A History of St. Pauls Church, Cwm
Century Year 1982 written by Roland C Read
The Rev. William Cox, in his "Historical Tour in Monmouthshire" (1801) has very little to say about the Ebbw Valley, but there are points that are of interest.
Coming up the valley of the little "Ebwy" he mentions Cwmtillery and the parish of "Aberystwith" and also Nanty-glo.
The valley was very fertile and so little English spoken that if it were not for the fact that he had as a guide the Vicar of Trevethin (Mr. Williams) he could not have made himself understood.
From Nanty-glo he went "round the northern extremity of a mountain sometimes called Beacon Hill" and so he enters the valley of the "Great Ebwy" which he describes as "bounded by ranges of hills feathered with trees and traversed by a mountain torrent". The scenery, here, is more wild and there are fewer inhabitants.
"Art has also introduced a striking difference, in the other vale (meaning the "Little Ebwy"). The path, continually ascending and descending, ran along the rugged sides of the beacon mountain; here the way is a railroad carried over an artificial terrace"
He mentions later this same "rail road", which runs over a bridge at Aberbeeg, and he also tells of the canal at Crumlin. Surely this is sufficient evidence for the rail road "tram road" which once carried the products of the furnaces either at Beaufort or Ebbw Vale down to the head of the canal at Crumlin, thence to Newport.
This rail road passed near the "Crown House" (now demolished) and in front of "The Boot" which was at the top of Crosscombe Terrace and continues on much the same track as does the present railway.
On his journey down the valley, Cox mentions two smaller valleys or Cwms, the first he calls Cwm (Mythve), the second Cwm, Beeg. The latter is obviously near Aberbeeg, but is Cwm Mythve the small valley in which Cendle Terrace is now built, and is 'Mythve' the name of the stream? It is strange that Cox makes no reference to Beaufort or Ebbw Vale.
The Ecclesiastical District of Ebbw Vale came into being by Act of Parliament in 1870 although the Parish Church of Christ Church had been built in 1858-1860.
This building was to replace the Church of St. John the Divine, which was in the Chapelry of Beaufort.
The first vicar of Christ Church was the Rev. William Hughes, M.A. (1861-1886).
It was during his incumbency that the Church in Cwm was built. It was completed in 1882 at a cost of £1,540.9s.5d. Before this, services had been held in the "Crown House" and it is said that a small organ was carried from some part of the parish every Sunday for use in these services.
The contractors for the church were Messrs. W.Jones & Sons and the fee they received amounted to £1,102.12s.6d. Subcontractors were West & Sons for fencing north and east sides of enclosure (£21). The excavating of the area of the church and the fencing of the south part of the west sides of the enclosure was completed by Mr. David Pugh for a fee of £95.12s.
The architect was Mr.J. Norton. For his work he received £60 and Mr.J. Newcombe, as clerk of works received £10.
The monies for the building were found mainly by subscriptions of £1,017.13s.7d. In addition, the proceeds of a bazaar brought in £298.5s.7d., and a grant of £100 came from the Incorporated Church Building Society. (This was withheld until the church was consecrated)
Llandaff Church Extension Society also gave £50. Among the subscriptions was one of £600 given by Mr. Crawshay Bailey of Maindiff Court in Llantilio Pertholey.
He also gave the site. In 1882 the church was duly conveyed by him to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of the Church of England and was opened for divine service on July 5, 1882 - under licence from the Bishop of Llandaff. The collection at the opening service was £21.1s.6d.
The church was eventually consecrated by Richard, Lord Bishop of Llandaff, on May 28, 1883 and was designated the Mission Chapel of St. Paul, Cwm.
The church was licensed for marriages and the first was solemnised on December 13, 1883, between Richard Anthony and Hannah Jane Childs. The officiating minister was the Curate of Christ Church, the Rev. Albert Jordan, and it was witnessed by John and Jane Bowen.