The Origins of St Elvan’s Church

(from a book by Ivor Morgan)
In early 1846 and due to the influx of people into the Cynon Valley it was considered necessary to build a bigger church than St John’s for ever increasing congregation of the valley. Also there was a new question on language where the new industrialists came from out England with their families and they also brought the manager’s with their families as well. During this period the churches were doing 2 services a day, the English in the morning and the Welsh in the afternoon which was much concern that the hard working families worked different shifts.
A new Vicar came to Aberdare name of Rev. John Griffiths who threw himself into the new church in Aberdare. The first problem was to find a site for this new church, the idea was to keep as close as possible to St John’s Church, the committee found a small hill in the centre of town which was once called Halewood’s Watermill which later turned into the clog mill, then fell into disuse, this was owned by the Marquis of Bute, lucky for them that the Marquis was already involved in evangelical work and he donated a piece of land to them.
On the committee at this time was Crawshay Bailey & Thomas Wayne (Ironmasters) and George Rowland Morgan was a local land owner and Magistrate. They contacted the architects from the Church Commissioners to design the building that would be able to hold about 800 people and for a price around £3000.
A vestry meeting was held on the 28th January 1851 to consider the designs for the church eventually it was won by Andrew Moseley of London. The following month the building committee met and examined the contracting firm of Strawbridge of Bristol, it was then discovered that the tender exceeded the estimate by the amount of £4685 which were given by the architects of the Church Building Society, so they decided to reduce the tender by cutting back by cutting back on the thickness on the walls, height of the nave, porch, transept were omitted as well ornamentation, these cut backs reduced the price to £3019. It was finally completed on the 6th July 1852; the church was officially opened by the Right Reverend Alfred Ollivant, Bishop of Llandaff on September 22nd 1852.