St Aidans Church - possibly the smallest in Wales!
St Aidans was originally one of the stable blocks built alongside the houses. Very little is known about the church - even looking at maps dating back as far as 1838, you can see the outline of the building but there is no indication that it is a church. What we do know is that for many of the older residents of Bute Town, it has always been a church, a place that they enjoyed going to as children.
The 1920's OS map shows that there was also a Mission Church - it is believed that this was a Tin Church - and some residents say that they only attended so that they could go on the Sunday School Trips!!
St Aidans Church is still a key part of the community. It is used for elections, presentations and meetings, and most importantly it is still used for regular church services. In 2001, with changes in the licensing laws, it was able to host its first ever wedding - an intimate affair with just 44 guests.
St Aidans Church
Churches and Chapels of Rhymney
The Churches and Chapels of the area have always been an important part of the community. One of the earliest links between the iron industry and the religious life of the valley was in 1807 when Mr Llewellyn the Manager of the Union Works offer the Methodists, Baptists and Independents a piece of land to build a chapel and to provide a burial ground. It was eventually built by the Methodists alone.
As the town grew, so did the number of chapels - together with Sunday Schools. In 1839 an Act of Parliament gave the Rhymney Ironworks Company the authority to erect and endow a Church in the old parish of Bedwellty. Work started to build St David's Church in 1842 and the ceremony of consecration was held on 14th July 1843. It cost £4,663 and was built in an auster style sometimes known as "Industrial Architecture" in local limestone.
Andrew Buchan, the Company Shop and Brewery Manager was one of the first deacons, and the stained glass window was installed to commemorate his wife, and upon his death the single church bell was extended into a peel of 6 bells, which were cast by John Warner & Co of London.
A community of 48 houses built along Collins Row, Middle Row and Lower Row in the late 1820's.
BBC History - History of Religion in Wales
Find out more in:
- Echoes of Rhymney by EE Edwards
- Marion Evans has published a number of history/picture books on the Valley
- Ewart Smith has recently published Upper Rhymney Valley Through Time