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Church of St John

A Grade II Listed Building in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil

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Latitude: 51.7615 / 51°45'41"N

Longitude: -3.3541 / 3°21'14"W

OS Eastings: 306644

OS Northings: 207845

OS Grid: SO066078

Mapcode National: GBR HP.0C17

Mapcode Global: VH6CR.TZ6J

Plus Code: 9C3RQJ6W+H9

Entry Name: Church of St John

Listing Date: 1 March 1996

Last Amended: 12 November 2002

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 17931

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: On corner of Upper Union Street and Station Road some 100m SW of Dowlais Works Stables.

County: Merthyr Tydfil

Town: Merthyr Tydfil

Community: Dowlais

Community: Dowlais

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Merthyr Tydfil


Anglican parish church, originally built in 1827 for £3,000 for Sir Josiah John Guest, of the Dowlais Iron Company, but sequentially rebuilt such that the whole is now Victorian Gothic. Chancel of 1873, transept of 1881 by William Lintern, and finally nave with aisle and porches of 1893-4 by E A Johnson of Abergavenny. Organ by Norman & Beard 1906. Closed in late C20, now derelict. The church is oriented N-S, so that the transept is on the W and porches are E and W. Sir Josiah John Guest is buried here.


Anglican parish church, rubble stone with slate roofs and ashlar dressings. Three distinct parts. Large nave and aisle of 1893-4 in rock-faced coursed stone (Llancaiach blue Pennant stone) with Bath stone ashlar dressings to windows and porches, sandstone ashlar to buttresses and turret. E and W porches and octagonal SW turret to front left, lancet Gothic. Big stepped buttresses to S front pierced by pointed arches at feet. Large triple lancet S window, the centre 2-light. Side walls have gabled porches in first bay then E side has 3 pairs of lancets and one stepped triplet, each bay separated by buttresses, taller to last bay. W side has 3 tiny paired clerestorey lights over lean-to aisle with 3 pairs of lancets and porch to right. Turret is octagonal with sandstone ashlar top stage with narrow louvred openings and sandstone cap with finial. Rendered E wall.
Chancel of 1873 is much lower with rougher rubble stone and 2 lancets W, 3-light ashlar N window and one small lancet set higher on W with lean-to vestry to right, with lancet N, door and lancet W. Chancel and vestry have grey limestone quoins. Moulded sill course to chancel, eroded on E. W transept of 1881 in similar rubble stone with grey stone quoins and similar 3-light W window. Blank N wall sill course and plinth course. Inset plaques above plinth.


Not accessible for inspection. It had walls of yellow brick in the nave with an arcade of round columns with pointed arches: large arch to transept and 3 to aisle, with additional small arch at left end. Large hammerbeam trusses to nave roof on 6 large and 6 smaller corbels. Pointed chancel arch with dog-tooth ornament. Arch-braced chancel roof, organ to left, doors to left and right to vestries, right vestry demolished. Timber reredos with painted triptych in C15 style. Memorial plaque to Sir J J Guest (died 1852) in Jacobean style. Other plaques to workers at the iron works. Arcade blocked in C20. Hexagonal font, polygonal pulpit, timber transept screen.
Stained glass: chancel E window, the Ascension to Jane Cresswell (d 1884), chancel lights Faith, Hope and Charity, c1900 by R.J. Newbery to Mrs J R Jones; W transept 3-light Resurrection and Light of World c1893 by Jones & Willis (semi-destroyed), nave S 3-light Creation with scenes of industry to Martin family 1896 by R J Newbery.

Reasons for Listing

Included as the historic parish church of Dowlais, and for strong historic connections with the Dowlais Iron Works and the Guest Family. Group value with Dowlais Works Stables.

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