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(New) St Gwynno's Church, Vaynor, Breconshire

Denomination: Anglican

Dedication: St Gwynno

Built: 1870
Renovated: 1987

Photography: John Ball
Date: / Camera:
    June 2000 / Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 Zoom digital
    6 August 2002 / Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom digital
    28 June 2004 / Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom digital
St Gwynno's Church, Vaynor
Information plaque mounted on churchyard wall (6 August 2002)
St Gwynno's Church, Vaynor
The new St Gwynno's Church, shown in its rural setting (June 2000)

Note 1: St Gwynno's church is located on a hillside in a hamlet to the north of Merthyr Tydfil. It was built in 1870 to designs of architect G.E.Robinson of Cardiff but was paid for by Robert Thompson Crawshay, the Merthyr ironmaster. It is constructed of multi-coloured 'crazy paving' stonework with heavy buttressing on the south, downhill side, under roofs covered in red pantille tiles. Described as a crude performance the church consists of chancel, higher nave, buttressed south-west tower and north-east lean-to porch. The tower spire was replaced by a gabled cap by George Pace in 1987 when the church was also re-roofed. The interior is simple under a thin arch-braced roof. Stained glass includes works by Joseph Bell (?) of Bristol (c.1872), and A.L.Wilkinson (1934). The large churchyard is terraced down the hillside and contains many monuments including Crawshay's grave and his Radyr Quarry stone slab with the curt inscription ending 'God forgive me'. [Source: Coflein database of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (accessed 19 September 2015)]

St Gwynno's Church, Vaynor
The new St Gwynno's Church (6 August 2002)

Note 2: The great iron master Robert Thompson Crawshay was manager of the mines and iron works for years and in 1879 he passed away leaving his company and fortune to his son. His tomb is said to weigh over ten tons and has "God Forgive Me" inscribed on it. Some say he had these words inscribed on his grave because he was asking repentance for closing Cyfarthfa Works and leaving so many families destitute; others say it is because of the way he behaved towards his own family. I guess no one will ever know. [Source: Exploring Merthyr Tydfil, Wales on a blog entitled The Sun Only Sets Once in a Day Go & Live Life Before it Does! (accessed 19 September 2015)]

St Gwynno's Church, Vaynor
The new St Gwynno's Church (28 June 2004)

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