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Help and advice for Swansea St. Mary

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Swansea St. Mary

" . . . The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Carmarthen, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £7.14. 4 1/2., endowed with £200 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Sir John Morris, Bart., who is the lay impropriator : the tithes formerly belonged to the hospital of St. David's, in this town, but in the reign of Edward VI. they were, together with the other possessions of that establishment, after its dissolution, granted to Sir George Herbert, and are now divided between the impropriator and the vicar, of whom the former has two-thirds, and the latter one-third.

The church, dedicated to St. Mary, from which circumstance the parish derives its Welsh name of " Eglwys Vair Aber-Tawy," having become greatly dilapidated, fell down in the year 1739, and was then almost entirely rebuilt. The present is a plain neat structure, in the later style of English architecture : the interior is well arranged and appropriately embellished : in the chancel, which is the only remaining portion of the old edifice, is an east window in the decorated style : the altar is ornamented with a valuable Madonna, presented to the parish by the late Thomas Bowdler, Esq., editor of the Family Shakspeare, and, according to a tablet recording the gift, supposed by the donor to have been an original painting by Sassaferat, the companion picture of which was sold for £750; some connoisseurs, however, ascribe it to Ludovico Caracci. The internal arrangement is well adapted to the reception of a numerous congregation ; but since the amazing increase in the population of the town, which has been progressive for some years, it is quite inadequate to the accommodation of the parishioners.

The parish church of St. John juxta Swansea is also situated within the town, and, from the service being performed in it in the Welsh, as well as in the English, language, affords considerable accommodation to the inhabitants of this part of the town, who are mostly of the poorer class, and speak only the Welsh language, and also in a great degree compensates for the deficiency of accommodation in the parish church of St. Mary. . . ." [A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833  © Mel Lockie 2016]


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Swansea St Mary area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of St Mary's, Swansea

Chapels Database  - a  list of all known non-conformist chapels or other non-Anglican religions in the parish

St Mary's Church is located at grid reference SS656929.

Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
1631-1706, 1712-1941, 1959-1978 1631-1706, 1712-1941, 1959-1978 1631-1706, 1712-1937, 1957-1979(cremated remains) 1823-1837, 1872-1873, 1894-1924 1676-1678, 1681, 1683-1684, 1686, 1690, 1693, 1695-1697, 1700-1702, 1704, 1713, 1717, 1725-1736, 1738, 1740-1759, 1761-1786, 1788-1792, 1794-1800, 1802-1803, 1805-1882, 1885, 1887-1895, 1898-1905
At the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • St Mary ecclesiastical parish records           "Ancient parish, from which came Holy Trinity, Sketty, St Thomas, St Peter, Christ Church, St Gabriel, St Mark, St Barnabas, St James and St Matthew. Includes St Phillip's mission church"
    "Registers (including service and banns registers) 1631-1989; Churchwardens' accounts 1793-1987; PCC and Church Council minutes 1920-1993; Vestry minutes 1761-1995; papers relating to church property, fabric and buildings (including plans, faculties and deeds) 1738-1976; details of parish boundaries 1851-1889; charity papers 1791-1980; papers relating to tithes 1874-1962; papers relating to schools 1848-1956; annual reports 1885-1983; parish magazines 1890-1985; church histories 1932-1985; church library (mainly local history and theological books) 1840-1969; photographs and paintings 1849-1999 and n.d.; correspondence, orders of service and miscellaneous 1847-2002."

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • Swansea, St. Mary - Christenings, 1631-1706, 1813-1875, Marriages, 1813-1838

The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

Description and Travel

Places, villages, farms etc within Swansea St Mary's parish  as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.).  (Extracted by Rob Frayne)

  • Swansea Town (24); Cwmbwrla, Uplands
  • Swansea Higher (25); Cockett, Cwmdu, Cwm Llwyd, Garnlas, Hendrefoilan, Hill House, Login, Mynydd bach-y-glo, Tir Hestre, Waunarlwydd, Ystrad-iasf, Ystrad-uchaf
  • Swansea Lower (26); Dderwen fawr, Dunvant, Goitre, Hafod House, Killay, Llanerch, Lower Sketty, Olchfa, Race Course, Singleton, Sketty, Sketty Hall, Sketty Park
You can see pictures of Swansea St Mary which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Swansea St Mary has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS656929 (Lat/Lon: 51.618787, -3.942776), Swansea St Mary which are provided by:

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Swansea, St Mary Parish Records               ".......... including records of the parish workhouse, 1817-1833; poor rate books, 1726-1918; tithe plan and apportionment, 1843"