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ST ELVAN'S CHURCH, FOUNDRY TOWN, ABERDARE

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 13259

Map Reference SO00SW

Grid Reference SO0025502590

Unitary (Local) Authority Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Aberdare

Type of Site CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period 19th Century

Site Description St Elvan's is prominently set in a small churchyard in the centre of the town. It was built in 1851 to designs of Andrew Mosely, architect, of London, initially as a chapel of ease to St John but eclipsing it in siting, lofty form and landmark steeple. The builder was G N Strawbridge of Bristol but poor quality of construction led to extensive repairs in 1869 and again in 1884 when the chancel was also extended and a north porch added. The south aisle was added in l9l0.
The church is built in Decorated Gothic style, an aisled church with shallow north transept, south aisle, lower chancel and integral tower. Constructed of snecked (Dyffryn) rubble with Bath stone dressings, and slate roofs with cresting. The design is dominated by the tall four-stage west tower with octagonal spire and lucarnes, the spire set back behind a pierced parapet.
Inside, the whitewashed nave and aisles are broad and lofty, separated by slender piers alternating round and octagonal but all with octagonal caps. By contrast the chancel and its north chapel, with painted boarded ceilings, are polychromatic, decorated in 1961 by Stephen Dykes Bower in characteristic green, red and white. The font is an Art Nouveau piece comprising a Red sandstone bowl on a drum-shaped green marble shaft surrounded by shaft-like sandstone trees rooted to the base. There is stained glass in almost every window.

Sources: extracts from Cadw Listing database; J.Newman, Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (1995), p.133.

David Leighton, RCAHMW, 25 November 2014

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