History in Structure

Church of St Catwg

A Grade II Listed Building in Gelligaer, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6645 / 51°39'52"N

Longitude: -3.2512 / 3°15'4"W

OS Eastings: 313562

OS Northings: 196931

OS Grid: ST135969

Mapcode National: GBR HV.66YC

Mapcode Global: VH6DD.LFLC

Plus Code: 9C3RMP7X+QG

Entry Name: Church of St Catwg

Listing Date: 18 July 2001

Last Amended: 18 July 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 25526

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Also known as: St Catwg's Church, Gelligaer

ID on this website: 300025526

Location: Fronting the main crossroads in the village centre, within a churchyard which backs onto the site of Gaer Fawr, a Roman Fort.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Gelligaer

Community: Gelligaer

Built-Up Area: Ystrad Mynach

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Tagged with: Church building

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Medieval church adjacent to an important Roman fort; a Roman building is reported from the churchyard. St Catwg c 500-570 is an Early Christian saint and is believed to have occupied the nearby Capel Gwladys (Gwladys traditionally his mother) in c 530 and a C10 stone from here is housed in the church. First priest for this church recorded 1266. Jasper Tudor, uncle of Henry VII and Lord of Glamorgan, donated a peal of bells to church which survived until C17. Parish at one time provided richest income from tithes in the Llandaff diocese. Edward Lewis (d 1728), commemorated here, left fortune to charities which led to the foundation of Lewis School. Roof collapsed 1866. Building restored by Charles Buckeridge for the Revd Gilbert Harries, rector, in 1867-8 and timber came from the latter's estate He promoted immersion fonts in churches to offer an alternative to the locally popular Baptist rite. He was also responsible for building Pontlottyn church near Rhymney. Windows are all believed to have been restored at this time except at N nave. Plaster removed 1903. Further vestry added 1931; existing Lady Chapel was formerly clergy vestry. Gelligaer is one of a group of large northern Glamorgan parishes with medieval hilltop churches, the pattern surviving the later industrialisation of the valleys: original extent of parish was 16,000 acres (6,475.2 hectares).


Parish Church. Plan of W tower, nave with S porch and N aisle, slightly narrower chancel, N vestry and organ chamber. Built of rubble with ashlar dressings, stone slate roof with shallow coping, terracotta ridge tiles, decorative to chancel, and apex crosses. Tower of 2-storeys has embattled parapet with string course with small gargoyles; below are the small paired, arched, louvred belfry lights; clock face to S with string course below; small square lights to tower chamber below; further plinth string course at base; W elevation shows the fomer line of a steep pitched porch roof; pointed arched chamfered W opening with broach stops under a relieving arch, unused since ground level is now substantially lower. SW window of 2 trefoil-headed lights. S porch has kneelers, a wide four-centred chamfered arched doorway with broach stops, no side windows; inside is a flag floor, stone benches to sides, renewed barrel roof, earlier pointed-arched S doorway which is chamfered with broach stops and voussoirs. S nave has 3 windows with narrow trefoil-headed lights, triple either side of porch and 4-light at SE to light former rood screen; buttresses with offsets are at each corner and separate the two easterly bays; attached to wall at SW is a monument to William Phillips died 1807. Chancel has two similar smaller 2-light windows and a blocked priests' door to S; E window is 3-light with geometric tracery under a hoodmould; C18 and C19 slabs against or attached to chancel wall; similar 2-light window to N chancel. Later vestry attached at NE has matching windows; N nave with two 2-light windows, one left unrestored, and similar buttresses, one overlapping a blocked arch; low pitched roof to later NW wing with matching windows; offset to the tower above.


Interior has been stripped of plaster. Tower has a vaulted rubble roof; benefaction boards; single bell of 1760 by William Evans of Chepstow; glazed screen with tower chamber opening above. Tiled baptismal pool inside W door installed 1866; plain octagonal font adjacent and on the wall an oval monument to Thomas Williams (d 1782). Celtic cross from Capel Gwladys moved here in 1906, against W wall; nearby at NW are the village stocks. Nave pews have doors. Narrow moulded pointed chancel arch without capitals; on N side is the blocked former doorway to rood screen. Chancel has an elaborate wooden roof with windbraces and scissor trusses, C19. Monument to Rector Revd Gilbert Harris (d 1879) who restored church - a large brass in the sanctuary depiciting a priest carrying the model of a church (possibly Pontlottyn). Tablet to Edward Lewis (see history section). Mosaic reredos commemorating Eleanor Harries (d 1871); wooden chancel panelling incorporating piscina with copper backplate. Stained glass in chancel E window 1867 by Clayton and Bell, in S nave by R J Newberry 1895, in nave N window by Frank Roper later C20. A number of wall monuments mostly from mid C19 on.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a restored medieval church on an important historic site.

External Links

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