In 1868, the parish of St Athan contained the following places:
"ST. ATHAN, a parish in the hundred of Cowbridge, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles to the S.E. of Cowbridge, its post town. It is situated on the coast of the Bristol Channel, in a fertile district of the vale of Glamorgan, abounding in striking and picturesque scenery. The people are chiefly employed in agriculture, and some in working the limestone, which is abundant, and of good quality. The small port of Aberthan is near this parish. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Llandaff, of the value of £367, in the patronage of the Rev. W. Rayer. The church is dedicated to St. Athan, who is said to have resided here in the 6th century, and built the church, in which he was afterwards interred. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel here. At the Conquest, Fitzhamon, the Norman, became lord of this place, and a castle was erected here by Roger Berkrolles, one of his comrades. Remains of it, now overgrown with ivy, still exist on a bold hill at East Orchard. It is pleasant to hear that the brave knight Berkrolles restored half the land to its former owner, and on the other half maintained several families who had been deprived of their all by the Norman invaders.