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Church of St Martin

A Grade II Listed Building in Caerphilly (Caerffili), Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.5711 / 51°34'16"N

Longitude: -3.2201 / 3°13'12"W

OS Eastings: 315539

OS Northings: 186510

OS Grid: ST155865

Mapcode National: GBR HW.D8R9

Mapcode Global: VH6DT.4RJY

Entry Name: Church of St Martin

Listing Date: 18 February 1999

Last Amended: 18 February 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21383

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Located on the S side of Caerphilly town at the junction of Mountain Road and St Martins Road, just N of the railway station.

County: Caerphilly

Town: Caerphilly

Community: Caerphilly (Caerffili)

Community: Caerphilly

Locality: Caerphilly Centre

Built-Up Area: Caerphilly

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Victorian church which replaced an earlier, probably C13 chapel, which lay immediately to the W. St Martin's Chapel was part of Eglwysilian parish until 1850 when the parish of Caerphilly was created. A new church was designed by C Buckeridge in 1873 (he died in the same year) and built in 1877-9 by J L Pearson, with subsequent additions in the same style: the nave was lengthened by 2 bays in 1904-5 and the tower was constructed in 1907-10, both by G E Halliday. The S aisle was widened in 1938 at a cost of £2,000.


Large church in Early English style with geometrical tracery. Nave, lower chancel, NW tower, gabled S aisle, N aisle, N porch, chancel with transepts containing chapel and vestry, and small lean-to in NE angle. Constructed of snecked rock-faced grey-green sandstone with Bathstone dressings, under red tiled roofs.

The N side has a 4-bay clerestorey with paired 2-light windows. The bays are divided by pilasters, but the N bay has been shortened due to the addition of the tower. The N aisle is 3-window with buttresses. Three-light windows with traceried heads. Gabled porch R of centre with double chamfered pointed arch with double planked doors. Hoodmould continues as string course.

The W end of the nave has stepped buttresses and a large 5-light window. The added S aisle is gabled and obscures the clerestorey of the nave. Its W end has a 3-light traceried window with cusped wheel above. The S side of the aisle is 5-bay, each with a 3-light window separated by buttresses. Planked door to R under a shouldered lintel.

The chancel has angle buttresses and trefoiled windows. Five-light E window with large cusped wheel; 2-light windows to N and S walls and 4-light windows to chapel and vestry. The chancel S end has a blocked doorway to the R under a shouldered lintel. The vestry has a circular end stack. In the NE angle of chancel and vestry is a low-lean to with E door under a square head.

The added 3-stage tower is massive and more ornate than the rest of the church. Stair turret to NE angle which is octagonal to top stage. Set-back buttresses, heavy moulded dressings and battlemented parapet. Pointed doorway to N side with several orders of roll mouldings on octagonal bases, and hoodmould with foliate stops. The 1st and 2nd stages have pairs of cinquefoiled lancets, with clock above to N and W. The bell stage has paired 2-light windows with louvres and a corbel table beneath the parapet. A tablet on the N side records that the tower was erected by the parishioners following a visit by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1907. The stone was laid by Catherine Anthony of the Grove, Caerphilly, who also gave the peel of bells in 1910.


Five-bay nave arcades with round piers on square bases and pointed arches with 2 orders of chamfered mouldings. The W arch of the N aisle contains planked doors leading to tower. Tall chancel arch in similar style on responds consisting of 3 orders of shafts with ringed capitals and bases. Arched brace roof to nave, the principals standing on wall shafts. Two-bay arcades to vestry and chapel beneath large relieving arches similar to nave arcade. Reredos in pink Penarth alabaster containing 3 ornate statue niches with ogee heads. Attached black marble shafts between niches, which contain white marble statues. Sedilia with round columns and pointed arched heads, with pierced circles in the spandrels.

Octagonal medieval font, keeling down to a square base. On a C20 square stone base. Organ in SE corner of nave, 1968, by George Pace. Wood fronted pulpit on marble base with blind arches and foliate decoration.

Stained glass to E window, 1879, donated by Lord Windsor in memory of Harriet, baroness of Windsor. Probably by Hardman and depicting the crucifixion between Agony in the Garden and Way to Calvary. S aisle window in memory of William Spickett (d. 1939). Late C20 stained glass windows in S Chancel and N and S aisles. W window has stained glass in geometrical design, the traceried heads containing a shield, and with yellow margin glazing. Other windows towards the W end also have stained glass in geometrical design.

Marble memorial tablets, simple in style, have been moved from the former chapel. S wall of nave, memorial to John Goodrich of Energlyn (d. 1825), who was associated with the Monmouthshire Canal Company. He is buried in a vault in the churchyard. Another tablet to his son. A third tablet is to Elizabeth Pearson (d. 1835).

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its architectural interest as a large Victorian town church of ambitious scale.

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