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 All Saints, Pen-y-Fai  


Unitary Authority
Newcastle Higher  
Street Side
Located on the S side of Pen-y-Fai village on W side of Heol Eglwys.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

An estate church built at the expense of Robert Llewellyn of Court Colman 1900-1903. It was erected beside the main entrance to Court Colman, and with its vicarage formed a visual group with lodges, gates and school (the school and School Lodge were built 1898-99). Llewellyn claimed to have designed the church himself.  

Early English and Decorated style church of cruciform plan with crossing tower. Of coursed, rock-faced Pennant sandstone with ashlar dressings and coped gables on moulded kneelers; slate roof with crested ridge tiles. The walls are banded with Ham stone, are battered at the base (in the local medieval style) and have moulded corbel tables. The S nave wall has a shallow buttress to R of centre and 2x 2-light Decorated windows. To L is a porch with continuous roll moulding framing a pair of German wrought iron gates with rich foliage patterns. Inside the porch is a mosaic floor, a S doorway with head stops of the Llewellyn sons and a boarded door with stylised strap hinges. Above the doorway is a cross and foliage in relief. The S transept has diagonal buttresses and a 3-light Decorated S window above which is a small narrow blind opening. The chancel has a pointed trefoil window in the S wall. The E window consists of three stepped lancets with a small blind trefoil window below the ridge. On the N side of the chancel is a small vestry. The N transept is similar to S except for a 3-light Geometrical-style window. The nave N wall has 2x 2-light Decorated windows. The W window is 3-light, below which is a lancet window lighting the font. Below the ridge are three stepped small, narrow blind windows. The tower is 2-stage, the upper stage narrower, and has an embattled parapet in ashlar. A polygonal turret on SE side rises to the lower stage only. In the lower stage is a pair of lancets in the S wall; in the upper stage are paired lancets with louvres in each face, except the S wall which has a clock (made by J Smith of Derby) set in an ashlar roundel.  

The interior was designed and fitted according to Llewellyn's whims and is a curious combination of Danish and Roman influences. The polychrome effect was achieved from a variety of quarries and manufacturers: the walls are ashlar, in local grey-green Quarella stone, with bands of Ham stone from Somerset. The nave has a mosaic floor composed largely of green tessserae and made by the Vitreous Mosaic Co of London. The chancel has steps of white Great Belton and black Ashburton marbles from Devon. The nave has an arched-brace roof with wind braces and with a frieze of arcading above the wall plate. The E and W crossing arches have moulded capitals above short shafts with head corbels of archdeacons, below which are the emblems of the Evangelists. Inside the crossing are 4 brackets at high level carrying sculptures of the 4 bishops of Wales. The chancel has a boarded wagon roof with cherubs at the feet of the ribs. The E window has a rere-arch with detached Purbeck shafts with shaft rings. The piscina and sedilia have detached Purbeck shafts (in white marble to the piscina) and cusped arches in Early English style; in the N wall is a Bishop's seat in a niche, inside which is a Madonna in bas-relief made of Roman Terracotta and brought from Florence. The reredos is by William Clarke of Llandaff and of pink Penarth alabaster, the niches of which have gold mosaic backgrounds. Shafts between the niches are of green Conomara marble. A central group of 3 niches has figures in Castelina marble by Goscombe John (the Nativity, Crucifixion and Descent), either side of which are three apostles in Derbyshire alabaster. The E window by James Powell & Sons has glass depicting the risen Christ flanked by Saints Leonard and David. In the nave windows are shields bearing the arms of Eton and Winchester schools, the 4 dioceses of Wales and of Canterbury and Gloucester. The pulpit, by Llewellyn and Clarke, is circular, of Quarella stone but with five figures (Peter, John the Evangelist, Christ, Matthew and Paul) in china and made at the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen, and with a cornice of Penarth alabaster. It also has shafts of red Ogwell marble and a pedestal of Penarth alabaster. The font is a copy of Thorwaldsen's Angel Baptism in Copenhagen, comprising a life-size sculpture of an angel of Carrara marble on a slate-coloured marble base. The window immediately adjacent to the font has glass depicting John the Baptist. Oak choir stalls were made by Clarke of Llandaff; the nave has plain benches. A lacquered brass communion rail is by Benham & Froud of London.  

Reason for designation
A well-proportioned late Victorian church with good external detail, and an enriched interior illustrating estate patronage in the Established Church.  

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