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The Church of Saint James the Great

Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil



The Church came into being as a School in about the 1850ís.


In 1860 the Parish of Pentrebach was created with St. Johnís Church, Troedyrhiw, as the Parish Church.


The famous Iron Master, Anthony Hill provided most of the money for the erection of St. Johnís in1852 and when he died he was buried in a vault under the altar of the Church. No one else can be buried in the Church or in itís grounds. The building stands as a memorial to the man who ruled the great Plymouth Ironworks. 


When the Parish of Pentrebach was created, the first vicar was the Rev. William Green. This Parish was large because included the villages of Troedyrhiw, Pentrebach and Abercanaid. Mr. W. W. Green, who became the General Manager of the Hills Plymouth Collieries, was the son of the first vicar.


He was also the first organist of Saint Johnís Church. A pipe organ was put in, in 1885.The Font in St. Jamesís Church was dedicated to master William Green. He may have been the first baby to be christened in it by his father who died in 1891, and was buried in Vaynor Churchyard. He was succeeded by one of the greatest figures in the history of the Parish. The Rev. Peter Williams was Vicar of Pentrebach for 32 years. He was also the Rural Dean of Merthyr. During his incumbency churches were built in Pentrebach and Abercanaid. After his death the Large parish of Pentrebach was divided and the present Parishes of Troedyrhiw and Abercanaid took itís place. This was in 1924.


Mr. Glyn Rosser was a Lay Preacher at St. Jamesís Church and Mrs Anne Williams and Mr. William Jones were Sunday School Superintendents for many years Ė still attending in their 80ís.


Sadly, the last service took place, by the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt. Rev. David Reece, on Wednesday evening, 15th August 1979. It was a service of Holy Eucharist and there were 33present.


The Church was then deconsecrated.


Kindly lent and researched by Miss Barbara Downing from Duffryn Fawr, Pentrebach. 



Interior of St. James' Pentrebach - Harvest Festival

(Photograph Courtesy of Hedydd Hughes)


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