St Matthews Church was built in 1908 in the middle of the Trallwn community, not far from the Glamorganshire Canal as it approached Pontypridd. Featuring unusual terracotta arches, this large and now disused church is unmissable as you travel down the hill to the local shops.
The church is now closed, and up for sale. The local council has given planning permission to convert the site to residential use; presumably the church will be demolished rather than adapted when this finally takes place. At the time of writing, it wasn’t clear whether anyone has yet bought this site.
You can’t travel far in the valleys without running into a (usually former) church or mission hall, but to date I haven’t seen any other church with these distinctive terracotta arches.
The church is quite sizeable, much larger than the much more common mission halls (there are two such halls in the same street alone!) Sadly, vandals appear to taken to throwing stones at the (what appear to be) plain glass windows. I wonder if this is why they’ve been leaving the local greenhouses alone for a little while now?
There’s no shortage of ivy clinging to the church’s walls.
The church’s distinctive terracotta features can be seen up close by the church’s main doorway.
The main doorway uses two doors of a simple wooden design, with an iron knocker and key hole on the left-hand door.
Look up at the top of the doors, this shot shows the shadow cast by the archway. I like the simple pattern towards the top, which makes me think of a tree.
The walls of the church (like all of the original local housing) are stone rather than brick. There are several former quarry sites in the area; it’s likely that the stone didn’t have far to travel.
Some of the walls have disappeared underneath the ivy growth, with features such as this drain pipe doing their best to stand out until they too become overgrown.
This unusual shot, looking up at the guttering, shows wooden beams (presumably from the roof) sticking out from beneath the ivy. The paint on the wood has largely flaked off. I hope the wood is well-treated!
There are wild berries sticking out of the otherwise overgrown grounds. I’m sure they didn’t stay there for very long, before someone came along and picked them.
This rusting lurid green fence runs around the (small) grounds of the church. My eye was drawn to the contrast of this rusting wire and probably-never-will-degrade plastic wrapped around the fence. I’m guessing that both have been used at some point to fasten notices of some kind to the fence.
Sadly, the fence is in a poor state of repair, and has broken (or been broken) at one point, causing it to lean back away from the road and pavement.
- Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council Committee Summons, 24th January 2008
- St Matthews Church on Doctor Who Locations.net
- St Matthews Church on Building Plots For Sale
- St Matthews Church (closed) on the Aberdare Blog
If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.