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Latitude: 51.5555 / 51°33'19"N
Longitude: -3.3573 / 3°21'26"W
OS Eastings: 305996
OS Northings: 184946
OS Grid: ST059849
Mapcode National: GBR HP.FB6R
Mapcode Global: VH6DX.R5HC
Entry Name: Church of St Michael and All Angels
Listing Date: 18 August 2000
Last Amended: 14 September 2007
Source ID: 23944
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Set within a square grassed enclosure and surrounded by housing.
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Built-Up Area: Beddau
Traditional County: Glamorgan
The church was built in 1936, to the design of Lady Juliet Rhys-Williams of Miskin Manor, and the agent to the estate, Arthur Thomas. The church is a remarkable example of modernism, built in what would then have been quite a rural context. Its sources are continental - either Dutch or (perhaps more likely), French: there are stylistic connections with the work of Auguste Perret, and the 'Chantiers du Cardinal' idiom developed for the construction of churches in the Paris area after 1931. The lady of the manor had apparently studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Nave and chancel in one with heightened E end, S porch and N porch. Rendered and whitened under slate roofs. The heightened section has a pitched roof and is slate hung on the W side. It is stepped in 4 times with a narrow E gable end. Two-tier plinth, which is 3-tier to the heightened section and 1-tier to the porches. The W end has angle pilasters and a raised central section, against which is a gabled doorcase of the same width. This contains a doorway with triangular head and 3 orders of angular mouldings containing double planked doors. Above is a circular 'Star of David' window, and in the gable, a recessed cross. Flanking the doorcase are narrow windows with 5 vertically-aligned panes. The S side of the church has a gabled porch offset to the R, with an angle buttress behind it and to the L. The porch has a doorway with triangular head and 2 orders of angular mouldings containing a planked door. Incised cross above doorway. Small pentagonal windows to side walls of porch. To the L of the porch are 3 pentagonal windows, and to the R, a star-shaped window. Each of the 4 faces of the heightened E section has a narrow light, 3 panes high. These lights step up towards the E. The E end has a circular 'Star of David' window, and a recessed cross above. The N side is as the S side, except that a bell is fixed to the wall between the central and R pentagonal windows, and there is no buttress behind the porch.
Panelled ceiling to nave and chancel in 5 canted sections. The ceiling is raised above the altar with light entering from the sides. Triangular heads to doorways. Two steps up to chancel, octagonal stone pulpit to L with recessed panels, and pipe organ to R. Panelled choir stalls in modern style. Altar in same style as pulpit behind a metal rail. Small octagonal stone font to W end. Stained glass to star-shaped windows in chancel, both memorials of the 1990s; fruit and foliage to N and a dove to S.
Listed at II* as a remarkable essay in modern movement architecture; a rare and early example of expressionism in church architecture in Wales.
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