Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage' Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage'
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Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)

The Official Kenfig Community History Project
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History (General) - Religion

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General - Religion

Kenfig Calvinistic Methodist Sunday School at Prince of Wales Inn, Kenfig  c.1950's
Kenfig Calvinistic Methodist Sunday School at Prince of Wales Inn, Kenfig c.1950's

The Sunday School

Formed by Mr & Mrs Richard Bowen c.1863 together with Mr Evan Howell, Mr Edmund Thomas & Mr William Rees. Initially the Sunday School was held at Mr & Mrs Bowen's house at Ton Kenfig but transferred to the upstairs hall at the Prince of Wales Inn, Kenfig. The sunday school was held at this location up until recent years. The average attendance in 1963 was 40 pupils when the school celebrated its centenary. A record 75 pupils attended the school in August 1923.

Maudlam Church Font
Maudlam Church Font
Twyn Cottage, Water Street - where early baptists worshiped
Twyn Cottage, Water Street
Religion of many denomiations has played a vital and pivitol role in the history of Kenfig and its surrounding areas for centuries. From ancient pagan times through to the monastic times of Margam & Neath Abbeys, the dissolution of Monastries in the 16th century & the Catholic Counter Reformation through to the advent of more modern religious worship before, during and after the Industrial Revolution where communities developed and flourished both around the working environments and various relgious places of worship that sprung up to praise & worship the Christian Faith.
Religion still plays an important part in the lives of modern-day Kenfig and surrounding areas with local churches and chapels meeting the needs of the local communities through weddings, christenings and other social events, sadly over the past decade or so, there has been a decline in attendances & support to some of our local religious centres that has seen some close and even disappear altogether.
In this section we aim to outline the history of each local place of worship together with providing details of Parish Records that outline births, deaths, marriages & christenings in the Kenfig & surrounding areas that will aide the search with local genealogy studies.

Parish Records


Sunday Schools


Events / Celebrations

Pictorial History


St James' Church (Built c.1147-1154)

St James' Church - Kenfig
Built c.1147-1154 by the Normans & endowed to Tewkesbury Abbey, St James' Church was located close to Kenfig Castle in the medieval town of Kenfig. It is believed that St James' Church at Kenfig was removed stone by stone & rebuilt at Pyle being renamed St James' at that location in the 15th century.

Maudlam / Mawdlam

Maudlam Church (Built c.1255) - (Parish of Pyle & Kenfig)

Maudlam Church (Built c.1255)
Dedicated to St.Mary Magdalene, Maudlam Church (built c.1255). It isn't the parish church due to a consistory court, which met at Margam in 1485, deciding that this status be accorded to St.James' church, Pyle; even though Maudlam Church is some 200 years older.
Learn more about the church including a Live Church in Wales Twitter news feed.
Read more... Maudlam Church

Pyle / Pil

St James' Church (Built c.1471) - (Parish of Pyle & Kenfig)

St James' Church - Pyle
Known locally as 'The Upside-down Church' as it is reputed that when the sands threatened to engulf Kenfig, the old church of St James' in the town was dismantled stone by stone and re-built in 'reverse' at it's present location.
The Church was built c.1471 - St James' Church, Pyle is the Parish Church for the benefice of Pyle and Kenfig.

Kenfig Hill

Pisgah Baptist Chapel (Founded c.1836)

Pisgah Chapel, Kenfig Hill (founded c.1836)
Built three times in the same location, the 1st chapel being opened on Christmas Day 1836, the 2nd again on Christmas Day in 1857 and the 3rd & present day building on 30 April 1913. Early Baptists worshiped in local cottages & farmsteads until their chapel had been built with preachers travelling long distances to hold sermons.
Included in this section is an interactive map outlining the burial plots in Pisgah Chapel graveyard.

North Cornelly

Capel y Pil Methodist Chapel (1786-2010)

Capel y Pil Methodist Chapel (1786-2010), North Cornelly
The Chapel was the sole inspiration of William Thomas of Ty Draw who founded the chapel and the establishment of the Methodist cause in the area. He bought 3 cottages & ground in Cornelly on which to build a chapel, the 1st Capel-y-Pil, what is now the vestry was opened in 1786. Such was the success of the chapel a new building was erected in 1830 and yet another one, the present building, in 1862.
The chapel was dissolved and closed on Tuesday 09 February 2010 where it was handed over to the Presbyterian Church of Wales. The chapel is a grade 2 listed building under CADW & new owners are looking to purchase it for a community venture.
This section contains photos of the chapel & an interactive map outlining burial plots in the chapel graveyard.

Kenfig Hill

St Theodore's Church & Vicarage

St Theodore's Church & Vicarage, Kenfig Hill
The Vicarage was born out of the vision & inspiration of Rev. Joshua Pritchard Hughes and was known locally as 'Bryn Eglwys' which was probably erected in 1882 before the church of St Theodore's alongside was built in 1889. It didn't become a vicarage until 1923 when Kenfig Hill became a Parish in its own right - the building was demolished in 2007 for the development of housing after serving its community for over 125 years.
St Theodore's Church was supported & built by the Talbot Family of the Margam Estate and was named in honouring CRM Talbot's only son & heir who had died following a riding accident in June 1876.

Cefn Cribbwr

Bethlehem Church Life Centre

Bethlehem Church Life Centre, Cefn Cribbwr
The first Bethlehem church was built in 1930, it was enlarged in 1952 by building around the existing old church; once the roof was finished, the first church was knocked down inside the newer second structure.
The new Bethlehem church life centre was built in 2005 - it can hold a congregation of around 300 people.
Bethlehem church life centre Official Website

Cefn Cribbwr

Calvary English Baptist Church

Calvary English Baptist Church, Cefn Cribbwr
Built in 1907, Calvary is situated on Cefn Road on the opposite side to Cefn school. The building can hold a congregation of about 110. Calvary Baptist Chapel has a sister church in Aberkenfig.

