History in Structure

Church of St Thomas

A Grade II Listed Building in Abersychan, Torfaen

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Latitude: 51.7302 / 51°43'48"N

Longitude: -3.0701 / 3°4'12"W

OS Eastings: 326193

OS Northings: 204044

OS Grid: SO261040

Mapcode National: GBR J2.2BG8

Mapcode Global: VH79K.QRVZ

Plus Code: 9C3RPWJH+3X

Entry Name: Church of St Thomas

Listing Date: 28 July 1997

Last Amended: 28 July 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18582

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

ID on this website: 300018582

Location: In the centre of Talywain standing in an extensive rectangular rubble walled churchyard.

County: Torfaen

Town: Pontypool

Community: Abersychan

Community: Abersychan

Locality: Talywain

Built-Up Area: Abersychan

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Tagged with: Church building

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A church built in the 'Commissioners Gothic' or 'lancet' style in 1831-2 by Edward Haycock of Shrewsbury. It had become necessary with the development of the collieries and the near-by British Ironworks (opened 1823), together with the housing for the newly arrived workers. It was built by John Lee of Pontypool and consecrated on 10/11/1832 as a chapel-of-ease for Pontypool, becoming a parish in its own right in 1844. Reseated in 1869 it was restored in 1974 and is disused at the time of resurvey (December 1996).


Squared coursed limestone with ashlar dressings, the west front is rendered. Welsh slate roof. Large rectangular barn like church with a small chancel and a very small west porch. Five bay nave with the bays divided by pilaster buttresses with off-sets. Each bay has a lancet window with dripmould over; leaded glazing. Diagonal corner buttresses, moulded eaves gutter, plain roof with kneelers and gabled bell-cote on west gable. The west end has a window on either side of a small gabled porch with kneelers and diagonal buttresses, cross to gable. Smaller lancet window without dripmould above porch, roundel above this. Chancel has triple Early English window (boarded up at time of resurvey).


The interior has been stripped out apart from the west gallery which has a panelled front and is supported on two slim cast iron columns. The under gallery was divided into rooms with a light timber and glass front in c1960. Chamfered four-centred chancel arch. Moulded plaster cornice, five beams on corbelled brackets support the flat ceiling.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a scarce South Wales example of an Anglican church of the 1830's and of historic interest as a church for a newly developed industrial parish.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Garndiffaith Railway Viaduct
    Approximately 250m east of the B4246. Spanning the steep sided valley of the river Ffrwd between the northern part of Talywain and the southern part of Garndiffaith.
  • II Former Goods Shed of Abersychan and Talywain Station
    To the west of Talywain village, high on the embankment above The British and about 300m north of the Big Arch.
  • II Waterloo Cottage
    In the Talywain area of Abersychan, Waterloo Cottage is at the southern end of Fairfield (off Waterloo Road), where the road becomes a footpath.
  • II British Colliery Pumping Engine House
    On the site of the British Ironworks about 100m north east of the former British Ironworks office and foundry quadrangle.
  • II The Big Arch
    Located next to the B4246 and carries a disused railway embankment across a disused railway line now a track. The arch forms the visual and actual gateway to the former British Ironworks area.
  • II* Former British Ironworks office and foundry quadrangle
    The most prominent building in the area of the former British Ironworks, about 1000m south west of St Thomas's Church, Talywain.
  • II High Street Baptist Church
    Built backing into the hillside on a high platform with stone retaining wall and iron railings on a site overlooking Cwmsychan.
  • II Former colliery engine house at ETM Steel Fabrication
    On the south-east side of the Varteg to Llanhilleth mountain road at The British. The engine house backs onto the road and faces the yard behind.

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