Building Name

Church of St Anne, Tonna, near Aberdylais Glamorgan

1890 - 1893
Tonna, Aberdylais, Neath
Glamorganshire, Wales
Rev. David Griffiths
New build
Walter Dowland

Built at the expense of the Rev. David Griffiths. A varied composition, dominated by the south porch tower with its spire. Rock-faced local sandstone, with generous bath stone dressings. The octagonal bell-stage with its clasping pinnacles, reminiscent of Prichard’s church at Baglan., is all ashlar-faced like the spire. Otherwise the plan is cruciform with an apse. Geometrical tracery. The whole concept is outmoded for its date. Disappointing interior. Stained glass - apse windows contain scenes from the life of the virgin. 1891 by Joseph Bell of Bristol. South transept - Ascension flanked by Baptism of Christ and empty tomb c.1900. Signed by Mayer & Co.  West window - Mayer & Co.(?) [Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan page 629]

THE MEMORIAL CHURCH at TONNA.-The late Mr Walter Griffiths, J.P., of Dylais Fach, it is now stated, had long ago selected Mr. E. H. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, as his architect to prepare plans for the church which he contemplated erecting at Tonna, and plans were submitted on two occasions. The Rev. David Griffiths, M.A., vicar of Resolven, now desires to carry out the good intentions of his only brother, and the whole expense connected with the erection of the building will be borne by him. We hear that the inhabitants of tin district are desirous of showing their appreciation of this most liberal generosity by subscribing the money necessary for the placing of a stained-glass window in the chancel of the church as a memorial of the late Rev, Walter Griffiths. [The Cambrian 13 June 1890 page 6]

ST. ANNE'S CHURCH, ABERDYLAIS - This building is now in the hands of the contractor, Mr. Walter Dowland, of Abergavenny. The foundation stone will be laid by Miss Giiffiths, of Resolven Vicarage, in the course of a month. The church will be a handsome structure, consisting of a nave, two transepts, organ chamber, vestry room, and a spire of 80 feet, of native stone, with Bath stone dressings, at a cost of £3.000 The donor also gives the land and stones. Mr. E. H. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, is the architect. [The Cambrian 10 October 1890 page 2]

LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE OF A NEW CHURCH AT ABERDYLAIS. Few places have progressed more of late years than Aberdylais. It is picturesquely situated at the entrance of the beautiful Vale of Neath, between Cadoxton and Resolven, and at the junction of the rivers Nedd and Dylais. Surrounded by collieries and tin-plate works. it is making good progress, and is rapidly becoming a centre of a large population. The principal owner of the property of the district was the late Rev. Walter Griffiths, B.D., of Dylais Fach, and impressed with the axiom that property has its duties as well as its rights," he generously provided for the educational and spiritual wants of the district by erecting a spacious school room, at which several hundred children were blessed with a sound and useful elementary education. Nor was this all. He had the school licensed for divine worship, and provided, at his sole expense, a curate to minister in holy things for the Tonna and Wenallt estates. Thus, the services of the Church of England were gratuitously provided for the people, and so successful did they prove, that had the Rev. Walter Griffiths lived, it was his intention to have built a church worthy of the cause and the spiritual wants of the district. After his demise, having succeeded to the Dylais and Wenallt estates, almost the first thing done by the Rev. David Griffiths, Vicar of Resolven and Glyncorrwg. has been to carry out his late brother's generous intentions. The good work has at last begun, and soon the Tonna School Room will be superseded by a memorial edifice, which will not only be free, but an ornament and a great boon to the Vale of Neath.

The foundation stone was laid on 6 November 1890 by Miss Griffiths, of Dylais Fach, who was presented with a mallet and trowel. These were the gift of the inhabitants of Aberdulais, and were supplied by Davies and Sons, Neath. The trowel was of solid silver, with a crest on top, having an ivory handle, the whole workmanship being beautifully finished.

The site selected abuts on the main road at Tonna, overlooking the Aberdylais Works. The church will be Gothic in style, with seven arches. It will be built of native stone with Westwood facings. The nave will be 25 feet by 22 feet, and the chancel will be 25 feet 6 inches by 18 feet, while the trancepts will be 16 feet by 11 feet 10 inches. There will also be provided a chamber organ, and a vestry. The fabric will comfortably sit about 300, whilst the total cost will be JE3,400 the whole expense being borne by the Rev. David Griffiths, superadded to which there will be a handsome spire and a peal of bells. The spire will be the gift of the Misses Griffiths. The architect is Mr. Edwin Henry Lingen Barker, of London, Hereford, and Tenby, and contractor, Mr W. Dowland, Tudor Street, Abergavenny. [The Cambrian 7 November 1890 page 8]

A New Church for Neath, South Wales.-: The foundation-stone of a new church for the outlying district of Tonua was laid on the 6th inst. The building will be cruciform on plan, with I semi-circular apse and a lofty tower and spire on the western side of the north transept. The stone for the walls will be raised on the estate of the donor: and the total cost will be about 3,000/. Mr. E.H. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, is the architect. [Builder 22 November 1890 page 410]

MEMORIAL CHURCH AT ABERDULAIS.—On the: 6th inst., the foundation-stone was laid of the St. Anne’s Memorial Church at Aberdulais (Neath),: by Miss Mary Griffiths, of Resolven. The designs have been prepared by Mr. E. H. Lingen-Barker, of Hereford, and the contract has been entrusted to Mr. Walter Dowland, of Abergavenny. The Gothic style of architecture has been chosen. Sitting accommodation will be afforded for 300 persons. [Builder 15 November 1890 page 392]


OPENING OF A NEW CHURCH NEAR NEATH. On Monday the St. Anne's Memorial Church, Tonna, near Aberdylais, was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Llandaff. … The church is a Gothic cruciform structure of native stone, with Bath-stone dressings. The church consists of nave. chancel, and transepts, with organ chamber and vestries. The architect was Mr. E. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, and the builder Mr. W. Dowland, of Abergavenny.  [Evening Express 21 February 1893 page 3]



MEMORIAL CHURCH, TONNA, NEAR NEATH - On the 20th ult., the St. Anne's Memorial Church, Tonna, near Aberdulais, was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Llandaff. The church is a Gothic cruciform structure of native stone, with Bath-stone dressings. The church consists of nave, chancel, and transepts, with organ-chamber and vestries. The architect was Mr. E. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, and the builder, Mr. W. Dowland, of Abergavenny. [Builder 11 March 1893 page 200]