Cefn Cribbwr

St. Colemans Church

St. Colemans Church, Cefn Cribbwr
Originally built in 1924, and supported by the vicar of Penyfai, Rev. H.R. Protheroe and his parishoners. The church was used for meetings and entertainment - in 2007 weddings were allowed to take place here.
The church was opened on 05 February 1925 with its foundation stones laid on 05 July 1924.
In September 2005, together with St. Theodore's church in Kenfig Hill - St. Colemans was pleased to share its new beginning with the appointment of a new Parish Priest.

Cefn Cribbwr

Siloam Chapel

Siloam Chapel, Cefn Cribbwr c.1910
Built in 1827, this was the first chapel to be built in Cefn Cribbwr. It is the oldest of the six places of worship in the village. It is located at the top of Bedford Road and is set back off the road itself.
The present day chapel is not the original as the structure was rebuilt in 1855. It is a large structure with a cemetery to the front and rear. The original congregation were Welsh speakers, many of whom were local miners.

Cefn Cribbwr

Nebo Church

Nebo Chapel, Cefn Cribbwr c.1910
This is the second chapel to be built in Cefn Cribbwr and was built in 1849. It was rebuilt in 1868 and is a large structure. Both Nebo and Siloam are the only two places of worship in Cefn Cribbwr with cemeteries.
This church can be difficult to find, its entrance is small and the church is tucked away off the main road. There is a baptistry at the front of the church.

Cefn Cribbwr

Wesleyan Chapel

Wesleyan Chapel, Cefn Cribbwr
Built in 1886, it took just thirteen weeks to build. It is believed to have been built by volunteer workers and its chosen site was midway between Cefn Cribbwr and Kenfig Hill alongside the main road overlooking the common. The building is able to accommodate a congregation of between 120 and 150.


History of Kenfig & surrounding areas - Prehistory to the Present Day


  • Bronze / Iron Ages & Roman Era
  • The Monastic Era (1147-1536)
  • The Mansel Era (1536-1750)
  • Talbot Era (1750-1941)
  • War Years / Sir David Evans-Bevan
  • The County Council Years




    • Bridgend County Borough Council Library & Information Services
    • The Story of Kenfig Book - A. Leslie Evans
    • The Parish of Pyle & Kenfig
    • Pisgah, Chapel Y Bedyddwyr, Pil (Bryn James), Bridgend Library & Information Services
    • Glamorgan Family History Society
    • Glamorgan Archives, Cardiff
    • Rob Bowen, Local Community Group

    Webpage Author

    • Rob Bowen, Local Community Group, 2012


    Margam Abbey (1147-1536)

    Margam Abbey
    Founded in 1147 by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, Margam Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey of the Mother House Clairvaux - its dissolution came about in 1536 and was the first abbey to fall under the Dissolution of the Monastries by King Henry VIII... Margam Abbey

    Capel Mair (c.1470)

    Capel Mair
    The medieval chapel known as Hen Eglwys or Capel Mair stands on the east side of Margam woods on a grassy knoll below Graig Fawr at 107m OD. Built c.1470 it appears to have served the local community who lived near to Margam Abbey; the Abbey Church being restricted to the monks... Capel Mair

    New The Margam Estate

    With evidence of over 4000yrs of continuous human habitation at Margam, learn history of the Estate & its owners through the centuries. Glimpse a Timeline of Margam Estate from the Bronze/Iron Age & Roman, Monastic, The Mansels, The Talbots, War Years/Sir Evans-Bevan & The Council Eras through to a an indepth study of all the above - this latter section will be on-going & updated at regular intervals.
    ... The Margam Estate

    New Local Genealogy

    Kenfig & Surrounding Area

    A unique online resource of the families that have helped shape the Kenfig area.

    Parish Surnames since 1695

    Beginning in 1695 this information contains a wealth of interesting material especially for Geneaology Studies.
    ... Parish Surnames since 1695

    Old Churches / Chapels

    St David's Presbyterian Church in Wales, Waunbant Road, Kenfig Hill (built 1909, 2nd church erected 1928)
    St David's Presbyterian Church in Wales, Waunbant Road, Kenfig Hill c.1909
    Elim Chapel, Kenfig Hill c.1907 (Demolished 1995)
    Elim Chapel, Kenfig Hill c.1907 (Demolished 1995)
    Moriah Chapel, Kenfig Hill c.1907 (Demolished 2009/10)
    Moriah Chapel, Kenfig Hill c.1907 (Demolished 2009/10)
    St Theodore's, Kenfig Hill c.1905
    St Theodore's, Kenfig Hill c.1905
    Interior of St Theodore's, Kenfig Hill c.1910
    Interior of St Theodore's, Kenfig Hill c.1910

    Local Events / Celebrations

    Sunday School celebrations - Official opening of 1st St Theodore's Church Hall, Margam Row, Kenfig Hill c.1922
    Sunday School celebrations - Official opening 1st St Theodore's Church Hall, Margam Row, Kenfig Hill c.1922
    Mother's Union Group - Maudlam Church 700th anniversary celebrations
    Mother's Union Group - Maudlam Church 700th anniversary celebrations

    Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - An important part of Wales' documentary heritage



    War Years



    The Coast

    Pictorial History

    Exclusive Pictorial History of the old Kenfig Borough ENTER