  15. ^ "St Illtud's Galilee Chapel, St Illtud's Church, Llantwit Major". Illtuds Galilee Chapel. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Murray, John (1860). A handbook for travellers in South Wales and its borders, including the river Wye: With a travelling map (Public domain ed.). J. Murray. pp. 15–. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Plantagenet Somerset Fry (15 October 2005). Castles: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland : the Definitive Guide to the Most Impressive Buildings and Intriguing Sites. David & Charles. p. 205.  
  18. ^ Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons (1963). Parliamentary papers. HMSO. p. 170. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  19. ^ "UK's 'most desirable' postcodes revealed". BBC News. 
  20. ^ a b Maps (Map).  
  21. ^ a b c "Llantwit Major Beach". Forces of Nature.co.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  22. ^ "Welcome". Wethouse Hotel.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Dalton, Nick; Stone, Deborah (27 January 2009). Frommer's Wales With Your Family: From Cliff-top Castles to Sandy Coves. John Wiley & Sons. p. 75.  
  24. ^ "Explanation of Victorian Fair Day". Victorian Fair Day.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Council". Llantwit Major Town Council. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Fryer, Alfred Cooper (1893). Llantwit Major: a fifth century university (Public domain ed.). E. Stock. pp. 87–. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  28. ^ Morris, A. (1907). Glamorgan: being an outline of its geography, history, and antiquities with maps and illustrations (Public domain ed.). J.E. Southall. pp. 157–. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  29. ^ "Drawing of a mosaic at Caermead Roman Villa". Casgliad y Werin Cymru, The People's Collection Wales. 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  30. ^ "CAERMEAD ROMAN SITE;LLANTWIT MAJOR ROMAN VILLA". RCAHMW. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  31. ^ a b The art journal London (Public domain ed.). Virtue. 1860. pp. 217–. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  32. ^ "The Town Hall, Llantwit Major". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  33. ^ Newell, p. 116
  34. ^ a b "Buildings". Llantwit Major Local History Society. 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "Great House; Ty Mawr, High Street, Llantwit Major". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. 12 December 2005. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  36. ^ Cambrian Archaeological Association (1903). Archaeologia cambrensis (Public domain ed.). W. Pickering. pp. 322–. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  37. ^ "Llantwit Major Grange; Associated Sites". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Dovecot, Llantwit Major". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  39. ^ Thomas, Ruth (1977). South Wales. Arco Pub. Co.  
  40. ^ Blue plaque of Plymouth House, Llantwit Major Local History Society
  41. ^ Blue plaque on Court House, Llantwit Major Local History Society
  42. ^ Blue plaque of Knolles Place, Llantwit Major Local History Society
  43. ^ Wade, Joseph Henry (1914). Glamorganshire (Public domain ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 174–. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  44. ^ Burke, John Bernard (1853). A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Public domain ed.). Colburn. pp. 218–. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  45. ^ South Wales Echo, October 1991
  46. ^ "The Major RFC in Wales UK Business Directory". Wales Directory. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  47. ^ "Who's that walking around Llantwit Major?". The Llantwit Major Gem. 11 March 2010. p. 11. 
  48. ^ Punch. 1986. p. 94. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  49. ^ "Dafyyd Hewitt". Cardiff Rugby Football Club. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  50. ^ Lock, Joan (November 1980). Marlborough Street: the story of a London court. R. Hale. p. 46.  
  51. ^ Thomas, John David Ronald (24 June 1999). A history of the analytical division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1972–1999. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 22.  

References

Notable people

The town is fictionally portrayed in the late Glyn Daniel's novel Welcome Death (1954). Some areas of the town have been used in the recording of the recent series of Doctor Who[47] and The Sarah Jane Adventures (created by BBC Wales). The local tearooms were used in the 2007 making of Y Pris filmed by and shown on S4C.

Cultural references

Facilities at the Llantwit Major leisure centre include a small swimming pool, large and small sports halls, the LifeStyle Fitness Studio, sunbed facilities, conference room and bar. The Llantwit Major Rugby Football Club, which played its first match against Cowbridge Rugby Football Club in 1889,[46] fields two senior, one youth (U/19) and eight mini/junior teams, and plays in Division Four of the Welsh Rugby Union leagues. Other sports clubs represent association football and cricket.

Llanilltud Fawr Comprehensive School is the secondary school in the town. A fire gutted the building in October 1991 and a new building was constructed.[45] The school has roughly 1300 pupils and around 85 full-time staff. Immediately adjacent is Llanilltud Fawr primary school, one of four primary schools in Llantwit, the others being Eagleswell primary school, Ysgol Dewi Sant and St. Illtyd's primary school.

