1 Hours 7 Mins from our holiday cottages
40 Miles from our holiday cottages
St. Matthew's Church.
The need for a permanent church building became obvious by the later nineteenth century, especially as the opening of Borth railway station in 1863 brought additional holiday makers. A building committee was set up which in 1874 approved the plans for the proposed church of Archibald Ritchie, a Chester architect. The builder appointed was John Tudor of Trawsfynydd, and his clerk of works, was L.C. Jones of Borth. The building is of local stone, with dressed stone from the Grinshill quarries in Shropshire, while the roof was to be tiled in blue Welsh slate. The building cost over £2,000: some £90,000 in modern equivalent.
The site of the church could not be in Borth village as sand and shingle were insufficent foundations for a weighty building, but fortunately the rocky outcrop on which St.Matthew's now stands was sold to the building committee by Sir Pryse Pryse, together with adjoining land, for £30. 'Gentlemen connected with the railway' were among the members of the building committee; but as the railway preceded the church in time, an enduring legacy is that the onus of safety precautions in crossing the line falls on the church members and other users of the church lane, rather than with the railway authorities.
The foundation stone of St.Matthew's was laid on 18 November 1874 after luncheon in the Cambrian Hotel (now the site of the tourist office) and a sermon in the school by the new bishop of St David's, the Rt. Revd. Basil Jones. (The bishop owned the Gwynfryn estate in nearby Llangynfelyn, and it is highly likely that he actively supported the plans for Borth church as for the iron church at Talybont a few years later). Despite poor weather, the assembled company proceeded to the church site where Lady Pryse with a silver trowel spread the mortar before tlle stone was lowered into position. Dr Norrington Davies tells how in a small cavity under the stone lies a glass bottle in which are enclosed' several coins of the realm, a small view of the proposed church, and the names of the building committee'. The day ended with a public tea, and Evensong in Welsh in the school.
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