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Church of St Joseph

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5952 / 51°35'42"N

Longitude: -3.7884 / 3°47'18"W

OS Eastings: 276215

OS Northings: 190004

OS Grid: SS762900

Mapcode National: GBR H3.BPSX

Mapcode Global: VH5H1.951F

Entry Name: Church of St Joseph

Listing Date: 31 January 2000

Last Amended: 31 January 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22803

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Fronting the street, which continues as a path to the Aberavon shopping centre. The entrance is to the E and the chancel to the W.

County: Neath Port Talbot

Town: Port Talbot

Community: Aberavon (Aberafan)

Community: Aberavon

Built-Up Area: Port Talbot

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Port Talbot

History

Roman Catholic church of 1930, by F R Bates and Son. Early Christian style with basilican interior. Replacing an earlier church of 1862.

Exterior

SE tower and campanile, nave, apsidal chancel, N and S aisles and S vestry. Constructed of red brick under slate roofs, with projecting boarded eaves and simple red brick dressings to small round-headed multi-pane windows. The E gable-end facade has a pronounced triangular pediment, with pale stone dressings decorated with modillions and dentils, and surmounted by a cross finial. Central gabled porch of whitened stone. Tapering round columns with cushion capitals support a round arched entrance with panelled soffit. The sides of the porch are open. Plain tympanum over flat-headed doorway containing panelled double doors. The entrance is flanked by single round-headed lights. Above the porch is a large circular window with horizontal and vertical glazing bars. The tower to the L is slightly set back, and has 2 small round-headed windows, one above the other. The upper stage of the tower has pairs of round-headed louvres to each side, all with tile sills. Pronounced Lombard frieze in pale stone supporting a few courses of red brick, above which is a hipped roof with tall finial. To the R of the nave is the lean-to N aisle. Its E end is decorated with a Lombard frieze in red brick, below which is a pair of round-headed lights.

The S and N sides have 8 round-headed clerestorey windows above single storey lean-to aisles which continue to the W end of the nave. A flat-roofed bay abuts the S side of the tower, with a single light over a flat-headed panelled door. The S aisle has pairs of round-headed lights, each with a central pier with chamfered angles. Towards the centre of the elevation is a catslide projection, beyond which is a flat-roofed entrance block also containing the vestry. The doorway faces E and is flat-headed with panelled door, R of which is a date stone bearing the name of the architect. The N side has a square headed projection in angle of nave and aisle to the L, then to the R, a pair of round-headed lights, a flat headed porch and then a catslide projection. Further pairs of windows beyond.

Projecting from the W gable end is the leaded dome of the apsidal chancel. Beneath the dome are 3 single round-headed lights. Projecting stack to R. The ends of the aisles have smaller leaded domes to apsidal-ended altars, also with single round-headed lights.

Interior

Basilican interior. Narthex at E end with blind round arches to each side. Three round-headed doorways lead into the nave, with double panelled half-lit doors and overlights with radial glazing. Above is a gallery with 3-panel front supported on 4 moulded corbels. The organ is located on the N side of the gallery. To the L of the narthex front are late C20 double doors leading to a small shop. To the S is a panelled door within a round arch, providing access to the gallery. The nave has 7-bay arcades consisting of tapering round columns with cushion capitals supporting round arches. Clerestorey windows directly above the arches, those to the E end over the gallery, all with deeply splayed sills and pink and yellow stained glass, including IHS and fleur-de-lis motifs. Eight-bay roof to nave; tie-beam trusses supporting semi-circular brace to centre between vertical struts and with further arched braces flanking. The aisles have wood-panelled ceilings and pairs of round-headed lights within large full-height round arches. Each pair of lights share a central pier with chamfered angles, base and capital. Hoppers to bases of windows, pink and yellow stained glass beneath heads. Pairs of round-headed double doors lead out to each side, into the catslide projections, some with blind balustrading to the upper tier. Pews with carved bench ends. Round-headed stoups at intervals around walls.

Round moulded chancel arch supported on tall pilasters with short square capitals. Apsidal chancel with cornice continuing from capitals. Stained glass to the 3 lights, of biblical figures, flanked by piscinas. Three-tier stepped altar of dark green and white marble. Table in front of similar marble, faced with 3 panels of dark green marble. These are reached by stone steps. Flanking the chancel are smaller apses containing altars behind plain round arches. To the R is a 3-tier altar to the Sacred Heart, with yellow marble inlay. Piscina in wall to rear. Set in front is a stone altar rail consisting of round-arched balustrading. Offset to the R is an octagonal stone font with incised quatrefoils on a tall stem. No altar rail to L altar. Two doors lead out S into the vestry.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a rare and unaltered example of the Early Christian style in early C20 Welsh architecture.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Church of St Mary
    Located in a quadrangular churchyard, encircled by the high-level A48. Just to the S of Aberavon shopping centre.
  • II Aberavon Bridge
    The bridge crosses the River Afan and serves as the physical link between the shopping centres of Aberavon and Port Talbot, the former a development of the 1990s. The roadway is now pedestrianised.
  • II Aberavon Bridge (partly in Aberavon community)
    The bridge crosses the River Afan and serves as the physical link between the shopping centres of Aberavon and Port Talbot, the former a development of the 1990s. The roadway is now pedestrianised.
  • II Forecourt Walls, Railings and Gates to Ebenezer Chapel
    Bounding the forecourt to Ebenezer Chapel and facing W.
  • II* Ebenezer Chapel
    In a prominent position in the square between the shopping centre and the Civic Centre, and backing onto the River Afan.
  • II Bethany Chapel
    In a prominent position in the centre of Port Talbot. The square is at the junction of Station Road and Forge Road.
  • II Afan Masonic Temple
    The temple fronts Forge Road; Tabernacle chapel adjoins on right.
  • II Tabernacle Chapel
    A narrow forecourt in front of the chapel faces the road and is bounded by stone gate piers and iron gates and railings.

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