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Church of St Mary and St Mercurius

A Grade II Listed Building in Risca, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6119 / 51°36'42"N

Longitude: -3.1014 / 3°6'5"W

OS Eastings: 323828

OS Northings: 190914

OS Grid: ST238909

Mapcode National: GBR J1.9NL1

Mapcode Global: VH7B4.6R76

Plus Code: 9C3RJV6X+QC

Entry Name: Church of St Mary and St Mercurius

Listing Date: 22 October 1999

Last Amended: 22 October 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22519

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: On the main thoroughfare a little N of Risca centre; set back from the road in a walled, part paved churchyard with trees, no monuments.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Risca West (Gorllewin Rhisga)

Community: Risca

Built-Up Area: Risca

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Former Welseyan Methodist church. Founded 1837, rebuilt on same site 1852 and dedicated to St John. Architect not known. Cost £1899 and designed to seat 600. Later known as Trinity Methodist Church. Consecrated 1992 for the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate with a new dedication.


Chapel with gable end facade in Romanesque style. Red and beige roughly dressed sandstone with cream ashlar is used to define very decoratively the architectural features; artificial slate roof with ashlar coping. Centre 3 bays are framed by pilasters and the bracketed antae which continues diagonally to apex surmounted by the short bellcote with embattled cornice. Two upper-storey pilasters rising from the doorway cornice separate the 3 windows; these are of equal length, long, round-headed with long nook shafts, simple fluted capitals and an impost band; above the central window is the datestone, a shield under a round-arched hood. The central entrance breaks forward slightly and has a wide moulded round-arched doorway with voussoirs above and impost band; recessed boarded double doors. Set back to each side are small round-headed windows linking with the continuous impost band. To each side are bays with similar though smaller entrance doorways with similar round-headed windows above and end pilasters completing the vertical composition. Windows have some decorative glazing incorporating glass in cool colours - predominantly blue, green, mauve. Rendered 5-bay side elevation has round arched windows with chamfered surround separated by pilasters with offset; renewed glazing. Attached rear wing, former Sunday School, retains Welsh slate roof and ventilators.


Interior partly converted to Coptic Orthodox liturgical use. Unusual aisled roof structure, wooden trusses rising from posts set on the very tall slender marbled columns with Corinthian derived capitals, which also support the high round arches of a wooden arcade; painted boarded ceiling. Wide moulded reredos arch and gallery. Rear raked gallery with curved and panelled front; pews on both floors retained. Vestibule has glazed panels to partition and swing doors with quarry glazing incorporating Art Nouveau motifs.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its well-preserved architectural interest, its unusual slender arcades and especially for its fine decorative frontage.

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