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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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Damage to St Mary's

The arch in danger of collapse.
In an interim inspection, we have been concerned to notice damage to the tower. Large pieces of stone are missing at the corner of the tower. Also there is significant erosion of the lower walls near the arch, resulting in partial collapse.

We have previously written to Cardiff Council to inform them of the crumbling stone work, which we agreed may be due in part to the mortar used not being strong enough to sustain the stone work. They replied on 30th April that they would, "retrieve stonework and investigate with CADW whether stronger mortars can be used." We will continue to press them to deal with this, and hope that the repair work can be carried out as soon as possible, as we feel the tower may be vulnerable to collapse, particularly in the winter months, if nothing is done soon. The attractive arch appears to be in danger of imminent collapse.

We also noticed, on our visit to the church, that the security gate at the bottom of the hill has been moved further down, towards the houses, and there is no longer a side access around the gate for pedestrians. This means that access involves either climbing over or under the bars, making it difficult for many people. We have asked the Council why the gate's position and structure has been changed, and whether a side access will be provided.

On walking up the lane, we observed that the hedgerow has become very overgrown. If it is not trimmed back, it will, in time, be difficult to negotiate the path. We have asked if the more prominent branches could be cut back, in order to keep the lane accessible to people visiting the church and graveyard on foot.

We will continue to monitor the situation.

Delia Jay and Rosemary Lewis
Founders, Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau