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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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Grant Assistance Values for Preservation Repairs to St. Mary's Church Caerau

Evidential Value: The beautiful ruin of St. Mary's is still clearly recognisable as a church and provides evidence of its function as a religious building for several hundred years from the mid-1200s until the latter half of the 1900s.

Historical Value: The ruin is a symbol of the strength of Christian faith that drew people to worship on top of the steep Caerau Hill Fort from mediaeval times until the second half of the 20th century. This religious history is now coming to be seen in the context of earlier Roman, Iron Age, and Stone Age relics being discovered by archaeologists from Cardiff University in the surrounding Hill Fort site, one of the largest and most important in Wales.

Aesthetic Value: The ruin in its wooded hilltop setting has a poetic quality that is remarked upon by many visitors to the site, and forms an iconic landmark for Caerau/Ely, an area that is otherwise sadly lacking in inspirational buildings.

Comparative Value: The ruin is unique within its area. Its loss, or reduction to a mere footprint (as proposed more than once by Cardiff Council), would significantly diminish the impact of this important Hill Fort site.

Communal Value: The Friends of St. Mary's organisation has found over the past twenty years that the ruin has great commemorative value to many people still living locally or elsewhere in the U.K. or abroad, who remember the church when it was still in use as such, and who have relatives buried in its churchyard. It should be preserved for its contribution to social cohesion of the community.

Vulnerability: Repairs and re-pointing are necessary to resist further deterioration and probable collapse of the ruined remains. This is becoming urgent due to some years of bureaucratic delay letting the weather and recent vandalism weaken the structure.

Photos courtesy of Friends and Taskforce supporters.