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.

The Photos

St Matthews Church, Pontypridd

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.

St Matthews Church, Pontypridd

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?

Ivy On The Walls

There’s no shortage of ivy clinging to the church’s walls.

Terracotta Feature By The Doors

The church’s distinctive terracotta features can be seen up close by the church’s main doorway.

Knocker and Key Hole, St Matthews Church

The main doorway uses two doors of a simple wooden design, with an iron knocker and key hole on the left-hand door.

Wooden Doors, St Matthews Church

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.

Stone Wall and Ivy, St Matthews Church

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.

Ivy and Fence Post, St Matthews Church

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.

Under The Eaves, St Matthews Church

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!

Blackberries Outside St Matthews Church

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.

Rusted Wire And Plastic On The Fence

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.

The Fence Is Broken

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.

References

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

2 comments »

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.

The Photos

St Matthews Church, Pontypridd

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.

St Matthews Church, Pontypridd

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?

Ivy On The Walls

There’s no shortage of ivy clinging to the church’s walls.

Terracotta Feature By The Doors

The church’s distinctive terracotta features can be seen up close by the church’s main doorway.

Knocker and Key Hole, St Matthews Church

The main doorway uses two doors of a simple wooden design, with an iron knocker and key hole on the left-hand door.

Wooden Doors, St Matthews Church

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.

Stone Wall and Ivy, St Matthews Church

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.

Ivy and Fence Post, St Matthews Church

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.

Under The Eaves, St Matthews Church

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!

Blackberries Outside St Matthews Church

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.

Rusted Wire And Plastic On The Fence

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.

The Fence Is Broken

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.

References

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

3 comments »

Now a convenient shortcut for anyone using the Treforest Industrial Estate Railway Station on the old Taff Vale Railway line (modern-day Valley Lines service), this bridge used to carry a railway siding south from the Upper Boat Power Station into factories on the industrial estate.

I used to think that this was a surviving relic of the old Cardiff Railway, but sadly that just isn’t true; Cardiff Railway remained on the eastern bank of the River Taff (with a station where the Focus DIY store now is at Upper Boat) before finally crossing the Taff over the impressive (but sadly doomed) Rhydefelin Viaduct.

Even so, this bridge is one of the most impressive survivors in the area, and it definitely deserves a feature all of its own.

The Photos

The View Most People See

This is how most people see the bridge, as an essential short-cut across the Taff to and from the nearby railway station.

Admiring The Structure Of The Bridge

If you do find yourself crossing this bridge, I urge you to stop for a few moments to admire it. It is one of the few surviving structures from its time. The railway siding that it carried, and the power station and factories that used to sit at either end of this siding are long gone.

It Needs A Lick Of Paint

As this close-up of the bridge’s structure shows, it could do with a lick of paint to preserve it from the elements for a bit longer.

Wooden Flooring Along The Bridge

The old trackbed is long gone, replaced by this wooden boarding. Be careful in wet and icy weather; I’ve slipped and slided my way from one end of the bridge to the other on more than one occasion!

The Bridge From Upstream

Taken from upstream, looking south west along the River Taff to the bridge. Doesn’t it just look fine? I don’t think you’ll find another one like it anywhere else along the length of the Taff.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Congestion On The Llangollen Canal

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

Continuing this week’s theme of nautical(ish) photos from last summer’s holiday in North Wales, here’s a shot actually taken from onboard a boat.

The Llangollen Canal is incredibly popular these days, and that does cause problems if you’re the impatient type. There’s a stretch of narrows between Llangollen and Trevor that’s only wide enough for a single narrowboat at a time; and, to make things even more entertaining, the narrows aren’t straight, making it impossible to see if there’s another boat already in the narrows before you enter. If you run into another boat, the only thing to do is for one of you to reverse back the way you came, let the other boat pass … and try your luck once more.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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The Pope Comes To Edinburgh

Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 15th, 2010 in Travel Photography.

We were in Edinburgh the day before the Pope came to visit the city, and talking to local people, it seemed that the main impact of his impending visit was on local parking.

Heavyweight Sign

This is one of the temporary signs placed all around Edinburgh notifying its citizens and visitors of a ‘Special Event’ tomorrow. The event, of course, is the visit of the Pope to the Palace of Holyrood on a state visit; the first Pope ever to visit the UK on an official Head of State visit.

Parking Suspended For Pope Visit

On-street parking in Edinburgh was suspended on Wednesday ahead of the Pope’s visit to the city on Thursday. The special notices said that parking was suspended from 4pm on the Wednesday, but when we arrived in the city on Wednesday morning, all of the on-street parking meters had already been covered with notices stating that parking was suspended.

Police Bikes Outside Palace of Holyrood

There were plenty of police outside the Palace of Holyrood today in the build-up to the Pope’s visit to the Palace tomorrow, but I couldn’t say whether there were more police than normally present when Her Majesty is at the palace.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Cardiff Central Station From The East

One of the best angles to view Cardiff Central Railway Station is from the east, looking along its open concourse to the main terminal building which houses the ticket office and assorted shops.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper choice today is the amazing Pontcysyllte Anqueduct at Trevor, near Llangollen.

Today, Llangollen Canal is said to be the most popular in the UK, and when that means riding over this amazing aqueduct to get to and from it, it’s no wonder. One of Telford’s great masterpieces, it was completed in 1805 and today is a world heritage centre alongside sites like Stonehenge or the North Wales coastline and its ring of English castles.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Barmouth Bridge in Silhouette

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My choice of desktop wallpaper continues this week’s theme of nautical(ish) photos from last summer’s holiday in North Wales.

It had been gloomy during the morning when I’d headed out to Transfynydd, but swinging back via Barmouth in the evening, the weather was beginning to pick up to offer some great shots of the bridge, harbour, and river traffic at Barmouth.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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Windows Of The Coal Exchange

Mount Stuart Square, a designated conservation area since 1980, is home to something like 60 listed buildings. Some of these listed buildings are considered landmark buildings; some are not.

The crown jewel of Mount Stuart Square is the Coal Exchange, where the world’s first 1 million pound business transaction was conducted. Today, it’s a multi-purpose building, and a walk around the outside of it reveals that it has seen better times. These windows, at pavement level on the western side, suggest that not all of the building has faired well since the docks closed in the 1960’s … but don’t they make you curious about what’s inside? They sure make me curious!

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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Rugby Post In Hailey Park

Hailey Park in Llandaff North nestles between the eastern bank of the River Taff and what would have been the western bank of the Glamorganshire Canal as the canal emerged from beside the tin works at Melingriffith. Back when Radyr Yard still existed (which today is the site of a new housing estate immediately south west of Radyr Railway Station), a railway embankment ran through the northern end of the park’s grounds, crossing the River Taff over a now-disused bridge to join what today we call the City Line.

In 1923, a Mr C. P. Hailey wrote to Cardiff Corporation offering the land to be transformed into a public park. His offer was for the northern section of the park, and subsequently a Mr Emile Andrews agreed to provide the land to the south of Mr Hailey’s to form a single park. Work began in 1925, and the park was opened on 3rd May, 1926, forming a great open area that only became even more important when Cardiff Corporation closed the Glamorganshire Canal and built the Gabalfa housing estate.

Today, the park is home to Llandaff North Rugby Club, and the Taff Trail cycle route snakes its way up from the south west to the north east corner of the park. A local community group works closely with the city council to improve the park, but unfortunately they keep hitting setbacks as local yobs disrupt and vandalise the park. The railway embankment that ran across the park is gone, and the line of trees that run down the south east corner edge of the park is the last reminder to mark the route that the canal once took.

References

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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.

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