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St Elvan's Church, Foundry Town, Aberdare

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Map ReferenceSO00SW
Grid ReferenceSO0025502590
Unitary (Local) AuthorityRhondda Cynon Taff
Old CountyGlamorgan
Type Of SiteCHURCH
Period19th Century
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