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Latitude: 51.7138 / 51°42'49"N
Longitude: -3.4488 / 3°26'55"W
OS Eastings: 299998
OS Northings: 202668
OS Grid: SN999026
Mapcode National: GBR HK.3C6S
Mapcode Global: VH6D3.56L1
Entry Name: St John the Baptist Parish Church
Listing Date: 14 September 1961
Last Amended: 10 January 1991
Source ID: 10848
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Set in a oval churchyard on the western edge of the town centre. Part rubble walled and railed boundary.
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Community: Aberdare (Aberdâr)
Built-Up Area: Aberdare
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Founded in ll89, this medieval church has been extensively restored, principally in l871-2. Aisless with lower, narrower chancel and S porch added in l795; rebuilt W end twin bellcote.
Rubble construction with few dressings, stone tile roof with crucifix finial to E; rubble chimney stack to S porch (now vestry). 5-bay nave with twinned ogee cusped leaded windows; stone, wall set sundial between eastern two bays ( gnomon missing). S porch has paired ogee windows with voussoirs and leaded glass; round arch door below l795 datestone. Another round arched door in lean-to at right. Narrow round arched W window over double doored W entrance with voussoirs and impost blocks. Louvered roundel ventilator (partly blocked) to nave gable end above chancel roof. Chancel has similar doorway to S side, l-window of same type to N side and a 3-light cusped ogee headed E window; stepped up to centre. Old view (ca l870) shows a round arched headed window to a smaller chancel.
At the SW corner a crucifix shaped tomb is enclosed behind railings. Gravestones fixed to S chancel wall, one of the earliest of which is to Nathaniel Thomas (died l775). Many other later Cl8 and Cl9 gravestones against the church walls. The churchyard itself contains a grand tabernacle shrine type monument on S side and there are a number by WáParker (later Cl9). Also one by D Thomas of obelisk type and a classical pedestal monument erected by Caradog to his family. Vault to Roberts family of Gadlys. At the E end of the churchyard between Nos 27b and 28á High Street is a reused panel of probably earlier Cl9 ironwork.
Rendered interior. Arched and diagonally boarded ceilings with ribs springing from semi-octagonal stone corbels; crenellated cornice. Pointed chancel arch with steps up to the sanctuary; iron gates. Cambered arch window recesses; octagonal font. The medieval S doorway is retained within what is now the vestry; probably Cl3 rather than of ll89 period - characteristic of West Country work with continuous roll moulding. Some good Cl9 and early C20 monuments retained eg one by Thomas of Brecon to the Scale Family of Llwydcoed and one in memory of the wife of W T Lewis of Mardy.
Graded II* for its medieval origins and importance in the history of Aberdare.
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