St George’s Church, Tredegar

St George’s Church, Tredegar

This church was built in the 1830s in a style that harked back to the simplicity of Norman churches. London architect John Jenkins was congratulated for designing a comfortable and elegant church, seating more than 1,100, which had cost only £2,700 to build. The church’s gallery rests on iron columns rather than stone.

The site was gifted by ironmaster Samuel Homfray, who also gave £500 towards construction costs and provided the communion plate.

Carpenter and former soldier William Alexander was working on the church in October 1835 when he fell from the scaffolding and died, leaving a widow. He had survived the dangers of fighting in the Battle of Waterloo (1815) and most of the Peninsular War (the Napoleonic war in Spain and Portugal 1808 to 1814).

Samuel Homfray quickly organised repairs after fire damaged the church just a few days before its consecration in November 1836. Almost 2,000 people thronged inside for the ceremony.

Initially services at “Tredegar New Church” were in Welsh and English alternately. In 1837 there were complaints that Tredegar still had no vicar of its own, with no service in the church on at least one Sunday.

Tredegar curate Rev John Jones performed many marriages here, and it was his turn to take the vows in October 1856 when he married Agnes Bramwell of Westmoreland. Her sister Mary had married Richard Davis, manager of Tredegar ironworks. The curate and his bride were welcomed with flags in the streets, cannon fire and music from the Tredegar band.

Just 11 months after the wedding, Agnes died after complications when giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Agnes Mary Elizabeth, who was to die in infancy. Rev Jones left Tredegar in August 1858.

Agnes and Mary had launched fundraising for Tredegar’s clock tower (Mary’s idea) but both died before the clock was built. Mary suffered a fatal lung haemorrhage a few weeks before Agnes’ death. You can see memorials to both sisters in the church.

Also commemorated inside is Alfred Homfray, Samuel’s nephew, who died in 1851. He was surgeon at the ironworks – where injuries were common – and often treated poor townspeople free of charge. He was mourned by many poor widows and orphans.

Postcode: NP22 3DU     View Location Map

Church website