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Church of St Brise

A Grade II* Listed Building in St. Athan (Sain Tathan), Vale of Glamorgan

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Latitude: 51.4124 / 51°24'44"N

Longitude: -3.4312 / 3°25'52"W

OS Eastings: 300562

OS Northings: 169124

OS Grid: ST005691

Mapcode National: GBR HL.Q9N3

Mapcode Global: VH6FG.GRXM

Plus Code: 9C3RCH69+XG

Entry Name: Church of St Brise

Listing Date: 22 February 1963

Last Amended: 14 June 2010

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13142

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: It is within the boundary fence of RAF St Athan on the south side of a right-angled bend in the road and hidden by trees.

County: Vale of Glamorgan

Town: Barry

Community: St. Athan (Sain Tathan)

Community: St. Athan

Locality: Eglwys Brewis

Built-Up Area: RAF Station St Athan

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Saint Athan


Small church probably of c1200 origin, but given a porch and new windows in the early C16. It was
restored and re-roofed by William Weir in 1900 in accordance with SPAB principles of sensitive and honest repairs and was probably chosen by Weir for its small scale and unaltered character. Since then it has been untouched as it soon lost its historic purpose. This is the small church of a small parish, of which only it and the adjacent farmhouse now predate the opening of RAF St. Athan in 1938. The airbase perimeter has been moved out around it since it was listed in 1963. At the time of resurvey in December 2003 it was being considered for community use but it is now (January 2010) proposed to re-use the church as part of the larger re-development of the RAF base.


Church, built of local lias limestone rubble with Welsh stone slate roofs. Nave with west bell-cote and south porch, chancel. Central gabled porch on the south wall of the nave with a pointed arch with hoodmould over. On either side is a 2-light Tudor window with 4-centred headed lights and hoodmould. Coped gables and small square stone castellated bell-cote at west end. Chancel with lower roofline. Pointed arch priest’s door and another Tudor window as before on the south wall. Coped east gable with double trefoiled lancets. North nave wall blind and largely obscured by close hanging vegetation, east gable likewise.


Simple whitewashed nave and chancel. Collar beam roofs strengthened with scarf repairs and replacement timber by William Weir who also rebuilt the chancel arch in brick using the 'Weir sandwich' method: courses of stone bonded by concrete bands. Norman tub font with rope mould, fresco painting of William and Mary Royal Arms later amended for George I with the addition of his initials and an early C18 date but no alteration for his heraldry. This all overlies an earlier royal arms, but the detail of this is indistinct. Also several black-letter inscriptions, probably Elizabethan in date but heavily faded and replaced with texts dated 1654. Double lancet E window to Chancel with recesses at mid-height to either side, two C19 windows to N wall and S door. Altar rail by Philip Webb. Incised cross-slab set within the floor of the sanctuary on the S side. Remains of stair to rood-loft against the N side of the chancel arch with blocked doorway through.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as a well preserved medieval church at grade II* as it retains several rare wall paintings. It is also important for its historic interest as the sole surviving significant building of a medieval parish.

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