Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Patrick  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Set high above Commercial Street, accessed via steps or from Penygarn Terrace and off Garn Road to the S. Presbytery attached to W by a cloister is not included in the listing.  


Broad Class
Religious, Ritual and Funerary  

Church built 1906-7 in the Gothic Revival style to designs of Cuthbert Welby Pugin. From the early C19 there was extensive industrial growth in most of S Wales with migrant workers being drawn to the towns and valleys of S Wales for employment. Many of these migrants were Irish, escaping the Great Famine of the 1840s. Initially there was little provision for Catholic worship, those in Maesteg having to travel to Cardiff or Swansea to attend a Catholic church. This was until a mission was established in Aberavon in 1852. Mass was also occasionally held in a private house in Maesteg and sometimes at the Three Horseshoes PH. Dom Edward Anselm Glassbrook OSB was appointed to the Maesteg mission in 1858 and served there until 1870, establishing a long link with the Benedictine order. To provide for the congregation in the town a church was built by Dom William Price OSB in 1872, largely from a legacy from Edwin Wyndham-Quin, the Third Earl of Dunraven, MP for Glamorganshire and a Catholic convert who left £2,000 for the purpose of providing a permanent church. The congregation in the town continued to grow and by the end of the C19 a new building was needed. After being appointed to the mission in 1902 Dom Maurus Kelly OSB acquired the site of the current church from Mr James O’Brien for £9,300. Plans for this new church in a late Gothic Revival style were prepared by Cuthbert Welby Pugin of Pugin & Pugin architects. Bishop John Hedley of Newport and Menevia laid the foundation stone on 25 June 1906 and he opened the completed church on 12 November 1907. The site had a recently constructed house on it and this became the presbytery. The adjacent school was built 1908-9. Three stone altars by R L Boulton & Sons of Cheltenham were provided for the new church courtesy of a donation from Mr and Mrs J Boyd-Harvey of Tondu House, Aberkenfig. Early photographs of the church show painted decoration around the high altar and chancel arc: it is thought to have originally been applied in 1919 as a memorial to parishioners lost in the Great War, but since removed (or overpainted). A further Great War memorial was added in the narthex in the 1920s in memory of the 31 parishioners killed in the war. A WWII memorial has also been added. The Benedictines left the parish in 1951 with secular priests serving the parish since then. The sanctuary was reordered in 1972. Stained glass by Hardman and John Edwards installed late C20.  

Church, Gothic Revival. Orientated NE-SW with the liturgical E end to the SW. Randomly coursed rock faced granite with Bath stone dressings. Slate roof. Paired and triple-light foiled lancet windows to nave, single foiled lancets elsewhere. Plate tracery to liturgical W end. Aisle-less nave, 6-bay and buttressed. Sanctuary, stepped in from nave with tall paired windows to both sides, blind E (liturgical) wall. Liturgical west end of nave is flanked by projecting porch to right, and baptistry to left. Porch is buttressed, with 2-light window in gabled return, opposing wide recessed doorways with segmental heads and reeded jambs. Single window with cusped head alongside doorway in main elevation. Liturgical west front of 2 bays articulated by side and central buttresses, 2 orders of double windows with cusped heads, those above taller and with quatrefoils. Above the central buttress is a cusped niche containing a statue of the Virgin and Child, supporting a corbelled and gabled bellcote with bell. Polygonal baptistry to right with single windows. Sacristy to SW, single storeyed and gabled. Single storey cloister connects sacristy to presbytery.  

Narthex, ceiling framed and with gallery above. Former baptistry at far end (now piety stall), gallery stair alongside. Inserted painted timber and glazed screen, this cuts over and partially obscures a wall painting of the pieta (Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ) created as a Great War memorial, probably by Hardman. Opposite is a WWI memorial, painted Celtic lettering and detail on board. Nave, open steep braced scissor truss roof, plastered and painted walls. Oak benches. Sanctuary raised up 2 steps, behind steep arch, echoed in blank arch against rear wall. Painted panelled ceiling, perhaps a remnant of the 1919 scheme. Ornate high altar (moved forward) of Yorkshire limestone with pillars of Connemara marble. Reredos and retable (in original position) with elaborate carved canopies and statues of St Benedict and St David and a central pinnacle and canopied Benediction throne over a brass tabernacle. To either side of the sanctuary arch are further altars, dedicated to Our Lady and St Patrick, with ornate carved foliage, canopies and statuary. Octagonal baptismal font with simple carved cross detail set in front of St Patrick’s altar. Sacristy and confessional to side of chancel arch. Several late C20 stained glass windows by John Edwards and Hardman & Co. (including the St Michael window).  

Reason for designation
Included for its special architectural interest as a little altered and well detailed church of the late Gothic revival style, designed by a leading firm of Catholic church architects of the period. It survives relatively unaltered and retains good original furnishings including the impressive original altars, as well as some particularly fine later war memorials and stained glass.  

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