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Welsh Martyrs' Church

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What: Roman Catholic Church
Where: Penparcau, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Built: 1968-70
Architect: Thomas Price of Cardiff
Abandoned: 2008
Listed: No
Visited: 2011
Last Known Condition: Derelict, secured against further access.
Page Updated: May 2012

Welsh Martyrs' Church is a victim of the local climate: battered by years of rain and storm, the flat roof sprung a leak, forcing the church to close.

In the years since the last mass on the 20th July 2008 the church has become increasingly dilapidated, water pouring in through the damaged roof and great chunks of plaster falling from the walls.

From the car park
From the drive

XIII: Jesus is taken down from the cross
XIII: Jesus is taken down from the cross

Broken crucifix
Broken crucifix

[click images below to expand & enlarge]

The church in 1974 (Dioc. Menevia) From the car park View along the north fašade showing Price's clean, modernist lines Entrance lobby Tea and cake Semicircular nave looking towards main door and confessionals Hymn boards Looking towards the altar Statue behind the altar Nave window VIII: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem Sacristy and vestry Candles and communion wine

The Welsh village of Penparcau, perched on a hill above the seaside town of Aberystwyth, saw its first Roman Catholic Mass on Sunday the 20th January, 1952 but although the building of a new church had been 'high on the list of parish priorities' for some time, it was not until a decade had passed that a suitable site was found and purchased by Bishop Petit of Menevia. The architect Mr. Thomas Price was appointed and the building contract awarded to T. Alun Evans of Rhydyfelin. The foundation stone was laid in 1969 and Price's striking modernist church saw its first Mass on 16th August, 1970 followed by a Solemn Blessing and Dedication on the 4th of October. The service, incorporating a Solemn Pontifical Mass and the dedication of the church to the Welsh Martyrs, was led by Bishop Petit assisted by two Priests of the Carmelite Order, Frs P.L. Geary and Edward Maguire and was attended by a large number of local officials, both civil and religious.

The church served for nearly 40 years before having to close. Originially it was intended that the building should be repaired, but the diocese could not afford it. The site is currently being considered for a new church to replace the parish church of Our Lady of the Angels and St. Winefride in town.


Kiely, M.B., 'Our Lady of The Angels and St. Winefride's: Centenary 1874-1974: A Brief History of the Parish' Faversham: The Carmelite Press, 1975, pp 19-22.

Anon., 'Funny time to be eating cornflakes: Welsh Martyrs Catholic Church, Penparcau' [http://gwilymgoch.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/welsh-martyrs-catholic-church-penparcau.html] Published online, 2008


The Derelict Miscellany: website and all content © D. A. Gregory unless stated to be otherwise.