St Mary the Virgin Church, Caerau, Cardiff

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St Mary’s church
Church before it was deconsecrated in 1971
Church in ruins in 2011

St. Mary the Virgin Church is a deconsecrated and ruined church in the parish of Caerau with Ely, Cardiff, Wales. It was built in the 13th century and closed for the last time in 1973.


The ruins of St. Mary’s Church stand on the site of Caerau Hillfort on a natural plateau at the Caerau end of a hill range extending from Leckwith to Caerau.[1] The church is first mentioned in the Taxatio Ecclesiasticus of Pope Nicholas IV in 1291 and was probably built in 1260.[2] Since then it has undergone many repairs and alterations. Archaeologia Cambrensis in 1901 describes its 1848 state as "a small church on an abrupt eminence, where was a Roman encampment."[3] It was substantially rebuilt by the Reverend Victor Jones in 1960-61. In 1973 it was closed and deconsecrated and it has subsequently deteriorated into a ruin.[4] Since 1999 a group of former and current parishioners, the Friends of St. Mary’s Church at Caerau, have been campaigning to preserve and commemorate the remains of the church.

The building became Grade II listed in 1980.[5]


  1. ^ Christopher Holder (1975). Wales: An Archaeological Guide. ISBN 0-571-08221-1
  2. ^ R.M. Wools and J Guy (1960). Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Caerau
  3. ^ Archaeologia Cambrensis 1901, Volume 1, 6th Series pp. 247-248
  4. ^ Delia Jay and Rosemary Lewis (2008). St Mary The Virgin Church, and hill fort at Caerau. ISBN 978-0-9560137-0-5
  5. ^ Church of St Mary, Caerau, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 31 August 2013.

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Coordinates: 51°28′04″N 3°14′48″W / 51.4678°N 3.2466°W / 51.4678; -3.2466