Llantwit Major Leisure Centre

Education and sport

King Henry VII. The dwelling is of castellated Tudor architecture with blue lias limestone exterior, and Coombedown stone windows and cornices. The south-facing front is more than 130 feet (40 m) in length. The western coast of Cornwall and Lundy Island are visible from the turrets. The carved chimney in the dining room is made of Caen stone, and the chimney-piece in the drawing room is also. Other features are the Minton tile flooring, the large Tudor-style staircase, two sitting rooms, and the library, a newer addition. The Dimlands stables feature sharp-pointed gables, as well as a carved stone with the date of the original grant (1336).[44]

Dimlands Lodge

Dimlands

Located in Boverton, Boverton Place () is a former fortified manor house, now in ruins.[43] It was built at the end of the 16th century and served as the seat of Roger Seys, Queen’s Attorney to the Council of Wales and the Marches in the 1590s.[6] It remained in Seys family until the last heiress Jane Seys married Robert Jones of Fonmon who sold it to owners who let it fall into ruin. Its last occupants were mentioned in the census of 1861.[6]

Boverton Place

Bethel Baptist Church () was erected in 1830 to provide for local Baptists and its first minister was a local shopkeeper named Jabez Lawrence. Christmas Evans, a one-eyed Welsh preacher of considerable renown was reported to have held services here.[6]

Bethel Baptist Church

Bethel Baptist Church

This is located in the centre of Llantwit War Memorial (), between the Old Swan and the White Hart and has a Celtic cross. The memorial commemorates residents who lost their lives or went missing in World War I and World War II. There are 32 names listed for World War I and 26 names for World War II.

War memorial

The old police station ()was built in the mid-1840s after the place is Glamorgan Constabulary was established in 1841, and was originally comprised a single-storey building, but was expanded in 1876 to include four bedrooms on the top floor. [6] It continued to function as a police station until 1928 when a new building opened nearer the town centre on Wesley Street.[6]

Old police station

According to the blue plaque on the building (also known as "The Old School") (), it was built around 1450 by John Raglan (Herbert) and was then owned by Robert Raglan, from a family who had significant power in the area at the time and held many local administrative posts as stewards and priests. In the 17th century it became a vicarage for Stephen Slugg and functioned as a boarding school for primary school children between 1874 and 1975.[42]

The Old School

Knolles Place

From the blue plaque on the Court House (), it was formerly known as Ivy house when it was a town house from the 16th century. In the 18th century it was extended by Christopher Bassett. For some time it was owned by the Throckmorton family of Coughton Court, Warwickshire, descendants of one of the perpetrators of the Gunpowder Plot.[6] Later owners included Daniel Durrell, headmaster of Cowbridge Grammar School, and the benefactor of Tabernacle Chapel, Elias Bassett. It then fell to his niece and her husband William Thomas and became part of the Thomas family and at one time was owned by Illtyd Thomas, father of Mare Treveleyan, an antiquarian.[6][41] The Thomases built the Town Hall clock to commemorate Queen Victoria.

Court House

According to the blue plaque on the wall outside Plymouth House (), the house is believed to have been formerly part of the monastery, perhaps functioning as a halled house for some time in the fifteenth century.[6] After its closure in 1539, it became the manor house of West Llantwit owned by Edward Stradling. Later owners include Lewis of the Van, the Earl of Plymouth and then Dr. J. W. Nicholl Carne, who renamed it after its previous owner some time in the 19th century.[6][40]

Plymouth House

Records state that a building was located here from the 11th century and during medieval times it is believed to have been a monastic or manorial mint.[39] but the current Grade II* listed inn () is dated to the 16th century, aside from restoration work; it was once thatched roofed. It was run for many years in Tudor times by the Raglan family. In the mid 17th century there is evidence that its owner Edward Craddock was again using it as a mint to "mint his own tokens as there was a shortage of coin at this time."[6] There are five other pubs and four restaurants in the town.

The Old Swan Inn

Old Swan Inn

The Old Place () is a ruin of an Elizabethan manor house, built by Griffith Williams for his daughter and son-in-law Edmund Vann in 1596. It is often mistakenly called Llantwit Castle.[6] The Williams family were successful lawyers and part of the rising minor gentry who were loathed by the Seys of Boverton and the Stradlings of St Donats. Vann was fined over £1,000 for being involved in a scuffle in central Llantwit on a Sunday which led him to take on the Sey family and seek his revenge.[6]

"The Old Place"

The Old Place

Covered by a domical vault,[36] the Dove Cote () is a Grade II* listed tall 13th-century cylindrical column in a middle of the Hill Head field, which lies in close proximity to St Illtuds Church, next to the site of the old tithe barn, built for the monks at the St. Illtud's monastery.[37][38] Another site on Hill Head is the (13th–14th century) gatehouse, now belonging to St Illtyd's Church, Llantwit Major. Today these are the only remaining buildings which at one time belonged to Tewkesbury Abbey.[6] There is a plaque on the gatehouse, telling of its history.

