Latest News: Autumn Update 2022
The medieval church of St Mary, sadly now a fragile ruin, stands on an Iron Age hill fort overlooking the ancient village of Caerau and the post-war housing estate of Ely. Adjacent to St Mary's is a medieval castle ringwork which in its time would have had palisade fencing and a tower. There are magnificent views of Cardiff and the Ely Valley, the Garth Mountain and Castle Coch, Tongwynlais. The steep climb up the narrow road to St. Mary's is well worth the effort. The beginnings of the Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau ("the Friends") reach back to 1994, but it was in late 1999 that the two founder members, Delia Jay and Rosemary Lewis, set up the Friends and gave it its title. The Friends are a small pressure group striving to protect the ancient church from further decay and destruction. We had hoped to save St Mary's magnificent west tower which was still intact until the winter of 2000/2001 when severe storms finally caused its partial collapse, leaving only one of its original two crosses. The Church of St Mary's is a Grade II listed building, and it is disappointing that such an ancient and prominent landmark in Caerau has been ruined. We are thankful, however, that following the loss of its one remaining cross, a new, replica cross now adorns what remains of the tower. On this website we write about the history of the Church and the community it served, including the 1960 rebuild by Father Victor Jones and his assistants, and also the history of our activities as the Friends. In addition there are personal stories from people both at home and abroad, writing about their connection to St. Mary's and the local community. The Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau is an entirely not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers.
The church in its prime.