Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Clement  


Unitary Authority
Neath Port Talbot  
Briton Ferry  
Briton Ferry  
Street Side
In the centre of Briton Ferry and set within a railed churchyard.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Built 1864-6 by John Prichard, diocesan architect.  

Geometrical style church of cruciform plan with apsidal chancel, nave, aisles under outshut roofs and small chapel and organ projections E of the transepts. The walls are of coursed rubble incorporating bands of thick and thin stones and with lighter Bath stone dressings, and a slate roof is behind coped gables. The nave and chancel are of equal height and have a gabled bellcote between them, which has 2 arched openings with bells and central colonettes. The 3-bay S aisle has, flanking the central porch, pairs of cusped lancets with hood moulds. The porch has a 2-centred arch without capitals and incorporating a single order of round billets. The S transept is lower and has a 3-light window in the S wall and a smaller cusped round window in the E wall. A lean-to against the chancel S wall has a cusped lancet in the S wall and plain lancet in the E wall. Further E the chancel has a 2-light window with plate tracery. The E end is a polygonal apse with 2-light windows. On the N side of the chancel is a lean-to chapel balancing the lean-to on the S side, and a embattled vestry. This has stepped buttresses at the NE angle, a 2-light window with shouldered lintels and a doorway with similar lintel in both N and E walls. The N transept balances the S with a 3-light window and it has an added lean-to on its W side. The N aisle has 3 pairs of cusped lancets. On the W side the nave has stepped buttresses, which have gablets to the lower offsets. The W doorway has a single order of filleted roll moulding carried up into the moulded 2-centred arch. The steep triangular hood mould is carried up to the central mullion of the 4-light W window. Below the apex is a small quatrefoil. The aisle W windows are cusped lancets.  

The porch has stone benches, an arched-brace roof and a S door with a 2-centred arch without capitals. The nave has a 4-bay arcade, of which 3 bays open to the nave, the 4th to the transepts. Round piers are on high square bases and have stiff-leaf and waterleaf capitals. The responds at the E and W ends have shafts with head corbels. The arches are wooden, above which the spandrels have open arcading below an arched-brace roof. Above the piers the spandrels also have canopied niches, those on the N side containing figures of saints, probably medieval and brought from elsewhere. The purlin immediately above the arcade incorporates a dog-tooth frieze. The aisles have wooden arches with moulded beams and turned king posts, where above the wall plate is an open arcade. The chancel arch is composed of a keeled shaft flanked smaller orders of filleted shafts, with stiff-leaf capitals and a moulded 2-centred arch which has an outer order of billets alternating with 4-leaf flowers. The chancel arch is flanked by arches from the transepts which have a continuous filleted shaft to the inner respond and moulded outer respond. The chancel has moulded 2-centred N and S arches (the organ was formerly installed on the S side). The arched-brace roof has a boarded ceilure over the altar (with renewed paint), the ribs of which continue down to moulded corbels in the apse. The apse windows have rere arches with frieze of circular billets. The paired lancets in the N and S aisles have rere arches with central colonettes. Between the responds of the chancel arch is the stone base of a screen (probably never intended to be finished). The sanctuary has a marble, mosaic and decorative tile floor. The marble reredos in the apse has intermediate and terminal polygonal marble piers surmounted by angels, and castellated cresting. Behind the altar is a relief arcade in alabaster with mosaic infill, and is flanked by plainer relief arcading in alabaster. The font is octagonal on a square base and round stem, and has quatrefoils with relief mouldings around the bowl. The polygonal pulpit has 4 panels with cusped arches on marble shafts, with figures of Peter, Clement and Paul, while the 4th panel is blank. The steps have a brass hand rail. The sanctuary has a brass communion rail composed of vertical rails square in cross section and with chased ornament, and scrolled brackets carrying the hand rail. Numerous windows have stained glass. The crucifixion in the E window by F.X. Zettler of Munich is described as Royal Bavarian Court stained glass, and is dated 1881. It is flanked by plainer late C19 New Testament scenes with no glazier's mark. The chancel S window has figures of Saints Clement and Cecilia of the early C20 by Christopher Powell of Highgate, London. Two of the aisle windows have glass by Celtic Studios. In the S aisle are undated figures of Saints Non, Paul and David. In the N aisle are figures of Peter, Paul, Luke and Clement dated 1972. The N transept has a memorial window to both world wars that is also said to be by Celtic Studios. Other glass in the church is unattributed: The S transept has a late C19 Nativity scene and an early C20 shepherd in the E window. The commemorative W window, dated 1923, shows the resurrected Christ with Thomas and other Apostles. In the N aisle are 2 medallions of post-medieval glass, probably continental.  

Reason for designation
Listed for architectural interest, especially for its fine interior including timber arcade arches ingeniously interlocking with roof structure.  

Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]