Dove cote and gatehouse

The Great House (), located along the road to Cowbridge, on the northern outskirts originally dated from the 14th century when it consisted of just a square central section, but significant additions have made it an excellent example of a Tudor "Ty mawr" (Great House). A northern wing with a stable and dovecot were amongst the added parts.[34] The house was occupied by the Nicholl family for centuries but by the 1920s it had been abandoned and fell into a heavily dilapidated state.[35] The building was bought and restored to its former glory in the 1950s.[34]

The Great House

Great House

[16] It is reached by a flight of steps.[33] ("Saint Illtyd, pray for us").Sancte Iltute, ora pro nobis It features a bell with the inscription, [32] Aside from fairs it also held plays, concerts and dances. It became a Grade: II* listed building on 22 February 1963.[6] It was renovated in the late 16th century and over the years the lower floor functioned as a school, a slaughterhouse and a jail and the top floor a venue for church meetings, leased to Oddfellows in the 1830s.[6] Manorial records indicate that the Town Hall () dates to the 15th century but it is often attributed to

Town Hall

St. Illtyd's church predates the Age of the Saints in early Welsh Christianity and thus by its very existence provides evidence of continuity with sub-Roman Christianity. The churchyard contains three ancient relics, a pillar and two inscribed stones; one dates from Saint Samson's time. The grounds also include a 13th-century gatehouse, a monks' pigeon-house, ruined walls in a garden area, and mounds near the vicarage.[11]

[11].Richard Neville The older church is 64 feet (20 m) long; the newer church was built by [13].effigies and medieval priest curfew bell The church contains a [11] The elongated church (), a conglomeration of distinct buildings, is divided into two areas by a wall, a 13th-century monastery church, and the

The town grew up around [11] Saint David, Saint Samson, Saint Paul Aurelian, Saint Gildas, Saint Tudwal, Saint Baglan and king Maelgwn Gwynedd are said to have studied at the divinity school.Cor Tewdws was destroyed in AD 446 and re-founded in AD 508 by St Illtyd as a centre of learning. The ruins of the school are in a garden on the north side of the churchyard; and the monastery was situated north of the tithe barn on Hill Head.[31]

Interior of the church
The Church of St Illtyd, Llantwit Major

St Illtyd's Church and monastery

Listed buildings

The site was again excavated between 1938 and 1948. It may have been first settled in the 1st century, but the first stone structure was not erected until a hundred years later. The site developed slowly and, it has been suggested, was even abandoned for a while during the 3rd century. By the 4th century, there was an L-shaped villa with a large, aisled building possibly for farm workers and a number of smaller agricultural structures almost enclosing a central courtyard. The [29] as are earthworks, traces of walling, a bank and a ditch. Pieces of pottery have been found.[30]

The Roman villa at Caermead () remains as faint earthworks in a field, near the 13th century parish church of St Illtud. The L-shaped courtyard villa was discovered in 1888. Records from 1893 suggest that one room was used as a praetorium, another as a workshop; and there was a 5th-century adjoining sacristy, simple in style, which featured a chancel, nave, and stone altar. Found remains included Brachycephalic and dolichocephalic skulls, as well as horse bones.[27] Fine mosaic floors a notable feature of the villa. The tesserae included blue and crystalline limestone, green volcanic stones, brown sandstone, and red-brick cuttings, encircled with a red, white, blue and brown border. A record from 1907 described the relics as Samian ware pieces; bronze coins of Maximinus Thrax, Victorinus, and Constantius Chlorus; as well as roofing materials.[28]

Roman villa

Notable landmarks

The town is governed by the Llantwit Major unitary authority. Llantwit Major is twinned with Le Pouliguen, France.

An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward covers Llantwit Major community but also stretches west to St. Donats. The total population of this ward at the 2011 census was 10,621.[25]

The Victorian Fair Day, established in 1983, is usually held in June on the Saturday nearest to the 22nd of the month, with a Victorian theme which attracts people from across southern Wales.[24] The town has several supermarkets including Somerfield and Filco, and a town library. At least three pharmacies and two banks (HSBC and Lloyds TSB) located in the central shopping area along Boverton Road.[20] The local artistic community supports a number of arts and crafts shops, some selling locally made pottery and other ceramics.

[23] Llantwit Major has considerable renown in South Wales as a surfing location, although it is much less known than

Llantwit Major is a small town which is largely dependent on local retail and earnings from further afield. The majority of the inhabitants commute to work elsewhere, especially Cardiff or Bridgend. During the summer months tourism is important to the town which has "The Precinct", Rainbow Plaza and several pubs and restaurants. Of note are the Old Swan Inn, Old White Hart Inn, The Tudor Tavern, and the 17th century West House Country Hotel Heritage Restaurant.[22]

"The Precinct"
The main road, Boverton Road. The Filco supermarket is on the right.

Economy and local government

[21] The beach is a popular

. In the early 1990s the beach flooded with the tide rising beyond the beach wall and inundating the surrounding pasture in the valley, which is now used as a campsite. Ichthyosaurus and the bones of gastropods, brachiopods, giant corals fossils, including Jurassic Llantwit Major beach has one of the finest sites in Wales for [4] is situated between Llantwit Major and St Donat's. Along this stretch of coast the cliff path winds through numerous valleys.Tresilian Bay [4]

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