St Teilo's Church

Living Memory

St Teilo's church has been reconstructed to look as it may have done around 1520. The building’s life carried on long after that date and people still worshipped there in the 1970s, though the building was in bad condition.

It has long been an emblem of Pontarddulais, appearing on the Town Mayor’s chain, on teatowels, paperweights and other memorabilia.

Its location has long been painted by local artists, and the derelict church, as it gradually fell out of use, was used by local children for shelter when fishing and playing on the estuary.

Why, then, did we choose to move it to the museum?

The landscape around Pontarddulais changed drastically in the wake of the industrial revolution. Subsidence, which causes parts of a building to sink, almost caused the building’s collapse.

Raising water levels and changing tide patterns meant that the church’s location was ever more remote. When the last caretakers passed away no-one took their place, and St Teilo's church soon fell into a serious state of disrepair.

The building was offered to the museum by its owner, the Church in Wales, in 1985. After an extensive survey of the site, the dismantling, removal and rebuilding process began.

Click here for galleries of the whole process.