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St Peter's Church, Pontardawe, Glamorgan
St Peter's, Pontardawe
The slender spire of St Peter's Church pierces the sky above the
Swansea Canal at Pontardawe (January 1998)

Dedication: St Peter

Denomination: Anglican

Built: 1860
Consecrated: 1862

Photograph (right): John Ball
Date: 24 January 1998
Camera: Agfa ePhoto307 digital compact

Note 1: Local ironmaster William Parsons gave £5,557 towards the cost of erecting a church on land donated by F. E. Lloyd of Plas Cilybebill. The Swansea architect J. H. Bayliss was employed to design the church, which was to be built of local pennant sandstone by J. Holtham. Building commenced in 1858 and was completed in 1860. Portland stone was used for ornamentation around windows, doorways, the main corners of the building and for the spire. The church is constructed in British Gothic style with a square-ended chancel. It is unusually high for its length, with a 197-ft spire, including the Fleur-De-Lis at its apex denoting the Holy Trinity. Caen stone imported from Normandy was used for the organ loft screen, the pulpit, the reading desk and the baptismal font. Its elevated position enables the church to dominate the town and the surrounding area. Although completed in 1860, the church was not consecrated until 31 July 1862. The ceremony was delayed initially because of a lawsuit between William Parsons and one of the contractors, but further complications arose in the maintenance agreement for the building and in the endowment offered to the incumbent. William Parsons offered an additional 1,000 towards these costs on condition that the vicar raised a similar amount. As he failed to do so, the church stood empty for two years until sufficient funds became available and the consectration could go ahead. [Source: Two Centuries of Pontardawe 1794-1994 by Clive Reed, published by the author, Ynysmeudwy, 1994.]

Note 2: The church of St Peter's was erected in 1862 as a chapel of ease to Llanguick parish church, and contains a handsome reredos added in 1894, when the chancel was laid in marble, and the sanctuary in mosaics. [Source: UK Genealogy Archives website, accessed 13 January 2014.]

Below: Photograph by Google StreetView, dated October 2008
St Peter's, Pontardawe

Note 3: Anglican parish church of 1858-60 by J. H. Bayliss of Swansea, built at the expense of William Parsons, colliery & tinpate works owner. Noteworthy as a particularly ambitious industrialist's church dominating the town of Pontardawe with its tower and spire of over 60m.
[Source: Coflein database (NPRN 13411), accessed 14 January 2014.]


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