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Hen Eglwys

A Grade II* Listed Building in Margam, Neath Port Talbot

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5648 / 51°33'53"N

Longitude: -3.7309 / 3°43'51"W

OS Eastings: 280123

OS Northings: 186522

OS Grid: SS801865

Mapcode National: GBR H6.DL93

Mapcode Global: VH5H2.9X0T

Entry Name: Hen Eglwys

Listing Date: 12 November 1952

Last Amended: 25 April 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 14155

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located on the hillside, Graig Fawr, north of Margam Park. Accessed by a footpath which leads SW off the road along Cwm Bach. In a prominent and spectacular position.

County: Neath Port Talbot

Town: Port Talbot

Community: Margam

Community: Margam

Locality: Cwm Bach

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Margam

History

C14-15 church built for the local population of Margam who were not able to worship in the abbey church. In ruins, with fragments of Decorated and Perpendicular tracery. The E window (and possibly the adjacent S window) are Perpendicular and date to c1470. The W doorway does not sit well with the Decorated window above, but the dressing of the door is missing so it cannot be dated. It is possible that the church dates to 1470 and that the Decorated tracery was brought from the abbey. Also known as Capel Mair and Cryke Chapel.

Exterior

Roofless chapel of Sutton stone with battered plinth and quoins. The E and W ends and S side stand full height, whilst the N side survives up to 1.5m high. Single range with nave and chancel in one. Entrance at W end under segmental arched head (the exterior dressings are missing). Above and offset slightly to the L is a large window opening with shallow pointed head. Some upper level tracery survives, including part of a quatrefoil in the apex and cusps below, suggesting that the window had 2 lights with trefoiled heads.

On the S side is a 2nd doorway R of centre with a shallow pointed-arched head. A large window with similar head is to the R, with 2 lancets to the L. That nearest the W end retains its trefoiled head, carved from a single piece of stone. The E window also has a shallow pointed head, but the surviving upper level tracery is Perpendicular and there were 4 cinquefoil-headed lights. The profile of the top of the N wall suggests that there may have been 2 windows.

Interior

The interior jambs to the openings partially survive, whilst most of the openings have segmental arches of voussoirs. The exceptions are the E window and the adjacent S window which have dressed stone arches to the interior sides. The latter retains some plastering. Piscina to SE with ogee head. Splayed reveals to S lancets. Small recesses in W gable end.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* for its medieval fabric and tracery detail. A very prominent structure in the landscape at Margam.

Scheduled Ancient Monument GM163 (NEP).

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Stones Museum
    Within the churchyard and adjoining the W boundary wall near the NW corner.
  • II Middle Lodge
    Located on the N side of the road which leads to St Mary's Abbey Church. A further lane runs to the rear up towards Cwm Bach. In a slightly raised position with a retaining wall to the front.
  • II Kitchen Garden Walls including Vinery Glasshouse
    The kitchen garden wall forms the N boundary of the gardens and flanks the lane leading to the abbey. A wall at right angles runs S to the Vinery Glasshouse.
  • II Almshouses
    Located on the S side of the lane which leads off the A48 to St Mary's Abbey Church. The almshouses are opposite the churchyard entrance.
  • II Churchyard Walls and Gate Piers to St Mary's Abbey Church
    Enclosure walls to a large, roughly rectangular churchyard to the N of the abbey church. It projects round to the W and incorporates the entrance gates.
  • II War Memorial
    Located immediately outside and to the R of the entrance gates to St Mary's Abbey Church and churchyard.
  • I St Mary's Abbey Church
    Located at the end of a short lane which runs NE off the A48. The Stones Museum is within the churchyard. The S doorway faces into Margam Park.
  • I Ivy Cottage including Facade of Former Banqueting House
    Located along the N boundary of the gardens, N of the Orangery and SE of the kitchen gardens. The facade faces W into the park, whilst the cottage is outside the park boundary.

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