Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
St Elvan's Church  


Unitary Authority
Rhondda Cynon Taff  
Aberdare East  
Street Side
Prominently set in a small churchyard on an eminence in the centre of the town. Reached from Victoria Square, up Church Street and from Canon Street.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Built l851 - to designs by Andrew Moseley, architect of London; builder G N Strawbridge of Bristol. The poor quality of construction was such that in l869 the church was extensively repaired and again in l884. At the latter date the chancel was also extended and a N porch added. The South Aisle, etc was added in l9l0 by G E Halliday, diocesan architect and builder John Morgan supervised by Thomas Roderick, architect of Aberdare - cost £6,337. In l961 Stephen Dykes Bower was commissioned to redecorate the chancel interior.  

Decorated Gothic aisled church with shallow N transept and additional S aisle. Snecked (Dyffryn) rubble with Bath stone dressings; slate roofs with cresting; mostly ogee tracery windows. Design is dominated by tall W tower with octagonal spire and lucarnes. Paired louvered bell stage openings over clock faces; 3-light W window. Carved headstops to processional doorway. 2-light windows to aisles, also with headstops; gabled N porch with buttresses. 2-light clerestory windows and 4-light N transept window with cinquefoil oculus over impaled trefoils. Chancel N aisle has one lancet to S side and 3-light reticulated tracery E window. The sanctuary has l-window to N side and fine 5-light E window. Later organ chamber to S side with 6-pane trefoil traceried circular window to gable. Set back is the vestry with lean-to porch. Similar glazing to S aisle.  

Broad and lofty whitewashed interior with 5-bay arcades to nave and between inner and outer south aisles. Scissor trusses with principals springing from stone corbels. Octagonal and cylindrical piers alternated from pier to pier and from side to side; 2-order arches with dying mouldings; stringcourse below clerestory. Tall tower arch is largely infilled; glazed screen with crenellated top and cusped ogee arches closes the bell ringing platform, below is a lobby with broad arch carried on deeply foliated capitals and truncated shafts. Narrower octagonal piers to the S aisle arcade; this has collar and queen strut trusses with mock hammerbeams to the principals. Panelled and ribbed ceiling to chancel with small bosses; canted ceiling to Lady Chapel. The principal interest of the interior lies in its exceptional fittings. The nave has octagonal wooden pulpit (probably by W D Caroe) with inverted cone base and intricately carved foliage and animal detail. The N Transept has circular stone font with 4 cherubs and wooden cover on green marble drum with detached stone shafts in the form of trunks sprouting from roots. The choir screen is by William Tate (in the office of William Kempe); highly colourful with ogee arches and canopy with rood; simpler screen to Lady Chapel with double doors and lock bar band with bosses and fleurons. The Lady Chapel has panelled reredos and linenfold panelled War Memorial with palm tree like columns to ends and centre; crenellated top; designed in the form of an altarpiece with wings. Also depicts St George and Dragon under vaguely Jacobethan canopy with Ionic columns and 'Dutch' gables; tabernacle to the Virgin at top. The chancel has fabric reredos, screen to right and 3-seat sedilia with canopy; Gothic altar rails. The church has some fine stained glass including work by R J Newbery of London and Clayton and Bell.  

Reason for designation
Graded II* because of its fine interior and town scape importance.  

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