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St Tydfil's Church, Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan

St Tyfil's Church, Merthyr Tydfil Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Tydfil

Built: 1808

Rebuilt: 1895-1901

1. St Tydfil's Church was built on the site of the martyrdom of St Tydfil in the fifth century AD. The entire church was rebuilt 1895-1901 to designs by J L Pearson, London architect, retaining the 18th century lower storeys of the tower. It was closed for worship in 1968.
[Extracted from Coflein database (NPRN 394)]
2. St Tydfil’s Parish Church at the lower end of the High Street keeps holy the spot first sanctified by the life and death of the Martyr Tydfil. The present stone building was erected in 1808. The Celtic memorial set by the otherwise unknown AR TBEU and now preserved in the north aisle of the church, shows that the site was kept holy by others after her. The first church was probably constructed of wattle and daub, followed later by a more substantial wooden building until the first stone structure was erected in the 14th Century. Set against the north wall in the aisle of the church are two stone pillars. These have provided a constant source of legend and curiosity. The small pillar originates from the beginning of the 19th Century. In pulling down the Norman Church in 1807 a curious stone coffin was found and in it a skeleton of great length. What was more remarkable was that the coffin formed part of the foundation of the Church. The inscription found over the coffin has excited the curiosity of many people, the letters being cut out in red sandstone. The right hand pillar has as much mystery surrounding its origins as the smaller, reminding us that the building was used for Christian worship even in the eighth century.
[Extracted from 55 B.C.-1485 A.D., by H. Watkins, in Merthyr Tydfil: A Valley Community, Merthyr Tydfil Teachers' Group and D. Brown & Sons Ltd., Cowbridge, 1981; ISBN 0-905928-15-6]
3. There is a good selection of old photographs of St Tydfil's Church on Alan George and Geoff Matsell's Old Merthyr Tydfil website

Photography: John Ball
Date: 30 April 1998
Camera: Agfa ePhoto307 digital

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