The History of St Mary’s Church
A rectangular Church built in the early years of the 20th Century. The Mitchell family of Llanfrechfa Grange were instrumental in the founding of St Mary’s Church, Croesyceiliog. The Church, built entirely of red brick and standing in an elevated position, was intended as a mission Church to relieve All Saints Church, Llanfrechfa and was licensed as a Place of Worship by the Bishop of Llandaff, the Right Reverend Richard Lewis on January 28th 1903.
The cost, including furnishing and a small American organ, amounted to £2,000.
It is constructed of red pressed bricks in English bond with windows and door jambs of moulded bricks and with stone dressings to door and windows. At the East end, incorporated in the structure and of the same construction, is a rectangular lean to vestry on the North side. The whole building is covered with grey slates. The bell cote at the Western end is of ashlar, and the West gable is cement rendered. The gable copings have been capped, rather badly with slates.
The interior of the Church comprises a chancel and nave (without division), and (at the East end) a sanctuary divided from the chancel by a wooden framework – since St Mary’s was at one time a dual purpose building, this framework may well have contained shutters to screen off the sanctuary from the main body of the Church when the latter was used for non-liturgical purposes. The doorway to the lean to vestry is adjacent to the screen and sanctuary step on the chancel side.
At the Western end of the Church is an entrance lobby and a vestry/ boiler room with organ loft above. The organ loft is approached by a staircase, from inside the vestry.
The Church floor originally constructed of tongued and grooved boards in the nave and chancel but were removed and replaced with carpet on a new concrete floor when the Church was reordered in July 1996, whilst the sanctuary floor is of decorated clay tiles.
The sanctuary is varied above the level of the chancel and nave, while the Altar is two levels higher than that of the floor of the sanctuary.
The wooden framework structure aforementioned serves as a communion rail. The walls of the Church are plastered with Cement mortar rendered to a fine finish, and have vertical pine tongue and grooved boards to dado height.
The glazing is of diamond shaped leaded lights with opening casements in a wrought iron frame. The roof is supported on seven queen post roof trusses. The ceiling level (of lath and plaster construction), access to the loft space is through a trap door, situated above the organ in the organ gallery.
The entrance to the Church is on the North side, through softwood doors of gothic shape, with wrought iron fittings throughout. There are stone steps with brick walls and handrails adjacent leading to external paths.
The Church Grounds and Curtilage
The grounds around the Church comprises of a car park and lawns. There is also some rough ground to the South side of the Church which is completely enclosed by a stone wall and railings with three pedestrian entrances, and double gates to the car park. The stone wall runs the entire length of the South side of the Church, and for a short distance to the East end of the Church and fencing around the remainder. The fencing was reinstated in 1995.
Garden of Rest
There is an area set aside for the burial of cremated remains to the North side of the Church immediately adjacent to the Church wall, it is surrounded by a chain fence supported on wooden posts approximately 450 mm high. The cost of the construction of this garden was paid for in loving memory of Leonard Edwards, and there is a marble plaque to that effect – ‘Garden of Rest A.M.D.G. In memory of Leonard Edwards, Church Warden, Died February 18th 1983.
The Church Hall
The Church Hall was built in the twentieth century and is a rectangular extension of the Church into which the external brickwork has been bonded. The Church Hall is constructed of facing bricks with cavity wall construction. The roof is of single lap interlocking concrete tile with lead dressings at the junction with the West gable of the Church.
On the northern side of the Church Hall is a small lobby, segregated W.C accommodation, and a kitchen with a flat triple lay ruberoid covered roof with mineralised finish. Entrance to the Church Hall is via a concrete sloping ramp with facing brick walls to the side and double hardwood doors with brass fittings, and stell roller shutter door for additional security. A fire door leads to the Church and there is an emergency exit on the Western side with concrete steps leading to the tarmac path adjacent. The internal walls are rendered and the ceiling is of gypsum ceiling boards. The floor area adjacent to the Church is carpeted and a row of lockable wall cupboards is placed on the Church gable wall. This area is separated from the Main Hall by a folding plastic screen of 2.4 m in height. The floor of the Main Hall is of concrete slab construction covered with Granwood patent composition flooring bricks. There is a small raised stage and permanent Bar adjacent. The Church and Church Hall are heated by a gas fired boiler and pump fed copper pipe and steel radiators.
Last Modified on: 05-11-2015