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Church of St John the Baptist

A Grade II Listed Building in Vaynor, Merthyr Tydfil

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7629 / 51°45'46"N

Longitude: -3.4035 / 3°24'12"W

OS Eastings: 303239

OS Northings: 208072

OS Grid: SO032080

Mapcode National: GBR HM.04MC

Mapcode Global: VH6CQ.YYLD

Entry Name: Church of St John the Baptist

Listing Date: 16 June 2003

Last Amended: 16 June 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 81185

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a prominent position on the NE side of New Church Road in Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer.

County: Merthyr Tydfil

Town: Merthyr Tydfil

Community: Vaynor (Y Faenor)

Community: Vaynor

Locality: Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer

Built-Up Area: Merthyr Tydfil

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

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Merthyr Tydfil

History

Anglican parish church of 1870 by G E Robinson of Cardiff, David Jenkins builder, built on land given by A G Holford. Known as the Swiss church for its slated spire. Vestry and organ chamber added after 1922.

Exterior

Parish church, distinctive stonework in crazed rubble with bands of thin stones at sill and impost levels, rock-faced sandstone quoins, and ashlar windows, steep slate roofs. Nave, chancel, S porch, SE tower with slated spire and N gabled organ-chamber with vestry. W end has 4 bands of thin stones, diagonal buttresses and 2-step buttresses framing lower half of large W window with chamfered surround of sandstone, with hoodmould. Odd tracery of 3 lancets with transoms at mid height and across tops and tracery in head, apparently partly or wholly renewed in concrete in C20. Coped shouldered gable with stone finial. Big S porch has steep gable and ashlar pointed door, hollow-moulded with hoodmould. Double doors with diagonal boarding. Within porch S door has roll-moulded pointed arch with double cambered-headed doors with diagonally boarded panels. Nave has buttresses of rock-faced sandstone between pointed windows with ashlar heads and hoodmoulds, chamfered rockfaced sandstone jambs, and ashlar 2-light tracery with quatrefoils in heads, 3 windows S, 4 to N.
Lower chancel has attached S tower of 3 stages with high battered base, clasping buttresses at angles with similar high bases and long set offs, reaching up to base of top stage. Top stage has paired long bell openings with segmental-pointed ashlar chamfered heads, and big ashlar corbels under eaves of slated spire. Spire is broached with 4 small timber lucarnes set low with metal 3-sided roofs, and 4 similar but smaller vents in diagonal faces. Tower S side has cross in stonework above second stage and lancet in lowest stage, and E side has door with segmental-pointed arch.
Chancel S has no windows, E end has coped gable, 3-light pointed window with ashlar tracery and hoodmould
Chancel N has c1925 gabled organ chamber with small flat-roofed vestry to E. Organ chamber has reset 2-light N window, matching those of nave.

Interior

Walls of pale brick with thin decorative bands of red brick and encaustic tile, one at level of capitals the other at level of corbels of the colonnettes that carry the roof trusses, and alternating buff and white bricks to pointed window reveals and chancel arch. Plastered dado. Open roofs of thin arch-braced collar trusses, the braces carried down low onto short colonnettes with moulded square caps at level of upper decorative band, marble shafts and corbels at level of lower band. Broad 4 bay nave roof. Tall pointed chancel arch in 3 orders of moulded brick, the inner 2 round-moulded, the outer one hollow-moulded with hoodmould, and the inner arch on corbelled colonnettes as in nave. Pointed door at E end of nave to left of chancel arch. One step into chancel, considerably narrower than nave with similar 3-bay roof on corbelled paired colonnetes. Timber lintel to N organ chamber, gabled organ chamber, vestry to E, with plaque recording addition of both in memory of K Jones died 1922. Sanctuary has plain 3-colour tiles to floor, E window has ashlar frame with column shafts and hoodmould. Ashlar cusped piscina on S wall with moulded gabled hood mould and broad segmental-pointed tall entry into base of tower.
Fittings: Ashlar octagonal font on octagonal shaft. Ornate brass eagle lectern post 1895, Gothic panelled pulpit post 1922. Gothic stalls of 1904 with colonnettes to bench ends, tall backs with pierced band of cusped triangles, similar cusped heads to arcaded fronts. Fine brass rails also of 1904, 2 round rails on 4 standards with pointed arch on twisted shafts with Gothic leaf scroll each side. Oak Gothic reredos of 1918 with 8 blind traceried panels between tall side pieces with crocketted gables and finials. Oak altar with traceried panels, early C20. Stained glass: Nave S first window, Suffer the children, post 1938, by Wippell & Co of Exeter, signed G. Cooper-Abbs; second window post 1884, Angel at the tomb, possibly by Mayer of Munich; third post 1904, 2 saints to 2 brothers; large E window Sermon on the Mount, early C20 by Heaton, Butler & Bayne of London, to Kate Jones, died 1901; N third, Ann Griffiths and St David, 1984 by Celtic Studios; N fourth Dorcas and Joanna, post 1932. Memorials: marble scroll to W. Gould died 1902, brass plaque to Mrs Williams, caretaker, died 1905.
In porch is an early Christian inscribed stone.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a mid Victorian church with unusual brick-lined interior (reminiscent of John Norton''''''''''''''''s churches in S Wales) and landmark spire.

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