Capel Mair - important landmark vandalised again!
Vandalism threatens our historical chapel, yet again
Many of use know of and care for the ruins of the 14th -15th century Chapel of Capel Mair. It is the familiar landmark that can be seen from the M4, that signify to many that they are coming home to Port Talbot.
Capel Mair is a Grade II Listed building and stands on the spur of Crugwyllt ridge overlooking the M4 motorway, above a steep hill north of the Abbey Church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Founded in 1147 by Robert Earl of Gloucester (a reminder of the medieval heritage of Margam). The Chapel was constructed for the local population of Margam who were unable to worship in the Cistercian Abbey Church.
A recent inspection of Capel Mair near Margam Country Park, Port Talbot, reported further structural damage caused by individuals who are vandalising our heritage by climbing on the fragile walls of an ancient building and the lighting of fires within the Chapel. In 2015, CADW, the authority responsible for conserving and protecting our historic heritage in Wales, completed a series of consolidation work on various parts of Capel Mair. Four years later the vandalism continues, the impact of criminal damage on our historic buildings and archaeological sites has a far-reaching consequence over and above the damage or loss for the cultural heritage of Wales. A clear message should be made that vandalism will never be tolerated in our communities nor in other parts of Wales.
Since October 2019, all Courts in England and Wales have had new sentencing guidelines for specific types of criminal damage, ensuring that they take into account the full impact of damage by fire, vandalism, threats to destroy ancient buildings, or national heritage sites including Grade I and II listed buildings and archaeological sites. So the punishment is steep for those that are caught.
If you are aware of any incidents of vandalism at Capel Mair please report them as soon as possible to Margam Country Park telephone 01639 881635.
Historical and preservation awareness talks
Are you a teacher? or involved in education? Then please feel free to contact the Friends of Margam Park where you will be able to arrange a talk and tour of our heritage sites and assist children and adults alike to understand and appreciate the importance of preserving our heritage.